I am often asked what work flow I use, the question is really how do I import my images, what software do I use to sort and edit and how do I archive, back up and output my work. This isn’t rocket science, a good understanding of the software, Aperture and Lightroom being the most popular but there are many more, Bibble, ACDsee are two I have enjoyed using. My preference now is for Lightroom, I got fed up with Aperture falling over, maybe Apple sorted it out in Aperture 3 but my version of 2 was a dog.
The basis of work flow is what logically works for you, how do you think. I import to an external hard drive and then immediately back up to a second. Then I rate my images and create a set that will require final editing down but at least I have the best one or two from every set or scene. I then go through image prep. adjusting density, colour, cropping etc. Finally I out put to tif. my preferred images and depending on final use may also prepare jpegs. This works for me, many people have a more intense relationship with their work flow and need to tag and keyword images. Anyway this very useful article By Jason Row on 9 Jan 2012 in Post Production via Lightstalking has much good advice, here is a taste of this long article
“Until a few years ago, workflow was a virtually unheard of word. Now it is the mantra of nearly every professional photographer but what does it mean? Well, put simply, its carrying out the day to day work tasks in a consistent and hence efficient way. Following on from my last article on Digital Image Management I want to talk about my workflow for ingesting and organizing images.”
As mentioned before, there are a number of image management programs out there, my personal choice is Apple’s Aperture, mainly because I am Apple orientated and like the way the program interfaces with the rest of the Apple operating system. I allow Aperture to manage my library, meaning that I do not import my images separately to a folder then catalogue; I import them directly to Aperture and allow the program to deal with filing them.
So, for efficiency, start as you mean to go on. Get into the habit of uploading your images every time you return home. This way you can clean your cards, and start afresh next time you go out to shoot. It also means you are cataloging whilst things are still fresh in your mind.
The first thing I do when returning from a shoot is ingest my images into Aperture. As most of my images are travel based, my cataloging hierarchy is date and place related. My images are organized into projects by year, into folders by month and into individual shoots by albums. Typically I would return from a shoot and create a new album called for example 2012-01-01 Odessa. This album would reside in a folder called 2012-January inside a project called 2012-Images. Upon importing, I would batch name each image 2012-01-01 Odessa-(Sequential Number) Most image management software allows you to batch name your photographs in various ways. Before importing, I also add any keywords that are consistent throughout the shoot and most importantly add my copyright and date information to the metadata. I then import all the images.”……MORE