Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is This Called Workflow?

A lot of blogs I read have special camera and photography related posts on Saturdays. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that I will keep up any kind of regular posting on any regular topics, or that this will actually get published on Saturday, but for now, let's talk photography.

Today's topic: workflow

I think this is the term for the process a photographer goes through to take images from camera to final edited form.

As I am still fairly new to photography I am still trying to figure out a workflow that works for me. Right now, it looks like this (and by right now, I mean as of today where I have been shooting in RAW for four days now):

  1. Copy NEF (RAW) files to the hard drive.
  2. Run them through a converter to change them to DNG (digital negative) files. A converter is necessary since I am using a D40x camera with an older version (4) of Photoshop Elements.
  3. Import all the DNG files into the Photoshop Elements Organizer
  4. Delete all the clutter photos, the junk, the unfocused, the stuff that will never be worth looking at and is just taking up hard drive space.
  5. Select the photo(s) I want to edit and open in the Photoshop Editor.
  6. Edit using Adobe Camera RAW editor. Here is where I just move the sliders around until the colors look the way I want them.
  7. Open in the Standard Editor. Crop. Sit and wonder what else to do since I fixed all the color and stuff in the RAW editor.
  8. Save as a psd file or a jpeg. I save psd when I think I may want to go back and edit differently at another time. Jpeg if I'm just done.
  9. Groan because it will take me ten times longer with RAW to edit the hundreds of photos I take in a week.
  10. Drop the photo(s) into the Flickr Uploader.
  11. Get a snack.

I have a few thoughts and questions for the other photographers out there:
  • If I shoot in RAW, not only is the file huge to begin with, but now I am saving up to four files of the same image (NEF, DNG, PSD, JPEG) Do you other photographers have all this? Do you sell your photos just to buy hard drive space? Do you ever delete the NEF or do you hold onto it in case you would want to go back and re-edit from the beginning? Maybe only for the "good" photos?
  • I have now taken over 12,000 photos with my camera, so my file numbers have started to repeat. Since 10,000, I've been changing all the file names to a word + date + number. What do you all do?


Wills mom said...

Since I have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to all those file names and such (you might have to teach me sometime what those all are :) ) I will comment on the whole file name thing. I save all my photos in a main folder with the year on it, then a subfolder with the month so that way when my file numbers start to repeat it won't matter because they'll all be in different folders

Swistle said...

I name my photos like this: 20081019 03 Elizabeth and Edward 02.jpg

That's a photo taken on October 19, 2008, and it's the third photo I took that day, and it's the second one I took in a series of Elizabeth and Edward.

Christina said...

Great family shot!!

Sounds like a good workflow to me. I don't always shoot in RAW, but when I do I don't keep all the files. I keep the originals for a while in case I want to go back and re-edit, but at the month I go through and clear out everything but the final version. I know, that's probably bad...but I hate using all that space! As for naming, I name acording to the date and then sequnetially - the first one for today would be 102008-01.