I'm sure most of you are familiar with the phrase time is money, but as a small business owner that phrase takes on a whole new meaning. After I photograph an all day wedding or spend two hours with a new engaged couple, my work has just begun. I still have several hours of editing, resizing, uploading, and tagging to do. I know that the amount of time that I spend on a project effects my overall profit. I also know that I am not going to rush through my photos just so that I can make more money. I am a perfectionist, probably like most other photographers, but like any good person of their trade, using the right tools can make the job much easier and save a lot of time. Adobe Photoshop is probably the number one tool that most all photographers use other than their cameras and lenses. I would like to share with you guys a simple photoshop action that I use on a regular basis that saves me a lot of time.
Let's say that I just finished an engagement photo shoot (e-session) with a couple. I know that they will want there photos online (facebook, myspace, .mac, ect.) asap to share with all of there friend and family. My camera (Nikon D90) shoots 12.3 mega pixels. This is way too large for the web. I need to resize all of the photos and give the couple two disc, one with the originals and a disc with the smaller photos for the web.
Step 1. Make a copy of the folder with the original photos.
Step 2. Open Photoshop and locate the "Actions" window. Option+F9 on a Macintosh
Step 3. Create a new custom action. Name it and click record. Photoshop will now record all of the actions you make until you stop or pause the recording process.
Step 4. Use an test photo to set up your custom action. You should use a photo that is the native size that your camera shoots. For example, my 12.3mp camara shoots a photo that is 2848X4289. This is a vertical portrait. Open the image in Photoshop and adjust the image size. Option+Command+I on a Mac. Now you can adjust the image to your desired size.
Step 5. Save. Do not save-as. Overwrite the file, this is why we created a duplicate folder in step one.
Step 6. Close and stop the "Action" recording. Now you have created you first custom action. You can always go back an remove or make addition steps to that action by selecting the action and picking up the recording process.
Step 7. Automate Batch. This is where you can save some real time. Remember that photo that we used to create the action was just a test subject. Now let's assume that you have a folder with 700 photos that you want to resize for the web. You now have a custom action that will do just that, but how about using the "Automate Batch" feature to resize all 700 photos at once. There is no keyboard shortcut for this. File, Automate, Batch. this will bring up your options.
Step 8. Point the Automate feature to the folder where you want the images resized. Select your custom action and boom, that's it. Sit back and let the computer compute. Or go out am take some more photos. Either way you should be happier because you will spend less time behind a computer. The time that this will take depends on your computers processing power and the number of photos it is resizing. Enjoy!