Best workflow for transferring files

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wh1ppet, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. wh1ppet

    wh1ppet TPF Noob!

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    I have installed all the programs that came with my 50D, but am a little confused by all the options. What is the best method of transferring pictures to different folders on you computer?

    I'd like for all files to have unique names if possible (maybe the date & #)

    Also, could different people describe their entire workflow process? Including renaming, backing-up, formating the cf card etc.

    thanks in advance!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There really isn't a right or wrong way to define your workflow...but I do recommend putting some thought into how you do it, so that you don't end up with a huge mess of files.

    This was my basic structure/workflow:
    RAW files uploaded from cards to primary hard drive. They are put into a folder named for the date and maybe the event. (I also have separate folders for Photo shoots, weddings or personal photos etc.). I also have sub folders for the year. So if did a shoot today, I'd save the files in a folder: Photo Shoots/2009/06-08-2009.
    Then I'd back up those files on DVD or secondary hard drive (or both).
    I would use a program to quickly browse through and delete the obvious duds. I might even do this before backing up. Then I'd go through again and pick out the best shots and flag or rate them somehow.
    Then I'd use my RAW software to adjust those images and then convert them to image files (JPEG, TIFF, PSD etc). These would be saved in a sub folder called 'work' or 'converted'.
    Then I'd go into Photoshop and edit the images, either individually or in batches by running actions on them. If I think I may come back to these images, I will save the 'working' files as PSD with all the layers intact. These files are huge though.
    Then I'll save same output files, either for printing, web viewing or for giving to the client. These will be JPEG files and will be saved in another sub folder.
    So when I'm done, I may end up with several copies of some images, especially if I save multiple copies for different print sizes. I will eventually go back and delete the working files (because they are so large) and back up the finished images.

    That is how I used to do it. Now, however, I use Adobe Lightroom and things are a lot more streamlined. The RAW files still get uploaded into the same file structure but then I import them into Lightroom where I do the majority of my work on them. If they do need additional editing, I'll open them in Photoshop. I don't need to save multiple copies because Lightroom is a non-destructive workflow. So any of the changes I make, including cropping, don't actually hurt or change the original image. Basically, the images in Lightroom become my working copies. I can still save output files for printing, web or clients (and that's really easy in LR).
     
  3. swmocity

    swmocity TPF Noob!

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    ^what he said...lightroom is the way to go...espically if u have a larger number of photos
     
  4. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    the adobe bridge or lightroom workflow is much easier if you are dealing with many shots. allows you to automate where they go, what they are titled, and which folders and tags are associated with the pictures.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ah yes, I forgot to mention tags and key words that I now use with Lightroom (could also be in Bridge/Photoshop or other programs).

    In LR, you can flag images (good or bad), rate them with up to 5 stars or even assign them a color. I try not to get too complicated with it....after all, most images are either keeper or not. If I rate them from 1 to 5, I'm likely going to only use the 5 star images anyway...so why bother with deciding between 1 and 4 stars. I use the flag option to flag the good ones & mark the bad ones (I also remove the bad ones from the LR catalog).
    I also add key words to the image. This isn't something I bothered with before, but LR makes it so easy to add key words, I just makes sense to do it.

    One other thing I do, is add the best shots (or the final set of images) to a 'collection' in LR. This just makes it easier to take that specific group of images into other areas of LR (like print, web or slideshow).
    All of this is done without making multiple copies of the images....which is part of the beauty of the non-destructive workflow.
     
  6. wh1ppet

    wh1ppet TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the great in-depth reply.

    I assumed that managing files can get messy, especially with multiple copies like Mike says.

    I'll give Lightroom a try. Anybody use other software with great results?
     

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