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Chapter Four. A Vision-Driven Workflow

Chapter Four. A Vision-Driven Workflow

THERE’S A SCENE in the movie Planes, Trains & Automobiles where John Candy and Steve Martin accidentally drive down the highway heading the wrong way, against traffic. Oncoming traffic swerves out of the way. Other drivers yell at them, “You’re going the wrong way! You’re going the wrong way!” Candy’s character shrugs it off. “How do they know where we’re going?”


Canon 5D, 17mm, 1/60 @ f/22, ISO 200
Giza, Egypt, 2009.

Many of the books out there that teach digital processing allow you to learn some skills you can use to address the question “How do I make my image look better?” But this is essentially an act of putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Until you define what it means for the image to “look better,” you have only learned how to read a map without having learned how to choose a destination. You’re driving toward, well, who knows? And if you don’t know where you’re driving, how do you know whether turning left or right is the correct decision? I don’t at all mean to imply that those other books aren’t needed—they are. In fact, the more technique you pull from those books, the more you can pull from this one. This is a contribution to a larger discussion, but I think an important one—or one that’s been conspicuously absent.

Enter a workflow that is determined by your destination, driven by your vision.

“Calling this whole thing a vision-driven workflow (VDW) makes it sound like a system or a program. It isn’t.”

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