What's your workflow?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by ChangshaNotes, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2012
    As a relative newbie to photography I'm interested in finding a good workflow for storing and processes files.

    If you shoot raw do you convert to dng or tiff etc. Always keep masters? How do you organize your photos. What converter? Lightroom, Aperture....

    jpeg shooters too.
  2. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    OK, here is how I do it. I'm a Mac user. I have a mother folder named PHOTOS. I make subfolders in it labeled with each event, photoshoot, etc.. The PHOTOS folders sits on my desktop. So does another important folder named CAPTURES. This is were I transfer the jpeg folders from the camera, renaming them in the process. For example my NEX6 folders start with 100MNex6 and I'm now up to 135MNex6 (the M got forgotten in the beginning, so I left it there).
    After a camera folder is added to the CAPTURES folder, I open it in Photoshop (I use a very old version, CS2, which has a pretty convenient browser). It offers thumbnails, that appear in a decently sized window to the left when I click on one miniature. This way I can see what pictures I want to PP. I basically resize (20x30 cm at 240 dpi for printing, then 72 dpi for websharing, email, smartphone, etc). I usually fine tune WB, contrast, and add a tad of selective sharpening (or softening) if needed). If I need vignette added, a back and white conversion or a frame (or all three of the above), I open the resized and renamed picture in Snapseed, do what's need, and resave it there. My typical naming scheme involves the direct nature of the subject, as well as a hint of the date. For examle, all my daugter's pictures are named : MarlaMonthYear-unit, as in MarlaDec12-01, 02, etc. Vacation pictures will sound like Vermont2012-01, 02, etc...
    I've used this naming scheme for a couple of years now, and it makes it very easy to locate and find any given picture.
    Regarding deletion, I delete an awful lot in-camera. Then the obvious trash when browsing the shots in PS. All the remaining shots are kept. After 2 or 3 months I move the original capture folders to an external drive.
    That's it !
  3. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    I pull t he images off my SD card and place them in a folder. I have a photo volume living on a 2TB drive and I have them organized by year and then by sub folders within the year by content or event. I import them into Lightroom but leave them in their original location rather than have Lightroom import them into its own library file.

    I open up Lightroom and make whatever selections I want. BW Usually are done through Silver Efex Pro 2 (and sometimes True Grain) and color in Lightroom. I upload my favorites to Zenfolio and Flickr. Periodically I backup the photo volume. I'll probably add a new 2 or 3 TB drive fairly soon to take over as the photo volume and use the old one as a backup.

    I typically shoot in JPEG but that is going to change as I now have a much faster computer and can work with RAW much more comfortably. That said when I shot Olympus cameras I didn't see the point in shooting RAW as the Olympus JPEGs are pretty nice. I've been pretty impressed with the NEX JPEGs so far but is sure RAW will be even better. I won't bother with RAW on the Fuji X10.
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Ok, I briefly did this in another thread, but I'll expand it here. I'm using a Mac and my process is thus:

    I have a folder on my hard drive called, imaginatively, "pictures". Withing that folder I have sub-folders titled "Exifchange", "convert2dng" "RAW", and "processed". Within the "RAW" and "processed" folders are subject sub-folders so I can keep things straight. Every year I dump the subject folders to an external hard drive or I run out of space on the computer.

    So the work flow (I only shoot RAW) goes like this for manual focus legacy lenses:

    1- view the SD card in Adobe Bridge, picking the ones I want to work with
    2- copy the files I'm working with to the "Exifchange" folder
    3- run ExifChanger with the appropriate lens profile (only if step 2 is required)
    4- move those files with the amended exif data to the "convert2dng" folder and delete the original ARW files
    5- run Adobe DNG converter (only for those files needing CornerFix)
    6- run CornerFix on the DNG files (currently only for those files from the CV 15 and CV 21)
    7- move the _CF.dng files to the appropriate subject folder in the "RAW" folder and delete the .dng files
    8- open the _CF.dng file in ACR and process to taste
    9- save as a .psd file to appropriate subject folder in the processed" folder
    10- resize and process the file to taste, convert to 8 bit file
    11- give file a descriptive name and save as jpg in a folder for web uploads
    12- upload file to server for use on the web

    If I'm shooting SEL lenses I skip steps 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and work directly with the ARW files. I save both the RAW file and the .psd file because hard drive space is cheap.
  5. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I download images (raw+jpg) to a folder named with the download date and copy interesting raw images to named folders with subject description. For raw development I use Raw Therapee and image processing Gimp. If I will get the Samyang 8 mm (lens-of-the month for may?) I will get something for perspective correction. Hugin is free and works with Linux, ptlens will need Windows emulator or virtual machine.
  6. Skipperjonce

    Skipperjonce TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 27, 2012
    Still ironing mine out but think i've got it nailed...

    I work under Win7, so utilise the 'My Pictures' folder under my user profile.
    In 'My Pictures' I have a sub-folder created for every month of the year, so Jan 13, Feb 13, etc.

    1 - Insert SD card, cut and paste all jpeg into relevant month folder under 'My Pictures'
    2 - With transferred jpegs still highlighted select 'Preview' and quickly scan through all imports deleting the chaff
    3 - Open Lightroom 3, and syncronise the monthly folder (set to leave file in original location)
    4 - Click through the imports using the LR3 library browser, making any crops, adjustments, etc. as required
    5 - After each edit, export to either a)My 'Monthly Edits' preset export which puts all edited jpegs into a sub-folder of the month named 'Edits', and renames filename to include '_edit'; or b)If I really like it choose my 'Final Edits' preset which adds my signature watermark, renames to include '_RJFinal' and exports to the same 'Edits' sub-folder.
    6 - Using Windows Task Scheduler and SyncToy2.1, my entire 'My Pictures' folder is auto syncronised weekly with my 3TB NAS.
    7 - As a backup backup I upload all my Edits to Google Picasa, using Picasa 3.

    This works for me and isn't too labour intensive. To make matters worse I alternate between my personal laptop and my work laptop for editing depending on where I am and how much free time I have. I use Picasa to import anything i've uploaded from one laptop to the other. That way I have all my edited jpegs on both laptops, Picasa and my NAS. In addition I have all original and unedited jpegs on my NAS and spread between both laptops. I also wear a belt and braces :) 
  7. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    -I pretty much shoot in jpg as my jpg output is quite good, however I will shoot some photos raw if I know I will be tinkering a lot with that particular image later on.

    -Sort out my photos in Lightroom and discard the ones I dislike (doesn't happen often). As I shoot b+w mostly, I edit the images in SilverEfex Pro via Lightroom and save all of my images in a folder.

    -Upload my images, I'm pretty easy going regarding uploading my images on the web, some I'll post on 500px, a couple in Flickr, 1 or 2 in forums, I'm not really fussed. However I do post all the images I have taken on my blog which acts as a back up to my archive, photo journal, as well as my photo album that I can access anywhere that has an internet connection.

    -Once I'm done uploading, I rename the folder with the year/ month/ trip, photo walk, etc.. and archive it on an external hard drive.
  8. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Before Lightroom I had a work order; but it wasn't a "flow." As a raw shooter, Lightroom has made all the difference. What I used to do with three or even four tools I now do with Lightroom.
  9. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Lightroom. I have no idea how I ever did without it.

  10. olli

    olli TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 16, 2011
    Washington DC
    Using Windows so import from camera into 'Pictures' folder. I have a series folders within this that are camera specific. Within these I have folders for the year and within these folders for the date. So, for example, Pictures - RX100 - 2013 - 2013-01-17

    Import into Lightroom and have an initial run through deleting all the junk and organising the others using the rating system into definite keepers and inbetween ones I might keep or I might delete.

    Process specific files as when the spirit moves me and export them to another folder within the Pictures folder called, for no obvious reason, Misc. I export processed files to multiple folders within this folder for different uplaod options - blog, smugmug, 500px, forum, etc. I don't change filenames (too lazy) but I do label/tag everything in LR which carry over into the exported files.

    I upload these to various places where I have a web presence and do some more labelling on each specific site.

    I back up Raw files to two external hard drives and to the cloud via Google Drive, MS Skydrive and Amazon Cloud Storage (between these I have about 65GB of free storage). I have started converting unprocessed Raw to DNG with a view to backing up in this format too.

    Unprocessed JPEGs go to Flickr and a small (800px) lightly processed version also goes to Flickr for public display. (That's the theory. I'm up to date with the former but way behind on the latter).

    Personally I don't worry too much about backing up processed files since as long as I have my LR files backed up I have all I need. Also, I nearly always reprocess files from scratch when I go back to them so they change anyway. I used to use external editors for B&W and for noise reduction, but these days I do everything in LR.

    Good luck with working it out.
  11. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Hi, all
    one more question. Have you ever though in having some sort of redundancy in the medium you save the data? What will happen for example if your external hard disk will fail?

  12. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    Always backup your photos - so 2 external hard drives, or one and your originals on the internal PC drive or online storage is another backup option. I use 2 external drives in case one fails (one for the originals and then the second one is the backup) - but if you wanted to be extra safe I guess you could have one backup at a different location (in case your house burned down or something). (Either an actual external drive in a different physical location or online storage).
  13. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    you can have a flickr /photobucket pro account, whick I have
    and now I have started using cloud storage, on my computer, adobe elements organiser handles all my stuff
  14. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    Which cloud storage do you use Gio - I am thinking about doing online cloud backups.
  15. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    I've been using dropbox, it's good for storing anything really.
    but justcloud.com is supposed to be quite good too
  16. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    Lightroom - Importing the files to My Pictures subfolder based on date.

    Those folders get copied to a network drive in the house that every computer in the house can see.

    For speed, I tend to do my edits off the local copy, and push the XML side cars up to the network drive later.

    I always work in RAW with the Lightroom sidecar. If I need to actually edit a file - Photoshop, saved in photoshop format. If I need to have that printed, I'll export to JPEG.
  17. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    I will also check online solutions... but have to admit that I do not like the idea that much. These are private corporations, you never know when they will have to "close"
  18. bmg123

    bmg123 TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    England, UK
    The only backup I have is Flickr! Don't have the money for ext. hard drives so both my photo, video and A-level coursework sit precariously on the internal Hdd of my laptop :rolleyes: 
  19. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    Then buy at least a slow, cheap USB stick to backup your pics if they mean anything to you! :eek: 
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