Workflows, Digital Dark Room

Well, for the average weekend photographer this is an over kill. But for a hobbyst, or an amature a good work flow could save a lot of headache and save some valuable time. When I bought my first camera, I took about 50 pictures with it, when I realized that i I want to make pictures I am willing to look at, I need to get better than a fixed focus 2MP camera. So I bought my first camera which is considered a bridge camera back the. It was a great camera and in one summer I hit a record more than 3000 pictures, wow I was shutter happy. It cost me my trusty PowerBooks hard drive.

At that time I did not do some of the basic things I now know I should have. If I knew back then what I learned it would have saved me quiet some time and pain.. But we live to learn right

So what is a work flow? Well it is the process of taking the picture from Camera/memory card to your computer, or final print. This depends greatly on why or what you take your pictures for. If you make a living from photography, then there are some extra steps you need to take. For most people, users the guide or workflow that I mention should be sufficient, but by no means complete.

  • Take Pictures

This is the first and most important step naturally. Go take pictures, go for a walk in the wild, forest, street or where ever you enjoy taking pictures. Try taking good ones, and not just be trigger happy. Pay attention to settings and compositions. Some shots turn out bad because of composition

  • Download the pictures

I think it is best to do this through a card reader, many times it will be faster than through the camera USB connections. And this way you also save the Cameras batteries. Many software help by renaming the pictures during download, some you can create custom folders in and then it just downloads the images and keep the name they have in the camera, some give you the option of renaming then according to a job.
I usually use the software to create a folder with the job name, for example Forest, the software will then automatically create a folder with that photo shoot date, and name the files in it as folder and serial number. This works fine with me, though sometime when I go back and I can’t remember the day of the trip or shooting, I need to take a look in the folder. In other words this can probably be improved.

  • Process the pictures

Look at the pictures some will stand out, some will go to the delete que directly. the ones that stand out, should be rated, 1-5 stars, the software I use allows me to rate the pictures using stars. One I have chosen the best ones, I can also pick the ones that are a keeper.

  • Delete bad ones

Now the really bad, blurred out of focus pictures need to go to the trash right away. I have done the mistake of saying oh maybe something can be done with it. But no, out-of- focus, and blurry moved in pictures are useless, and they just use up valuable space. I don’t always follow this, but I have started to do it more vigorously.

  • Do the post processing to the ones that need it

Once the best lets say 4-5 star photos have been selected then I usually go and do the adjustments needed to make them perfect. This means a little sharpening, curve adjustment, white balance, highlight, etc… I rarely do any photoshop touching up. Sometimes it is necessary, but I try to stay away from that.

  • Tag and edit the IPICT

Once all the pictures have been edited and fixed up, I usually add tags, and add the IPICT information that I want embedded in the pictures. After that, I usually export the ones like the most, and upload them to my sharing site. I have a flickr, and a smugmug account. I had flickr pro for a year, this year I decided to give smugmug a shot, and so far I am very pleased with their services, and all.

  • Back-up

Since I only do photography as a hobby I haven’t really paid much attention to this. But I think I should start doing so. I will begin making CD Archives, or DVD archives of some of my best photos. I am not planning on selling them, but a lot of times I enjoy going back and looking at them. If photography is your profession then you definitely need a more comprehensive backup strategy than mine.

So those are my 2 cents, let me know what you think?

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