Fourth COBA Meeting

Workflow was the topic of discussion at this month’s Canon Owners of the Bay Area user group meeting, held for the first time at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center behind Stanford University. Thanks to Stuart Metcalfe for arranging the meeting location, which we’ll likely use for future COBA meetings.

Before the meeting, I sent out a workflow questionnaire out to the COBA mailing list (and on the various photography web forums). Unfortunately, we didn’t get around to hearing from everyone, since the bulk of the meeting time was taken up by laptop/projector presentations by myself, Fazal, and Richard. I spoke about workflow using a Macintosh, while Richard presented from a Windows point-of-view using only free software. Fazal focused his presentation on asset management, an important issue when your image gallery reaches thousands upon thousands of images.

Though the information that we covered was useful for both Mac and PC users, I feel that our time would have been better utilized with each person speaking for only 5 minutes at a time about their workflow. As it turned out, the laptop/projector presentations lasted 30 minutes each, and there was a noticeable attention drop off after the first.

With that said, I apologize to anybody who came to the meeting and left a bit dissatisfied. It has been difficult to cater to the large cross-section of photographers present at each COBA meeting. We’ve got professionals, amateurs, and future digital SLR owners all mixed into one room. Everyone has their expectations on what they want to get out of the meeting. Some people want to dive into technical nitty gritty details while others might be more concerned about composition and photographic technique. Juggling these interests while keeping everyone happy is a challenging task.

For instance, the topic of workflow is huge, spanning not just different computing platforms, but contrasting styles and philosophies behind image acquisition, image management and archiving. It was unreasonable for me to think that we could fit everything into one meeting.

Having shorter, more focused presentations and discussions is definitely a good idea. The idea of a giant topic of the month is proving to be too unwieldy as it stands right now. We’ll keep trying new things at COBA until we get it right! If you have suggestions for improving meetings, please post them on the COBA Forum Suggestions Board.

I’ve posted in the COBA Forum the workflow questionnaire. I encourage you to post your response in this thread. Everyone has a different workflow that works for them, and I’m sure that others would appreciate seeing how you manage your images!

We are going to try to hold COBA meetings on the second Wednesday of every month starting with the month after next. The next COBA meeting is tentatively scheduled for the third Wednesday of July, July 17, 2002. Stay tuned on the main COBA web page for more information as it becomes available.

Random thoughts and suggestions on the next meeting:

  • To get everyone involved, I’m thinking of asking people to bring in their favorite photo printed out at 8×10 or larger. This will be a good way for people to see what others are shooting.
  • Earlier start time at 7:00 pm.
  • Photoshop technique of the month: A short presentation and discussion on one Photoshop technique each month.

Again, if you have suggestions for improving COBA, let us know on the COBA Forum Suggestions Board. Thanks and see you all next month!

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