Software – tools (and nothing else)

Stephen’s Zenith E film camera from a time before imaging software

Its so easy to get lost in the various processes in photography and imaging. Both equipment and software can demand attention, its best however to not let this distract from the most important thing…

I thought I would set out my ideas about some of the software tools I use and perhaps explain why I I will never be an ambassador for or owe allegiance to a particular software company.

Here at Copyrightimage I use a variety of licensed software from many sources.

I view a piece of imaging software as a tool to aid in the development and production of images. I appreciate the efforts of the software developers at Adobe, Phase One, Photo Mechanic and others to make the best tools possible. However its important to remember that software evolves and companies change and disappear, in the end the only lasting things are the images you produce.

For this reason I favour software that supports open standards in file types, metadata and colour management. I’m much less keen on propriety parametric software that locks in any changes to the images that would be lost if they were to be discontinued. For example (and despite being one of the richest companies in the world) Apple left their Aperture users high and dry in 2014.

The main lesson from the demise of Kodak is that no company, no matter how big is immune from the changing landscape, especially when the rate of change increases.

In these days of declining returns from Stock Photo Agencies and other photographic income streams I find that the most effective way to speed up and reduce the cost of my services comes from combining the best elements of each piece of software into a custom workflow. Listed below are the current major pieces of software I use in each category of imaging workflow. This software and workflow will change as the market does but the one thing that will remain central to my focus: The Images themselves.

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