My Workflow: trying to structure the process

Every photographer has his own way of handling pictures and using his own software tools to do so. Here I will describe my workflow.

Ingest  For managing the pictures I use Photomechanic 5. With its IPTC Stationary I fill in the Photographer’s field including copyright,  and I give a short description of the topic and the location. Furthermore,  I change the name of the picture into yyyymmdd_xxxx. The xxxx stand for a four digit counter. I expect not to make more than 9999 pictures per day. They are temporarily stored in the map Workspace with a submap with the date of the ingest.

Backup The next step is to make a copy of the NEF files to an external harddisk using Photomechanic 5. Sync Pro copies all of pictures (NEF and jpg) that are changed the last hour to my NAS.  Once a week a backup from my Synology NAS to Amazon Glacier in Ireland is made.   After the initial backup everything is automated.

GPS If the location of the pictures is important I use my own GPS. Before using it I check the time of the GPS and of the camera (especially in another time zone this is important and saves a lot of time). I then use View NX 2 to determine the location based on time matching between the exposure time and the times of the track. This is done in one command for a whole set of pictures.

5-star scan Depending on the number of pictures and the goal I use different strategies. For a photoshoot or a special trip abroad (a lot of pictures) I tried to identify as quickly as possible the 5-star pictures to submit to Dreamstime. For an album of myself of less important trips the storyline might me more important so I also include some pictures that did not make it to the 5-star category.

First processing scan The first processing is done with View NX 2. For the selected pictures I set  White Balance to the right WB, Sharpening to 3, Color Enhancement to a low value that is appropriate. Although I regularly use this tool, I am not overly enthusiastic because it sometimes freezes while processing a whole batch of pictures.

Second processing scan In the second scan I look at the individual pictures and adjust, for example, Exposure, Contrast etc. For more advanced processing I open Capture NX2, to remove dust spots, brightening/darkening specific parts of the picture, cropping etc. It has many more tools to finetune the picture. Although it does not have the most user-friendly interface, it is a very helpful tool.

Photoshop For very advanced processing, like for pictures of a photoshoot, I use Photoshop to do some magic with layers. It is a perfect tool that can do everything in often too many ways. Most of the time I search Youtube for finding the right tutorial, for example, for brightening the white of the eyes. In this case I use View NX 2 to produce TIFF files, which I then process with Photoshop and let it produce JPG.

Producing JPG With Photomechanic 5 I produce the final jpg files. For pictures that are submitted to Dreamstime I use its FTP-facility for immediately upload.

Galleries For galeries I use jAlbum. It is a very convenient tool for making simple or very advanced galeries. Many skins are available.

Final storage Most pictures are on the internal harddisk of my Apple iMac. Within the map Pictures I make submaps like Trips, Photoshoots, Happenings, Family etc. Within those maps I make submaps with a name and a date (in that order; I like pictures on the same topic to be grouped). Knowing from experience there is no best way to store files, therefore I very much rely on the search facility of Photomechanic 5. A very fast software tool.

Here is an update on this blog.