Newbie - Favorite Organizational Workflow?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by snowboarder0022, May 18, 2014.

  1. snowboarder0022 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #1
    Hello,

    I just bought a Canon 60D as I'd like to get into photography more seriously. I'm trying to figure out the best way to import, organize, and edit my photos.

    I have the EOS Utility, Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop. I know they all have different purposes, but what is your favorite workflow for importing and organizing photos? Do you import with the EOS Utility, then make a folder and import it into Lightroom for organization? Or do you import into Bridge and then do basic edits with Camera Raw?

    I've got all these great programs and don't know the best way to use them. I'm not really sure which program is best for what. I know it's really all about preference but I'd like to hear your opinions. Thanks.
     
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    You need LR as a digital asset manager (DAM). It will act as your librarian and also let you tools to do non-destructive editing of files. You will not need ACR or Bridge. LR has the same internal raw convertors that are in ACR. BTW, shoot raw files. You can make jpg files from the post processed raw files latter.

    I import into LR and use the Pictures fold on my rMBP's SSD. I import into the Pictures folder in to a subfolder for the year and a lower subfolder by the day. LR offers may ways to set up the storage file structure. My 768GB SSD has enough storage space for around 2-3 week photo trip.

    During the trip and when I get home I use LR to cull out the bad images and mark the good ones that are worth spending time on post processing. Make sure to key word the images with location, category, people's names, and whatever will make searching easier years from now.

    I do my post processing in LR with plugins (Nik Collecition, Perfect Photo Suite, Pixelmator, Helicon Focus. Your LR plugin would be Photoshop. Once the processing is done I use LR to move the folders from the SSD to the Pictures folder on my external library drive. Always do moves using LR so it knows where the photos are located. Don't do moves with Finder.

    The external library drive, just like the internal SSD, are defined in Time Machine for backups. I backup to a 3TB Time Capsule. If I were a pro with a business and income based on the library, I would also do cloud backups and even swap backup drives to a bank vault.

    You will be amazed at how much you can do within LR. Learn the Develop Module tools.....and the time saver of using Presets for both importing and editing. Presets can save a ton of time and effort. You can find lots of free LR Presets on the web.

    Scott Kelby's books are LR are usually the best entry ones. His books are fun and intelligent. I suggest getting his book on LR 5.
     
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #3
    Congratulations on becoming a more serious photographer. There is lots of good (and bad) advice in this community. A good place to start is to search and read the many threads in this very forum on LR and DAMs (digital asset managers).

    I agree with MCAsan that LR should be your primary tool. Apple's Aperture is also very good - but you already have LR.

    You may not need to create the dated folders that MCAsan does since LR does that by default. But he is moving images around more than most people do so his set up is different. I use LR to import my images, and then just leave them in place... but my images are not being moved once they they're imported.

    It is critical that you keyword your images as you import. Once you fall behind it becomes a really big chore to get caught up. It is also critical that you understand how a DAM works - and is different from organizing via nested folders.

    You should also understand the difference between destructive (Photoshop) and non-destructive (LR) editing.... The two tools you use together will likely be LR and Photoshop... at least to begin with.

    Make sure you have multiple backups.

    All of the information you need on the above topics can be found here in this forum. Makes it easy. Also... the best source of tips for LR can be found on Adobe community forums. I almost always get my best tips and how-to's there.
     
  4. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #4
    Absolutely agree with both of these preceding posts. Don't try to be your own "librarian" and let the software - either LR in your case or Aperture in another - do it for you.

    Aperture is a database and stores files in a Package. The content files aren't readily seen by the user. Aperture displays a preview for you to work on but keeps the actual file safe and unmodified in the Package. You can Export version all you want but it hangs on to the Original. This spooks some new users who insist on looking for the files in the System structure. I don't know if LR does this. Just wanted to bring it up as they are both Digital Asset Managers.

    Dale
     
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #5
    This is actually directed at the OP more than Designer Dale... Lightroom stores its image files in plain sight, though preferably in a folder structure dedicated just for its own use. It is important that LR be used to move this folder, otherwise it loses track of where things are. However, if you do use the Finder to move bunch of folders it is relatively easy (though sometimes time consuming) to 'teach' LR where its images have moved to. For someone who is a little less than comfortable with tech, I prefer Aperture's hidden folders.
     
  6. MCAsan, May 19, 2014
    Last edited: May 19, 2014

    MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    Three advantages of using a referenced library with Aperture:


    • You can share the masters/originals with LR or other program. Not possible if Aperture does managed libraries with masters inside a database package. You don't have to have Aperture or LR; you can have and use both.
    • One shared library uses less space than Aperture and LR each having separate libraries.
    • If you have an rMBP: You can't have libraries inside rMBPs greater than around 750GB. The max SSD size is 1TB. Allow 250GB for boot/os/apps and you will have around 750 for your library. After that you will either need to move the entire library to an external drive or start another Aperture library. With referenced masters it easy to move just the masters to a external library drive after each shoot is over and the culling/editing work is done. The Aperture database and app stays on the SSD. The Aperture Vault can also write to the external library drive. I tell both Aperture Vault and LR Catalog to do backups on the external library drive when it is connected.

    Note: The last two points may not be applicable if you have a desktop like iMac or Mini with 3TB HD drives.

    In all cases....make sure you have a good backup plan that at a minimum uses Time Machine to backup everything (internal and external drives) to a dedicated drive.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Just do this, details don't matter so much as long as you hit these points

    1) import the photos into some "asset manager" do not try and copy to folders. The best mangers hide the actual files from you.

    2) add meta data to the files. Tags, dates comments names places,... Then you search by these tags.

    3) DELETE the junk. The quality of your collection will be MUCH better if you only keep the good stuff. Just let it go. If you have two shots and one is better what will you ever do with the runner up? If you can't decide keep both, if you can keep only the good one.

    4) Make a backup plan that includes at least these fetters
    a) an off sit copy of all your work, either disk kept at the office or an on-line service. In case the house burns down or your computer gear is stolen.
    b) one nearby backup that is DISCONNECTED from electrical power and kept is a fire safe. Power problems, software errors and the like can destroy al that that is connected
    c) Time machine. TM is your first level. Use a dedicated external drive that is about 1.5 or 2 times larger then all your data.

    Replace your backup drives every few years. Don't stow backups on five year old drives. 3 years max.
     
  8. snowboarder0022 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    #8
    Wow! Thanks for all the detailed responses. Looks like I'll be learning more about Lightroom and investing in some backup drives. Really appreciate the help. This is exactly what I needed to get started. :cool:
     
  9. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #9
  10. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #10
    Not so many great free presets for Aperture 3.:(
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    Given the market share vs LR, not surprising.
     

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