Digital Photo Processing Workflow

Film Rolls Art Work @DeTour 2011I have been using my iMac for photo editing for quite a while now. As is my way, if I don’t have a set of rules laid down then I waste a lot of time fiddling with things trying to improve things. The idea is to try and work out the best way. In reality though, every time I open up Aperture I start reorganising rather than actually editing photos…

To stop this time wasting back when I used Windows I detailed my Windows photography workflow. This was very specific to the tools that I used at the time and so is not much use to me now.

It is high time I updated this and wrote up a new workflow so I can actually get down to processing the backlog of images. This time I want to make it more generic, based more around the general steps you should take, rather than tying it down to the current tools I am using. That way the workflow should stand the test of time even if the tools I use change…

I will cover the basic steps required to import, cull, rate, edit and organise your images. Hopefully there should be some useful tips for anyone trying to find a photo editing process that works for you…
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photo by: dorahon

Workflow Changes

SnowmanI have just been processing some photos of the recent snow, hence the photo, and noticed that there are a couple of tweaks that need to be made to my current workflow.

This is an ongoing process and I hope these changes will help streamline the process a bit. So I thought it best to write them down to help clarify what need to be changed and why.

The original order required poor or duplicate images be removed from multiple places, the Collection and Darkroom directories. This seemed a bit unnecessary and has the added disadvantage that I was removing a few too many photos from the Darkroom before backing them up to the Archive.

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Windows Photography Workflow

Sunset PhotographyThis was originally a fixed page rather than a post but as I do all my photo editing on a Mac now I thought it best to change it to a post instead. This allows me to archive it off for future reference…

Here is a concise description of my current Digital Photography Workflow. I have explained the thought processes behind it a post on my blog titled Working on a Workflow. And any tweaks will be logged under the tag workflow.

This is meant only a guide so feel free to try other software as you see fit.
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Working on a Workflow Part 2

NostalgiaThis is a follow up post to Working on a Workflow. In this post I hope to explain the directory structure I use to store my photos, and why. This is obviously a personal preference but you may find it gives you some ideas. Any feedback would also be appreciated as I am still trying to perfect my workflow.

Once processed I also tag photos to help me find any image quickly without having to remember exactly when it was taken. For now I am using Windows Photo Gallery which comes with Vista. There are a few issues with it but it fits most of my needs for now. I use Picasa as well as I find it much easier to produce good photo prints than with Photo Gallery. There are a few other packages that I have tried but all had their drawbacks and I just wanted something to get started with. Once I get on top of my growing pile of photo processing I hope to start looking at other options and share my findings with you.

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Working on a Workflow

Nothing short of magicI seem to spend far too much time thinking about ways of improving my workflow which means I don’t seem to get much work done.

This has to change and I need to decide on every step so I can simply follow the rules and get stuff done rather than keep stopping and thinking “this could be better if…”.

I have created a Workflow page with concise notes for me to follow. These may change over time but the reason for changes should be explained somewhere on this blog. You are welcome to use this as a guide if you find it useful.

I am going to try and explain the process I go through from camera to finished product to help clarify what steps I take in the hope that I might be able to simplify things a bit. At least if it is written down I can just follow my own rules rather than make it up each time I come home from a days photography.

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