Best Work flow Practices!
In this new era of digital photography, everyone who takes pictures or uses them or even handles them, needs to understand and hopefully practice good work flow practices. What is “work flow practices” you ask? Simply put, it is the process of adhering to a set of practices to maintain the integrity of an image throughout its life cycle. That doesn’t sound all that simple! Let me break it down into smaller fragments so that you figure out where you are along the path and perhaps what you need to shore up in your work flow. And before I start, I must admit that what I am going over here is not new and I have not created nor discovered this information. In fact, all of it can be found at www.dpbestflow.org, a website dedicated to work flow processes. But in a nut shell here it is.
The life cycle of an image or the work flow that surrounds it is made up of five different stages. those stages are capture, ingestion, working, archiving, and output. Lets take a look at each of those stages and how best to handle them.
Capture: Regardless of what camera you are using, images need to be captured in the best quality possible. Nowadays, that is usually a RAW format. For some jobs JPEG is acceptable to use such as event photography and the like. But for most projects and uses, RAW format is going to be the best.
Ingest: this one sounds alot like eating and in a way it is the same idea. Ingesting involves downloading, renaming, adding bulk metadata, add develop settings, backup, send to viewer, and visual inspection. this is usually the spot where alot of people get stuck because they are not sure how to get it all done easily and so they might just down load it, develop it and maybe…maybe…do a backup. But the rest can be done quickly and effienctly with the right software. And most of it can be done with one or two pieces of software. My #1 choice is Adobe’s Lightroom. The little jewel will do everything for you except the back up part. And if you actaully do the renaming, metadata developing here, it will save you so much time in the future when you want to put your hands on it again. For my money, this is where the biggest time saver is and the part that can keep you sane. For the back-up I am going to suggest Chronosync. This software not only can back up your files and hard drives, but help you sync them to avoid duplicates and also provide verification for them as well.
Working: this part of the workflow is actually working with your files. it includes additional groupings, rating for quality, adjusting and final output. With this step it is more hands on work as you have to look at the images and make decisions on them based an quality and use. And this is where Adobe’s Photoshop will come into play as well. it seems everyone wants to get here as fast as possible so they can play with Photoshop…and I don’t blame them becasue i love it also! But if you don’t do the other work in front of this step then it will cost you time and money.
Archiving: This step can come into play at several different places because you might want to archieve master files, variations of developed files and final ones. Plus we all know (although we all dont do it) the importance of backing up our files and our hard drives. it is recommended that you use the 3-2-1 system for backing up images and hard drives. You make 3 copies of the data, 2 different media and 1 stored offsite. And again, if you are on the MAC, which I am so i am speaking to that platform, Chronosync is a wonderful piece of software to use for all of your backup needs.
And there you go in a nutshell. Of course there is so much more involved! I would suggest you take a look at the web site – www.dpbestflow.org for more information. Or if you want, we can come to your place of business and give you hands-on training in your own personal workflow. Give us a call and we would love to talk to you about your specific needs and how we can help!