Help with workflow and file management...

splproductions

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I've been using iPhoto for years, despite the fact that I really don't like it. Up until recently, I wasn't really shooting RAW, editing every photo, etc, but now I am. I'm realizing I need a better system for photo file management, preferably something that integrates with my editing. I've tried Picasa just a bit, and didn't really fall in love with it, but maybe I need to give it more of a chance. And from the reviews I've read, Aperture runs like crap on Lion, so I'm skeptical about using that. Maybe Lightroom is my answer???

Right now my workflow is haywire, and I'm worried about keeping track of all my photos. Here is what I'm doing:

1) Create a folder within my "Pictures" folder, named something like "Family Photo Shoot Jan 5, 2012"
2) Create 2 more folders within that called "Edited" and "RAW".
3) Import photos via Adobe Bridge into the main folder.
4) Use Bridge to browse my photos, delete the crappy ones, and rate the best ones.
5) Open up the best photos via Bridge into Adobe Camera Raw and adjust exposure, WB, vignetting, etc.
6) Open up in Photoshop to do any pimple-removal or any plug-ins I may want to add.
7) Save the edited photo as a JPEG into the "Edited" folder.
8) Drag the original RAW file into the "RAW" folder so I have it for later editing if desired.
9) Delete the rest of the RAW files I have no interest in keeping.

Now I don't know what to do for easy viewing. Do I import the "Edited" photos into iPhoto? Which would then duplicate the files? (No!) I know Picasa searches your hard drive and doesn't duplicate them into it's own library, but I'm not totally in love with Picasa. I'm not sure what to do to make my whole workflow and file management better. Help!!!
 

480sparky

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Rename the images in each file early on. Makes finding them easier.

Add XMP/IPTC data early on, too.

No keywords?
 
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splproductions

splproductions

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Rename the images in each file early on. Makes finding them easier.

Add XMP/IPTC data early on, too.

No keywords?

I've been having Bridge batch-name the files with the folder name (like "Family Photo Shoot"), the date, and then sequential numbering starting with 1. I haven't ever used keywords, and I haven't ever made changes to the metadata either. How will this help me, assuming I'm shooting for my own personal use and not professionally? (I'm not saying it won't help me... I'm genuinely asking how it will help...)
 

480sparky

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Suppose you end up shooting professionally? Maybe you'll want to use a keyword to locate a specific image or group of images.

If you get into the habit of a good workflow now, you'll be on the downside of the learning curve if you turn pro.
 

jamesbjenkins

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Maybe Lightroom is my answer???

A thousand times yes. I slogged through Bridge for a couple thinking I didn't need Lightroom. Then one of my photog friends got LR and I watched him with it a couple times. Sooooooo much better than Bridge.

How much is your time worth? My $200 invested in Lightroom 3 has paid for itself dozens of times over. If you're worried about learning new software, Scott Kelby's book is a fantastic walk through.

Good luck!
 
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splproductions

splproductions

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Maybe Lightroom is my answer???

A thousand times yes. I slogged through Bridge for a couple thinking I didn't need Lightroom. Then one of my photog friends got LR and I watched him with it a couple times. Sooooooo much better than Bridge.

How much is your time worth? My $200 invested in Lightroom 3 has paid for itself dozens of times over. If you're worried about learning new software, Scott Kelby's book is a fantastic walk through.

Good luck!

I just bought the book (I have several of Kelby's books and love them...), and I just downloaded and installed Lightroom! I'm just using the trial period right now, but from what I've seen so far I'm thinking I'll be buying it here shortly...

So, for Mac users, do you use Lightroom to view everything? No iPhoto or anything?
 

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