Friday, December 02, 2011

My Photography Workflow

Many photographers talk about their "workflow", i.e. the process they use from the moment they snap a picture to when they call a photo "done". This is mine. It changes as my techniques change, and I'm very open to comments and suggestions.

First phase: Put pictures on computer
  1. Take the photo using RAW+JPG settings.
  2. Take SD card from camera, put in USB card reader and plug into my laptop (my laptop does not have an SD card). Alternately, plug SD card into reader in my desktop computer.
  3. Create a new folder in Dropbox and name it according to the date(s) the photos were taken. e.g. 20111201 for December 1, 2011.
  4. Move all photos from SD card to appropriate dated Dropbox folder.
  5. Eject SD card and put back in camera. Very important for taking more pictures!
  6. Do one quick pass through the photos and delete the obviously bad photos. No more than 10 seconds per photo.
Second phase: Edit photos
  1. Rename all photos using archiving naming convention (see below).
  2. Open Canon's Digital Photo Professional on laptop or desktop.
  3. Open Dropbox folder containing photo(s) to edit.
  4. Open first photo, and perform the following actions in sequence as necessary: crop, level, adjust white balance, brightness/contrast, shadow, saturation, sharpness.
  5. Save recipe (list of edits) in same directory as photo.
  6. Convert and save photo as JPG in same directory with web naming convention (see below).
  7. Repeat 4-6 as necessary.
Third phase: Publish photos
  1. Navigate to my image gallery to the appropriate railway and engine type.
  2. Log in as administrator.
  3. Upload JPG(s) from step 6 above to folder, giving a description at that time.
  4. Edit each file. Apply proper title, enter GPS coordinates using map, correct time if necessary.
  5. Create blog entry.
Fourth phase: Archive photos
  1. On desktop computer, open Dropbox folder in one window and Pictures directory tree in another.
  2. Move photos from Dropbox folder to appropriate directory on desktop.
  3. Delete empty Dropbox folders.
  4. Initiate backup to home server.

Photo Naming Conventions
Archiving naming convention: UUUU LOCATION YYYYMMDD SLB x.EXT
  • UUUU=unit number
  • SLB=my initials. I use others' full names when archiving their photos on my computer.
  • x=number, if more than one photo was taken of the same unit on the same date and location
  • EXT=extension, JPG or CR2 (for RAW file) or VRD (for recipe file)
  • Example: 2259 Winnipeg 20111203 SLB 5.JPG would get filed under Pictures\CN\2000-2999.
Web naming convention: UUUU-location-YYYYMMDD.JPG
  • Example: 2259-winnipeg-20111203.JPG

Why do I use Dropbox? It allows me to have the same files on every computer I use (and my phone too). I can edit on any computer and they will all be synchronized.

I don't use any image cataloging software like Lightroom (yet). For now doing searches in Windows is good enough.

No comments: