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Help with simple work flow

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Jazzer, May 23, 2013.

  1. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    I'm still deciding what photo management and editing tools I want to use, but could use some help figuring out how to handle the work flow for my images, from import to editing to backup. For example, do I store my images on my internal drive (as I do now for iPhoto), edit them and then backup through Time Machine, or am I better off using two external drives (or three, one for the original files, one for edited files and one for backup)? What format should files be saved in and at what stage of the process? Etc... As you can see, I'm a little clueless and could use a little help understanding what people do and why. Some people seem to have very elaborate systems, but for my basic hobbyist needs, I believe simple is best.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    What I do is import files from the card to the computer then sort/delete shots I'm not keeping. Process the RAW files and save those edits as .psd files. Make any further revisions as needed/wanted and resave the file. Resize for the web and save as jpg/upload to web server.

    I go through and save new files every other week or so. Once the files are backed up on an external drive I usually delete them from both my hard drive and from the SD card. I need to pick up another external drive so I have redundant copies though.
     
  3. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks, Jim. When you say that you go through and save new files every week or so, do you mean that you do the import from your camera about once a week? Are you backing up both the original RAW and the edited version?
     
  4. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I import The raw files to Lightroom with a general preset. The files are kept on an external drive. I go through each file quickly marking as rejects, then delete those. I then go through the files again marking the ones I want to edit with a colour code. I then work on each file one at a time. I have several presets that I made as starting points. I also use plugins. I do not use Photoshop. Finished files are uploaded to SmugMug. Each month I go through the files again culling more. I've been trying to do key wording but have been lazy.
     
  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    My workflow is a bit in flux right now as I migrate from Lightroom to Aperture, but it's a fairly simple one.

    Step 1: Import raw images from SD card while appling basic Metadata (copyright, location, etc.) to my internal HD.

    Step 2: Quickly scan imported images and delete obvious losers.

    Step 3: Process the few that have potential. I consider myself lucky if there are 1 or 2 from a shoot that I think are good enough to share here, and 5 or 6 that I'll upload to my Flickr account.

    Step 4: Backup automatically every morning to an external drive. I use SuperDuper for that. Plus, Time Machine runs in the background all of the time, backing up to my Time Capsule.

    Step 5: Every time I update my OS, I pull an old HD out of a small fireproof safe that I bought years ago and copy a complete backup of everything onto it and put the HD back in its safe.

    This really saved my bacon during my Aperture transition because I had made the mistake of converting all of my old raw files to DNG, and Aperture can't read some DNG files, most notably those converted from Panasonic raw files. Luckily, I still had the original raw files on that old HD.

    One more note: other than the files I upload to Flickr, I don't generally keep processed images. The way I see it, my processing skills get better all of the time, and if I want to make a print, or send someone an image, I just reprocess it at that time. It's sometimes embarrassing to realize what I used to settle for.
     
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    The files I save periodically are the processed files that get saved in .psd format and any new RAW files since the last backup. Once a RAW file is processed it gets saved with its sidecar file. I usually don't save unprocessed RAW files, though I used to for no explainable reason. In fact, I need to go through my archives and clean up duplicates and make some room for new stuff. ;)
     
  7. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    While true that my processing skills(?) improve all the time, the sad reality is I have never been able to reproduce how I process a file later. Since I tend to freeform my processing depending on the subject/my mood at the time/how much light is coming through the blinds in the office/what the original scene looked like/whether I got laiā€¦ uh, nevermind that one! There's no way I can recreate a pic I've posted online unless I save it.

    Now, having said that, sometimes I do reprocess old shots and they are improved. Sometimes they are a pale imitation. For me it's better not to leave anything to chance. Storage is cheap. ;)
     
  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I hear you, Jim. And I'm about to put my "improved skills" to the test on a print of an older picture that only got saved as a smaller jpeg. I like it enough to print it and frame it now. But first I have to reprocess it in (unfamiliar) Aperture at a larger size. Here's hoping that I really can do better. :rolleyes: