View Full Version : Prosumer workflow

12-30-2007, 03:43 PM
I'm finding that my inefficient workflow is beginning to hinder my desire to shoot photos. I'm wondering what other people do in their workflows.

I shoot a Nikon D70. When I shot JPG, my workflow was simple and I shot a lot, but it was missing many steps. Still, most of my favorite photos come from this setup: capture the image, don't worry about backups, correction, etc. Since then, I've realized I needed more steps in my workflow, so now it's more complicated, so I don't shoot as much, and don't get as many good shots.

What I'm wondering right now is what steps others have in their workflows, and secondarily how to achieve these steps.

Some of my assumptions (I'm questioning these as well):
-I try to get the image right in the field. Photoshop is to take a print worthy photo and making it better: it's not for fixing bad photography.
---This means I take hundreds of shots at any given event. Is there much value to shooting in RAW with this style?

-I want one library, which will be one application that is central to my workflow. I don't want to import and print photos from Aperture, but use iPhoto for "everyday" use. My preferred application is iPhoto: it's much more powerful than I initially thought.

I guess that's it for assumptions. Now my steps:
-Import photos to computer
-Rate them
-Tag good photos
-(Non destructive) Crop and fix zits, red eye, etc for good photos
-Backup tagged, rated photos to DVD
-Delete bad photos
-Create group for web upload, upload
-Create group for print, send for print

Thoughts? I'm on vacation and writing this from an iPhone, so I apologize for poor formatting!


12-30-2007, 08:30 PM
That workflow looks pretty good to me. I like to take lots of pictures too, and I do them all in RAW. The more pictures I take, the better chance there is that I had good settings, focus, that people had good expressions, etc. I only keep just a few of the many shots I take (something like 7 or 8 out of 100, I think :eek:) And there might be maybe 1 or 2 really good ones out of those 7 or 8.

Once I put the memory card in the computer, I
1. Transfer the pics into PictureProject
2. View all and mark the ones I want to edit
3. Open with Silkypix (RAW Editor)
4. Adjust exposure, white balance
5. Save as jpg
6. Open with Paint Shop Pro
7. Adjust "zits," dust spots, fine tune colors, contrast, etc.
8. Finally, sharpness.
9. Save 2nd time as jpg.

Sometime I'll get an editor (probably either Lightroom or Nikon Capture) to replace PictureProject and Silkypix (both came free,) so that will ease my workflow. But my favorite thing about PicProj is that I can easily view images at full-screen size and mark the keepers. So far I haven't found another program that can do that.

12-30-2007, 11:02 PM
Thanks for the reply. That reminds me why I switched to RAW in the first place.

RAW+JPG is the method I'm shooting because it creates JPG Basic (~900kb) files for the 90% of non-print / non-upload photos. For the print photos, I have RAW files that I can convert. Just deleting those files would make things easier :rolleyes:

Really, my current workflow and my proposed one aren't the same. Mine is too complicated as it stands. I honestly can't figure out what the complicated part is, but I think it's the RAW part.

Here's my current one. (Proposed was in first post)
1. Shoot in RAW+JPG.
2. Import to a folder on desktop.
3. Copy all basic photos to iPhoto -- rate all photos
* = Delete
** = Keep, but not searchable (no tags)
*** = Good enough to be searchable
**** = Web Upload
***** = Print photo + Upload
4. Photos 4 or 5 stars open the RAW file in Photoshop. Fix 'em up.
5a. Export these photos as JPG to iPhoto, deleting original (basic) JPG from iPhoto.
5b. Burn the folder on the desktop. No ratings/tags are saved, but Photoshop RAW XML is saved. (All photos are burned, RAW+JPG)
6. Tag 3s, 4s, and 5s
7. Delete photos with 1 star
8. Prints and Upload photos

So, the problem here is it's too complicated (for me anyway), and I don't backup the tags and ratings.

Now that I've written this out, I see that the convoluted part is step 5a - exporting RAW to JPG, and deleting the other photos. I guess I could deal 100% in RAW, and export from there. Photoshop JPG setting 10 and Nikon Basic JPG are the same filesize, which solves why I wanted JPG and RAW.

Or, alternatively, deal in just JPG. I guess this is turning to a RAW vs JPG debate. Well, not debate: monologue :o

Geoff Chandler
01-02-2008, 03:42 PM
We're all different.
I don't shoot RAW - I am very unlikely to, but wouldn't catagorically
say never.
*Well - I am married with a family and commitments.
*I don't have a RAW converter (OK OK - so I could get one!!)
*I really don't want to spend that much time on every keeper photo
*I am not good at deciding which to delete and which to keep - so
I keep more than I maybe should do.
those reasons for starters.
Also - my ideal is to get photo's as near as I want them straight out of the camera - then just fine tweak the odd few that might benefit from it.
I really couldn't find the time to mess with more photos changing them over and tweaking them.
I have yet to purchse a top notch Photo shop program - currently I mostly use 3 programs with the photos (I have a few others which are better at certain tasks)
ACDsee - to organise and view the pix
Serif Photo plus 8 - for serious edits and fixes (trouble is I loose the exif data with this one!)
Minolta Dimage Viewer - for quick fixes - actually quite good and effective for those - and it leaves the exif data in tact.
~ I delete the dissasters straight away on the camera and sometimes try a few
quick fixes on the D80 (red eye fixing is pretty good on the D80)
~ I download the pics from the camera to the pc
~ Take a while to look through them - deleting the obvious bad ones.
~ Then decide which ones need a tweak or a crop
~ Do the tweaks and crops keeping the orig copy
~ Compare the altered copies and decide if it was good enough
If good enough I then delete the orig - if unsure I always keep an orig.
~ Renumber/rename the set
~ I upload mostly to Multiply (full size usually) - sometimes to Photo Bucket.
Photos for posting on forums get resized usually in Serif
Initially I file all photos in a folder named Temporary New - with subfolders
for each subject.
Then when there are enough I save these to CD
Once they are backed up onto CD - I file these in permanent folders
on my hard drive and clear out Temporary New for the next new photos
That's about it for me

01-05-2008, 02:52 PM
I'm starting to appreciate more and more the value of buying good software. I bought Aperture for the Mac.

(I shoot with a Canon SLR).

Here's my workflow:
(I shoot raw. Aperture works amazingly well with full raw integration.)
1.Insert memory card.
2.Allow Aperture to import to a new project.
3. rate photos
4. adjust colors. white balance ect.
5. Lift and stamp setting to simular photos
6. Fix defects.
7. Allow aperture to auto backup and archive.
8. Print.
(then re-print if I need to calibrate for the printer)
9. Send to web/e-mail using web tool.

All my work is done in one program. Aperture. If I need to do anything Aperture can't, it allows me to send (non destructivley as will all it's processes) photos to edit in Photoshop CS3.

01-05-2008, 04:35 PM
I shoot RAW (PEF files), so...

1. Get PEFs onto computer.
2. Open Pentax's cutting-edge (oh, sorry, I meant "free") software - Photo Browser - and delete obvious bad shots.
3. Select "all" then open Pentax's other leading-edge (oops, I mean "also free") software - Photo Lab - and batch process "all" into JPGs.
4. Open Ember photo editor. Inspect images more closely. Delete bad and near-duplicates.
5. Back in Photo Lab, make any individual exposure corrections/contrast corrections (the Sigma 70-300 needs +3) and horizon leveling adjustments.
6. Back in Ember, make final deletions and dust-spot as needed.
7. Delete the PEFs unless it is a spectacular/irreplaceable shot.
8. Rename the files into my system.
9. Copy images to new directory on hard drive.
10. Resize any for Photobucket and upload them.
11. Resize any for forum posting and post.
12. Copy originals to external HD.
13. Occasionally back up to DVDs.

The Mangler
01-05-2008, 05:12 PM
Here's what I do:

Transfer pictures to computer. I shoot RAW, all RAW files go into a folder in "My Pictures" called "RAWs", with sub-folders for the date of import.
Open Canon DPP to process RAWs. I only process the keepers, but I don't delete anything. Processed pictures go into a folder called "Incoming" in "My Pictures", I then open that folder and move the pictures to various other folders (I have a folder for just about everything).
I try to do as little editing as possible, sharpening, contrast, cloning & stuff like that I usually do in DPP - unless I don't notice it before I process, then I do it later in PS.
Eventually I have to transfer my RAWs onto a DVD. After that I delete the RAWs from the computer. I plan on buying a big-ass external HD to store them on so I don't have to do the DVD thing.

01-05-2008, 10:51 PM
Here's what I do:

I plan on buying a big-ass external HD to store them on so I don't have to do the DVD thing.

All your eggs in one big electronic basket? Eek!

Geoff Chandler
01-05-2008, 11:53 PM
I don't have an external HD yet ~ but it is on my wish list and I will be looking into it in the near future.
Saving to CD is not as bad as you might think - but DVD might be better I guess.
In between times I also double up the temporary new files to a memory stick.
Interesting reading all the different software people are using!

01-06-2008, 01:04 AM
if you shoot raw and own a nikon you surely must download TransferNX and ViewNX which are both free and make your workload a heck of alot simpler.

The Mangler
01-06-2008, 04:40 PM
All your eggs in one big electronic basket? Eek!Well, I guess I would still have to make back-ups, but not nearly as often as I do now.

01-21-2008, 07:51 PM
I have had too many shots ruined with an under/over exposure or WB error that could easily be corrected in RAW that I will now only shoot RAW. I'm starting to settle on Adobe DNG as a format simply because the it's too easy for me to forget the XMP files when I'm moving files to subject folders. Almost all the changes I would want to make can be made in ACR. Unless it's the one in 100 images that I'm going to print, the work ends there. Getting ready to print is done in CS3 as are JPG conversions for upload.

Mostly my biggest problem is deleting the OK, but not great images. I have decided to a) - be more ruthless and B) - convert these so-so images to JPG at around a 2 - 5 MB file size. This can be done automated batch style. All images to be saved then go to their respective subject directories.

So workflow now is:

1. - Use Bridge to import from card reader and convert to DNG format. Imported files are stored in date labeled folders - basically a temp.
2 - Select and edit those worthy of the effort
3 - Delete embarrassments
4 - Copy Winners to subject folder(s) as DNG
5 - Copy so-so stuff to subject folders as JPG
6 - delete temp folder
7 - When ready to print - open in PS, edit, save as TIF and print with Qimage.