Lightroom and RAW workflow ( again )

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by NStocks, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I've been searching the forums and found a few threads on Lightroom and RAW workflows for a Amateur Photographer ( like myself ) I have decided to do a complete overhaul of my workflow and structure and would like advice on it, and comments regarding the efficiency and wether you use the same/similar workflow.

    This is what I plan on doing

    Copy files from memory card to ' Lightroom Imports' folder, then make a backup of this folder ( I can do this by creating a workflow using automator ) so that the copies are not touched my Lightroom.

    Import the ' main' copy of the Lightroom imports folder to lightroom then edit, keyword and rate the Photo's. I then have 2 options :

    Create smart albums within Lightroom to match a certain criteria i.e. Macro, Blue, so that I have a organization of the different types of Photo's i,e, Macro Architecture, Portraits... ( I've have no experience with smart albums but they seem pretty simple and affective)

    OR ( and this is the more complicated way, kinda )

    Export the edited files to another folder called ' Lightroom exports and create folders inside that which contain different categories, and also add this to the catalogue so essentially doing it this way creates 2 copies within 2 catalogues, one been lightroom imports and the other lightroom exports. This is a similar method to what I use now but I don't see the need to have 2 copies of the same file on the hard drive or in Lightroom ( apart from backup on the external )

    I apologize for posting another thread, but after taking up Photography almost a year ago, I'm finally realizing how important a good workflow is...

    Ultimately what I want with Lightroom is to view all the ' Final' images in one place, hence why the first option might be better but I wanted some input first before moving around 700 images.

    Thank you for reading and your comments, they help me a lot !

    NStocks
     
  2. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Apr 3, 2008
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    England
  3. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #3
    As Lightroom doesn't do anything to the original file (all changes are held in metadata on the database and or sidecar files) why create a copy?
     
  4. tamasvarga67 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    #4
    Here is a part of my workflow:
    I make backups to a different external drive when I import the pictures into lightroom with activating the "Backup to" option in the import dialog window and choose the location for the backup. No extra step necessary this way.
    In my LR library I sort the pictures by year so now my import folder is "2009" and select the import option "Organize by date". So each shooting date will have different folder. I just used to add the event name to the date after import. For me it works very well. If the same event is longer than one day I just merge the folders.
    You can also rename the files during import if you like. I just used to apply the keywords that apply to the whole import and also the metadata template with my info.
    I have develop presets for camera profiles and I used to apply the "Camera Standard" profile since I prefer it over the Adobe Standard. You can change it by pictures individually but at least at 80% of my pictures I ended up using "Camera Standard" so that's why I apply it on import.
    After import I go through on the pictures and delete the junk, assign more the keywords and then I select the "keepers" and create a collection using the "make new virtual copies" option and set up smart folders depending on my needs.

    If you want very handy tips I would recommend you to sign up for the "Ligtroom Killer Tips" podcast in iTunes and also check out lightroomkillertips.com where you can find a bunch of free downloads for LR.
     
  5. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Apr 3, 2008
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    England
    #5

    That sounds like something I might adopt to . So do you have a main image libary in LR then once the images have been edited and keywords have been added, you create a virtual copy to organize them in smart folders that meet certain criteria ?

    Where would you " navigate " from , the main libary or the smart folders , or is this where the search function comes into play as you have a copy of each photo in the main libary and the smart folder .

    There really no need to export the photos to another folder outside of lightroom is there since you can backup the modified files within lightroom, right ?

    I have checked out lightroom killer tips before and after watching the more recent ones I have already picked up in a few tops such as the spray can that adds keywords and the advance to next photo to she ms using the tight arrow key which speeds up the process for adding ratings etc.
     
  6. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #6
    Okay, I have watched a few more vidoes from lightroom Killer tips...

    I saw the option, when you import Photo's into LI you can copy them to a different location. If I chose that option would the copies be a copy of the RAW untouched file ( that just came from the memory card) or a copy of the soon to be modified Photo ? The reason I ask is because I made a automator workflow so that whatever I put into ' Lightroom imports' folder it will automatically make a copy of that, but if I let LR make copies would it still work as if I just manually copied them myself ?

    Also, what would happen if I chose ' Synchronize' on the folders instead of import option? Would it automatically make a copy of them or would I have to use the import dialog ?

    Thank You

    NStocks
     
  7. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    RAW stays RAW

    Just a note as I sense some confusion in your initial presumptions. Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto do NOT EVER change your "original" RAW or JPEG file. The file you "import" today will be the same file five minutes from now, five weeks from now, five years from now - forever in other words. Any prints, emails, or whatever else you derive from your digital originals will be copies, built from and based on the original file's info. And, yes, you should back it all up to a different drive than the one your working library lives on.

    Happy Shooting!

    dmz
     
  8. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8

    Yeah I already knew that but thank you anyway !. I would also like to create a copy of the RAW image BEFORE it goes into LR that I can backup onto a external HD... is there anyway to do this automatically rather than having to manually copy everything twice ?

    Also, is there anyway that I can physically write my changes to the file? It's just that I will be completely staring from scratch with m Catalog, and the Photos I already have, have edit on them... would I have to export them all as RAW's ? ( this is the file format that I'm sticking to throughout my workflow and my camera writes DNG anyway )

    Also, I'm still not sure whether I want to organise my Photo's inside LR i.e. have a folder structure like this : 2008 > Flowers.... etc. for all the different shots I take ( 90% Macro ), but then in a few years I will have loads of sub folders inside the 'main' Photo's folder

    Or just have finder hold 4 folder of which contains my Photos by year i.e 2006 right through to 2009. Then inside LR keyword all my Photo's and create smart collections, of which will meet criteria for the keyword ' Flower', ' Family' etc...

    This is honestly driving me crazy, I can't decide wether to let LR aotomatically move my Photo's in the catalogue, or have to move them physically myself on the HD.

    ... If only there were smart FOLDERS, so that it actually moves the Photo's into sub folders automatically ( like smart collections but physically move them )

    NStocks
     
  9. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #9
    I think I've got it !

    Okay, I've created something that I will probably use from now. My folders are very simple, they are currently 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. There is no organisation within those folders ( in finder ) but each and every one of my Photo's has at least 2 keyword.

    With this strict key wording that I and going to stick to I will organize my Photo's bus smart folders. That way I know that as long as I keyword Photo's I don't really need to do much more in order to get them organized. Plus this way my Finder won't get as cluttered with sub folders. Also this way, I don't have to keep locating the specific Folder like I would if I had subfolders in the Finder.

    Here's what it looks like.

    There is a collection set ( I don't need that but it makes it easier to collapse the types of Photo;s within. Then there are smart collections in the collection sets, that meet the criteria of ' flower ' and then the type of Flower.

    I know this might not work for ALL Photo's but since I'm boring and 90% of my Photo's are of the same type it will most certinalyl ork for me :D
     

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