Technical workflow

Computer, TV, digital projector connectivity and associated slideshow, framing, AV/DVD creation software
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mvanrheenen
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Technical workflow

Unread postby mvanrheenen » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:06 am

Hi all,

I've build myself a new computer for my photo editing. I want to take this opportunity to tweak the performance of my setup and adjust my workflow and back-up routine accordingly.

I'm using LR 4.1 to edit my images. Although the software gives you a few options for tagging your images, because I don't take the time to tag them all, I'm having difficulty keeping track of all the images. My archive is growing exponentially since I seriously started photographing birds.

Could you share the way you organize and keep track of your images, so I can get an idea what will and what won't work? Do you for instance, use multiple catalogs? Or use just one and remove images from the catalog periodically?

I have the habit of keeping all the images I shot, even the ones that don't make the cut. Maybe I should rethink that strategy...

Thank you in advance.

Mark

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artington
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Re: Technical workflow

Unread postby artington » Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:48 am

I use LR as my first and principal image manipulation and sorting software. I am not a heavy generator of photographs so prefer to keep everything in a single catalog. If I was a wedding photographer, taking thousands of shots in a single session, I would be inclined to have a separate catalog for each wedding. You might find it better to have two catalogs, one for your birds and one for everything else. My organisational workflow is as follows.
1. Import - I created an import template which attaches relevant metadata such as my name and copyright info onto each imported picture. Photos are imported into a dated folder.
2. Selection. I check all imported photos for focus at 100%. those which fail this test are flagged for rejection and, after having checked all, are filtered and removed and deleted from the disk.
3. I then flag (P) my favourites from the remaining oictures and rate the best of those flagged with stars. This is important, particularly for weeding out also-rans from near duplicates. Where there are lots of similar pictures, as there would be when make multiples of birds, I delete all unflagged pictures. I generally retain unflagged pictures which are not close duplicates for purpose of record but these are unlikely to be considered for printing. Those which I am likely to print are colour coded blue. Those which have been printed are colour coded red. If I am preparing a selection for some purpose I place them in a collection.
4. Once the selection process is complete I tag photos. I try now to tag all photos. I create tag "folders" such as Nature, Cars, Places, Holidays,which will have keyword tags within them such as Birds. Ferrari, London or Corfu. I oftenhave keyword tags within these sub-sections such as Westminster under Places>London>Westminster. You would presumably want to do something like this for a Nature>Birds keyword chain. I also have plenty of individual keywords such as the names of my wife and children, etc.
I really feel that the use of Keywords is vital in any organisational database.
5. I generally do a first-pass through the Develop module, cropping and rough developing as part of the selection process. However, full tweaking in the Develop module takes place later, generally only on photos which are to be used for competitions, printing, etc, but that is another story.

PS you'd be better posting this under Digital Workflow and PP

Hope this helps

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mvanrheenen
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Re: Technical workflow

Unread postby mvanrheenen » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:29 am

Hi artington,

Your post was very helpful. Although Adobe doesn't recommend using more than one catalog, I think I will follow up on your suggestion by splitting my bid photography from the rest. On an average birding day of 3 to 4 hours, I take between 200 and 400 images. I tend to go birding 2 times a week, so you can see the challenge: a lot of sorting and tagging. Never looked at creating an importing template. It seems like a helpful in this process.

The rest of my process looks similar to yours.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Mark

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Birma
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Re: Technical workflow

Unread postby Birma » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:55 am

Hi Mark,

I use LR 3 and my approach is very similar, but not quite as sophisticated as Artington's. One of the things I like about LR is that it works with the 'real' os directories/folders. I use a single catalogue which I back up weekly. My folder stucture works by year and location.

I think a key step is getting rid of the "not quite there" shots. I am becoming more critical as time goes by and keep a lower percentage of shots, i.e. bin the ones that have the wrong exposure (clipped), and poor focus, and duplicates, or are just a bit boring (to me!) :) . I also probably take less in the first place.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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artington
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Re: Technical workflow

Unread postby artington » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:24 am

Birma wrote:I think a key step is getting rid of the "not quite there" shots. I am becoming more critical as time goes by and keep a lower percentage of shots, i.e. bin the ones that have the wrong exposure (clipped), and poor focus,.


I strongly suggest you move to LR4. The 2012 exposure engine of is much more sophisticated than the 2010 one in LR3 and, provided you shoot in Raw, you have a very wide latitude of exposure available to you - clipping should never really become an issue except, perhaps, for specular which is acceptable anyway.

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Birma
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Re: Technical workflow

Unread postby Birma » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:34 am

Thanks for the tip Artington. I need to upgrade my hardware to run LR4 and I'm going to have to wait a bit before doing this. Perhaps I'll cull more lightly if exposure is the only problem in a photo for now :)
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.


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