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11-12-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
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Photo Editing Workflow - What's the most efficient way?


I take all of my shots in RAW format and currently do the following to upload/edit my photos:

1. upload them into iPhoto for easy organization,
2. Delete the ones I don't want right there in iPhoto,
3. If I want to edit any, then I individually drag a photo from iPhoto onto the Photoshop CS3 icon
4. Image then opens up in CS3 and I edit it.
5. I save it as a JPEG in a different folder for PP shots

Now that I'm taking more and more shots, I feel like I will be needing to edit more and more. I downloaded Aperture but the dates of the folders carried over incorrectly ie. DD/MM/YY instead of MM/DD/YY so now they're all screwed up. So I uninstalled Aperture and went back to the iphoto/PS3 route.

Is there an easier way to use the two programs I already use for opening/editing photos while keeping an efficient workflow?

I have about 600 image from my recent trip to Tokyo that I have not yet uploaded until I get an answer from somebody here. Thanks in advance!

11-12-2009, 01:57 PM   #2
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It's a personal decision.
Each one will have their own 'system' of processing photos.
What may be helpful is to see the digital workflow of some.

I personally upload the RAW images, open in ACR to delete the ones I don't want, and adjust those I do want. Then batch edit filenames in Bridge (for ease). Then save all RAW images as JPEGs. Then edit each in PS. Then backup files on a DVD-R once there's 4.5Gb of images on the hard drive.
11-12-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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Well, it's certainly easier to not save as JPEG - is there a reason you're doing this at all? If so, is there a reason you do it for each file one at a time rather than doing a batch convert after you finish your ACR adjustments for the group of photos you are working on? And is there a reason you are using iphoto as your front end to this instead of Bridge, which as I understand it provides some some pretty handy shortcuts for processing multiple files via ACR? The one-at-a-time method you are describing sounds rather painful in comparison.

EDIT: one basic point worth mentioning - you aren't saying if you are using ACR at all. If you are simply loading the images into Photoshop and not using ACR, you're losing most of the benefits of shooting RAW.

I suspect, BTW. if you read the documentation for aperture, you can probably figure out what you did wrong the first time that renamed your folders
11-13-2009, 07:43 AM   #4
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I went throughthis process several times and once i discovered Lightroom (or anything similar is fine) then it dawned on me. Nothing is slower than dealing with images one at a time and saving JPG's for print, JPG's for web etxc etc then you lose the editing if just using CS3.

With Lightroom, you make your edits, these edits remain with the file and from there you can always make further edits or resort back to square one. Then I just batch process JPG's for web and JPG's for print.

This is why i saw RAW is actually faster than JPG if you so much as consider processing your images, the second you touch one file it is faster to shoot raw than JPG IMHO.

The time saved is mind boggling, I just open in LR and edit ....... no need to open the file, make changes in ACR, tweak furthe rin CS3, save the file as web, save the file as JPG and save a tiff if I think i might want to go back to it some day.


11-13-2009, 09:01 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
With Lightroom, you make your edits, these edits remain with the file and from there you can always make further edits or resort back to square one. Then I just batch process JPG's for web and JPG's for print.

Well, for what it's worth, there's no special advantage here to working with raw. I mean, you can open a jpeg original in Lightroom and do with exactly what you would have done with a raw original. It's non-destructive editing either way in Lightroom (and Picasa, and many other programs). To me, the important point is that there is no DISADVANTAGE to using raw. A few years ago, before Lightroom and Aperture and the other first non-destructive raw workflow programs, working with raw generally meant running the raw originals through a converter, to produce jpegs, and then working on the jpegs. Now, there's virtually no difference in Lightroom between one file format or the other.

As for the statement, "you can always make further edits...", this also needs, well, not a qualification so much as a caution.

You can always go back and make further edits to a raw file if you continue to use the program in which you made the previous edits. In other words, the work I've done in Lightroom in the last couple of years can be reviewed, tweaked etc, in the future - so long as I keep using Lightroom. But if I take a photo already edited in Lightroom, and then open the raw file in (say) SilkyPix Pro Studio 4, to see what I could do with it there, I'm automatically back to square one, because SilkyPix isn't aware that Lightroom has ever looked at the file.

This is why, in my opinion, it's important to process photos fairly soon after you take them and save your work by exporting a high-res jpeg. I'm not worrying here so much about the very real possibility that all of these digital file formats may become obsolete - and sooner rather than later - as I am worrying about the more mundane possibility that I'll decide NOT to upgrade to Lightroom 3 and move instead to some other more attractive program in the future. (Unlikely, but, you know, I like to keep my options open.)

Once again, this isn't a disadvantage of raw, exactly. If you had thousands of jpeg originals instead, and you'd edited them in Lightroom, you'd lose those edits, too, if you moved to another program, and the problem might even be worse because it's easier to get confused about what is the original if you're comparing two jpegs, where if you have a raw and a jpeg copy of the same image, you know which was the original.

The concern I'm expressing here also pertains to asset-management products. I think it's really important to store as much metadata as possible in the IPTC area of the file, since that's a standard that can be read by all programs. Titles, captions and keywords all get stored in IPTC. Unfortunately, things like gallery assignments and ratings do NOT get stored in IPTC. That's part of the reason why I do NOT spend a lot of time building custom galleries either in Lightroom or in Picasa (where I manage my processed jpegs).


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