My Photography Workflow

I finally replaced my old desktop machine after six years of dedicated service.  I don’t do a lot of gaming on the PC so my only motivation to upgrade was to speed up my life in the digital darkroom and get my post processing done more quickly.  This provided me with a convenient excuse to document my process, both for interest’s sake and for purposes of being more consistent.

So, without further ado, here is my process.

  1. SD Card goes into the slot.  (New machine means no messing around with external card reader.)
  2. RAW images are imported via Lightroom
    1. One copy into my “Stage” area on the local machine
    2. One copy into my “Backup” area on the network
  3. Take an initial cut through the images, toss any which are unsalvageable.
  4. Develop each image in Lightroom — tweak, crop, dodge, burn
    1. Anything that still isn’t workable gets tossed here as part of my second cut.
  5. Export all images as JPEG files into another subfolder of the Stage area.
  6. Exit Lightroom and launch Windows Live Photo Gallery
  7. Do any image stitching / creation of panoramic photos.
    1. Delete the originals used for creating the panos if they aren’t any good on their own.
  8. Add tags to all images as appropriate.
    1. Author tags
    2. Descriptive tags
    3. People tags
    4. Captions / Titles as needed
  9. Launch GPicSync and geotag all photos, adding Geonames to the EXIF data
  10. Launch FastStone Photo Resizer
    1. Resize and watermark for Facebook -> one subfolder under Stage
    2. Watermark for Flickr -> one subfolder under Stage
    3. Resize and watermark for -> one subfolder under Stage
  11. Upload to Facebook using Windows Live Photo Gallery
  12. Upload to Flickr using Flickr Uploader
  13. Upload to using the web site
  14. Delete the modified images from the subfolders under Stage
  15. Move unmodified JPEG files from Stage to the “production” Photo folder
  16. Put the SD card back into the camera and then format it so it is clean for next round.

I can skip some of these steps depending on the intended target.  If they are not related to Geocaching I obviously won’t mess around with resizing and watermarking images for that purpose.  Same thing if I am not planning on putting them up on Facebook or Flickr.

The end result of this whole process is that the images are organized and backed up in a variety of places and formats.

  • All of the original RAW images are stored on my network should I ever wish to process them again in a different manner or using a new technology in the future.
  • The unmodified JPEG files are in the standard Photo folder which also gets backed up to the network nightly.
  • The modified (resized and watermarked) images are backed up online in at least one (if not two or more) sites.

I welcome your comments and feedback/suggestions about this process.  What are your methods for handling digital images?

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