Workflow

Posted on July 2, 2010

Workflow is one of those buzz words that comes with digital photography. This mystical term promises to minimise your time behind the computer. In reality you can expect to be working on the computer equivalent to some 50%-100% of the time spent photographing.

There are as many workflows as there are photographers. After several requests to document my own workflow here it is. Over time you develop workflows that best suit your way of working. Workflows are organic and will change along with the technology. Following are two workflows that are used daily.

Workflow 1 delivers all the high res images finished and ready for re-purposing by commercial clients. This increases the workload (and cost) because you adjust every file, even though the client may not need every image.

Workflow 2 produces low res files from which the client selects those they want supplied as high res. This decreases your workload and cost compared to the first workflow. However you need to ensure your RAW files are safely stored and catalogued for when clients want to license more high res images any time in the future.

Workflow 1 : Convert the job lot.

1. Shoot RAW.

2. Download (ingest) using Photo Mechanic:
Download to two separate hard drives.
Name folders using shoot date YYMMDD (e.g. 060105).
Rename using date_sequence (eg. 060105_001.nef).
Embed general IPTC: – Copyright, Creator, store original name into IPTC Title.

3. Open contact sheet and rate the best images.
4. Import rated images in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (or Phase One Capture One) and adjust.
5. Batch convert images to TIFF and low res JPEG.

6. Move images from “Work” hard drive to “Images” hard drive.

7. Import all images into Microsoft Expression Media; caption and keyword.

8. Burn and verify CD for client with TIFFs, low res JPEGs, and Readme file explaining contents.

9. Backup images, Expression Media catalog and Lightroom (or Capture One) settings to External HDD using SynchBack (PC) or Carbon Copy Cloner (Mac).

Workflow 2 : Convert client selects.

1. Shoot RAW.

2. Download (ingest) using Photo Mechanic:
Download to two separate hard drives.
Name folders using shoot date YYMMDD (e.g. 060105).
Rename using date_sequence (eg. 060105_001.nef).
Embed general IPTC: – Copyright, Creator, store original name into IPTC Title.

3. Open contact sheet and rate the best images.
4. Import rated images into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (or Phase One Capture One) and make minor adjustments.
5. Batch convert images to low res 600×800 pixel JPEG.

6. Move images from “Work” hard drive to “Images” hard drive.

7. Import all images into Microsoft Expression Media; caption and keyword.

8. Make custom Web Gallery and upload to private URL for client viewing (eg. www.photographer.com.au/qantas/) or supply on CD.

9. Convert client selection to high res TIFF.

10. Deliver TIFFs to client by FTP, CD, or portable HDD with Readme file explaining contents.

11. Backup images, Expression Media catalog and Lightroom (or Capture One) settings to External HDD using SynchBack (PC) or Carbon Copy Cloner (Mac).

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