Buttonwillow Black Friday

Glimpse of Professionalism

I'm not a professional but I definitely got a glimpse of what they have to go through. Not only do you have to shoot good photos, you also have to upload files, sort photos by car number, editing and making it available for customers to purchase/print/burn CD all before lunch time! I am far from that level of efficiency. I had to shoot until lunch time. Then it took me 3-4 hours to sort and print. I couldn’t get photos to Patrick’s hand until 4PM-ish. I really had a tough time sorting photo, my goal was one photo per car. I ended up with some cars having multiple prints while some cars didn’t get any. I can’t imagine how pros can do it all before lunch time!


I’ve made several mistakes in this shoot that I feel shameful. I left my memory card case with all spare memory cards, this made me running back and forth uploading pictures to my laptop then reuse it. I did not bring enough photo paper! About 20 people didn’t get their prints. I also forgot to reset ISO level back to 100 until two groups have passed. Note to self: check settings every session and check my equipment and supplies before leaving.

Lessons Learned and Improvements

I hitch a ride back after shooting at turn 7. I asked the corner workers where people got those aerial shots where two wheels were off the ground. They said it was from the lost hill which originally planned to go next. I just couldn’t make it out there again after lunch because I was busy printing. I would definitely go there next time!

Presets in Lightroom made all pictures better. This is a major step up from past event where I post selected photos without any editing. Preset doesn't work for all photos, but it works with any photo of similar exposure where the preset is made. I should experiment with shooting at exact same exposure setting and see if preset works better across all photos. 

Uploading to website, I learned to shrink images down to 25% quality at 4MP. This is roughly 200k per image, makes uploading and loading much quicker. I had several failed uploads with 50% quality roughly 5MB per image. Took a long time, and occasionally failed. It forced me to play with quality and file size and this is by far the most significant improvement in loading time. The lowered quality is not too visible in 24” screen, indistinguishable on cellphone. 

I wish I had more time to shoot at lost hill. My wife has been waiting for me in the cafeteria the entire day. She also helped me with sorting photos. I don't want to delay our vacation to LA any longer. I am happy with what I've taken in the morning.