Yes, I love the reportage! It is demanding in every respect, because every moment is just a moment, a second of the day. It has to be captured, emotionally charged, how this second is experienced right now. In this second everything must be right! Light and shadow, perspective, technique, facial expression, the gaze, details, picture detail, background… If one of these factors is not correct, the pictures will not be taken and 3000-10000 pictures cannot be retouched.
Reportage is versatility. What also appeals to me about reportage is the enormous range of genres it encompasses: Portrait, product, food, vehicles, landscape, sport – all this is in reportage photography and every picture should look perfect as if it had been staged that way, but it was only a second, this one moment that is over so quickly.
Caption: Reportage photography lives through its range of photographic genres. The art is to create an atmosphere, a mood that captures the whole event or journey in all its diversity.
The art of correct image editing: In addition to wedding reportages, I am mainly booked by companies, with a focus on travel reportages but also on day events and conferences. I often accompany 70 to 180 people who all experience the event with me. They experience the same atmosphere, the same impressions and the same overwhelming colours as I do. Now comes the art of correct image processing. I may and must turn the colors to underline the captured atmosphere. Sunsets, candlelight evenings, dinners, kayak and walking tours, safari – every situation requires its own colour mood and everything in the pictures should look like the situation was felt by all participants – an art, since such a view is very individual, so not necessarily an easy undertaking with over 80 participants – experience is essential for me at this point. In order to optimize this working process, I also like to use a gray card or the SpyderCUBE to define a correction preset during the RAW conversion, which I can then apply to the entire image series. If I work with several camera systems, it even makes sense to use the SpyderCHECKR to compensate possible “color interpretations” of the different systems. For me, this is the starting point from which I then do “color grading” if necessary.
One image, different output formats: The images are published after each trip. On the Internet, in company magazines, exposed and printed prints, albums, large format pictures for offices and living rooms. This means that the colours must be right for all applications. This is definitely not always guaranteed on home monitors, since each individual has his color preference or has never adjusted his monitor at all – Basically, almost all monitors are delivered with the default setting 6500 Kelvin, which is of course too “cool”. Of course we don’t have this problem with conscientious service providers, because they work with a profiled or calibrated workflow, based on 5000 Kelvin – neutral, white light.
Of course I also work in a profiled 5000K workflow. I.e. my prints or prints ordered from a service provider as well as albums are under my 5000 Kelvin nom light box colour identical as on my 5000 Kelvin calibrated monitor. It should be mentioned that I work in my studio with a hardware-calibratable monitor. Of course, I don’t have this monitor with me during reportages and I have to rely on travelling to make sure that my measuring technique profiles my laptop monitor in the best possible way. I have been using Spyder products for a long time and therefore also the new SpyderX. The Spyder provides me with measurement data for the hardware calibration and ensures the correct color and brightness reproduction “on location”! Why is this so important? Every day, my clients expect me to select about 30-50 filtered images every day, which are then published in internal company networks as well as in the social media. They are also used for albums that are distributed to every employee immediately after the trip. So I have to be able to work on the spot with absolute colour accuracy so that there are no misprints during production. Misprints mean a lot of trouble, costs, stress and time gets out of hand – I can’t afford that.
Caption: Usually in the evening in the hotel room the recordings of the day have to be viewed and a preselection made. Depending on the job and the client, these are then edited directly on the laptop and prepared for the respective output format. Sometimes this happens on the plain.
Print yourself & Fineart-Print: The image output is of course profiled in my studio as well, my A2 as well as my large format printer works exclusively with self-measured colour profiles. For a long time I used the printer manufacturer’s own paper, which was very easy to profile – the quality was constant, which saved a lot of time and money. The profiling is done with the Datacolor Spyder Print. I use papers from Tecco and Ilford in the interim. I use Tecco’s high-quality photo papers in my daily business and Ilford has a very large selection of FinArt papers for inkjet printing. Watercolor papers with high grammage as well as some gallery papers are my favorites. In general, it is important to me that I don’t have to profile each time I place a repeat order, which speaks for the quality of a paper if the quality remains constant from one batch to the next.
SpyderX Studio: As you can see from my blog post, I’ve been using the Spyder product range for a long time. Color management is indispensable to me and is the oil in the gear of my photographic workflow. It helps me to save time, deliver high quality to the customer, avoid complaints and minimize misprints. It ultimately ensures consistency high quality. That’s why I like to recommend the SpyderX Studio product line, which includes all the color management tools you need when printing photos by yourself.