I leave next week on assignments to Vanuatu, then the Cook Islands which will pretty much take me up to the Christmas break.

As you might imagine, I’m looking forward to photographing both destinations again – particularly having spent the past few weeks in the studio processing images for three new coffee table books we’re publishing (previous post), and adding to our commercial photo library at

I’d have to say, there are few pleasures in going back and scouring through my archive of, literally, tens of thousands of raw images from previous assignments – to find the ocassional photograph that may have potential for the projects we’re working on.

As a professional tourism photographer, my priority is to provide my clients with the best selection of photographs from the assignment, matched to their Shot List – which I do. But it needs to be done efficiently as the client tends to want them as soon as possible, and – from a business perspective – there’s a limit to how long I can spend selecting and working on the best images before handing them over and heading off on the next assignment.

So, having returned to the archives with a bit more time and a perspective that can only come with distance, I’m happy to say there has been some gems to be found. Of course, the raw images still need to be processed then captioned and meta-tagged (joy) before uploading but I’ve managed to take some comfort knowing that photographs like these two (above and below) from an earlier PNG assignment will get to see the light of day and that someone else might come to value them as much as I do.

Anyway, time for a change of pace ….and an appointment with the best Kava in the South Pacific (a controversial statement indeed….though I’m sure Alcina will agree).


Below: For your interest, this is the difference between the raw file and a finished photograph, as well as a summary of the post-production process I went through.

Workflow: Import folder of raw files into Lightroom (probably 300 images altogether) to select the image. Increase exposure and contrast, tinker with whites, tweak vibration and saturation, straighten horizon, crop to suit, vignette, and export to desktop. Then import the file to Photoshop, check for minor imperfections and clone if necessary, adjust curves, sharpen image, dodge and burn to enhance features (ie whiten feathers), layer photo to add “punch”, title the picture, export it to desktop as both 300 dpi RGB Tiff file and 300 dpi J-peg level 12 file.  Store Tiff on hard drive as back-up and upload J-peg to Then caption and meta tag the picture (which, as you can see from our library, has been the least of my priorities)….And yes, this is what’s involved in processing every photograph that makes the final cut.

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.




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