Thoughts on new workflow strategy

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Razeus, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    I'm rethinking my workflow. I'm leaning on a structure that contains

    a folder for my RAW files as "negatives" straight from the camera converted to .dng format. These files are renamed with a preset that I use, with a camera profile applied, lens corrections, crop, wb, contrast, sat, keywords, etc. Basically getting the file ready to become a ".tiff Master" file that's used as a "working" file. Once the export to .tiff happens, I revert this file back to its original state.

    a folder for my "Master" files (top choice photos) which is the RAW files in .tiff format to be used for further editing in Photoshop CS5 (content aware fill, heal, clone, high pass sharpening, Nik Silver Efex, etc). This is the go to file when more adjustments are needed in a future time and organizing collections in LR3, leaving the original RAW photo untouched.

    a folder for my "Exports" in which all my jpegs are located for uploading to various places and syncing to my iPhone/iPad. Basically the final "print" of the .tiff file.

  2. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Why are you making your life so hard? I would use Aperture or Lightroom to manage RAW files. It is not only safer than managing files manually, it also saves space (by working off versions) and you'll also be able to do a lot of edits within Aperture/Lightroom. E. g. adjust the white balance of 20 pictures at once. This gives photos a more consistent look with less work. No manual conversion (= work) is necessary, this is all done in the background for you. tiff files are generated when necessary.

    If you use Aperture, you can easily sync photos from within iTunes. If you use Lightroom, I think, it's still possible to do that quite easily (I think you can add the photos you want on your iPhone to an album which then exports photos to a folder; iTunes then syncs this folder with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch).
  3. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    ...perhaps you misread my post. Yes, I'm aware the WB can be applied to many photos at once. This will all be done in lightroom before exporting to TIFF. In most cases, the file will be done after the TIFF export, only modified further if need be in PS.
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    You haven't mentioned Lightroom in your first post, so I assumed you weren't using it. If you are already using Lightroom, your proposed workflow seems even more bizarre to me: there is no need to export anything for storage or for editing.

    I'm a little confused: what exactly do you want to achieve here? Why are you trying to go out of your way to do stuff by hand that Lightroom was designed to take care of automatically?
  5. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Why convert the raw files to DNG? If you're applying presets to get to the .TIFF, then there's no real reason I can see to go to DNG. Also, do you plan to save multiple JPEGs (Web, wet print, inkjet) or not?

    Otherwise, it seems pretty reasonable to me- though I keep my raw files and TIFFs in the same directories, which makes it simpler to locate everything. I'm not all that concerned about JPEGs, other than images for sale, which all go into collections to upload online- as I can always resave from the TIFF.

  6. Razeus, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

    Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    I convert to DNG upon import because the format is smaller and doesn't use sidecars. The TIFF happens in effort create a "master" file (working copy) in which further editing, if necessary, needs to be done in PS that can't be done in LR or to derive different formats from (web jpegs or print jpegs or full size jpegs for an upcoming book, etc.)

    I'll have jpeg output for Web and print.

    Probably my OCD. I create separate tiff folder which contain all my "masters" of a photo. I'm aware LR can do this, but as it stands the tiffs are mixed in with the dng's and is nerve racking. I rather just keep the DNG and and export a separate, unconnected tiff in separate folders and have LR keep track of them. That way, when I'm looking at my "masters", they are my best photos (imo) and not mixed in with the dng which contain a variety of not so good shots (the shots I would never show on the web or print out).

    This should make it easier to view my best files and make collections/smart collections from since there won't be too many photos. Perhaps only 20% of my overall photo count.
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I still don't understand the benefits of your proposed system.

    If you are wanting a better method to find/sort your "keepers" from the "pretty goods", sounds like you just need to learn to better utilize LR's rating, color labeling, or keywording system.

    The rest just seems like a very convoluted solution to some file OCD. In doing so, you are abandoning the RAW-centric, non-destructive workflow philosophy and opening yourself up to mistakes and more work. Not to mention an incredible increase in filespace usage (both DNG and TIFF of every file?)

  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Creating a bunch of tiffs (especially if they are 16 bit) will waste far more space than the savings that you get when you convert your RAWs to DNGs.
    Again, I still don't understand the benefit or motivation behind this: the master should be the RAW file and never ever a rendered tiff. The tiff file is a version of the RAW file, a rendered version of the master, namely the RAW. That's the whole point of an Aperture/Lightroom-centric workflow. Besides, if these tiffs are 8 bit files, the situation is even worse since you're losing information and you're working on a `master' that has substantially less data than the real master. And if they are 16 bit, you get pretty huge files.
    You should use ratings to mark your best shots. You can then view photos whose rating is better than a certain preset. That allows you to drill down to the picks within a fraction of a second instead of doing all this file/folder gymnastics. I get more and more the impression that you don't really use Lightroom as it was intended to.
  9. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
    yep I'm another one for the Dont get it camp on your work flow

    Just use aperture or lightroom, if your worried about losing versions, just back up regually and maybe have an off site back up too?

    for me I

    1) Import photo's to Aperture (still kind of playing with LR at the mo)
    2) Back up to Network drive
    3) Once I know I have 2 copies I can format the card
    4) Use Aperture to do basic editing, for more serious editing photoshop
    5) If I have heavily edited the Photo In PS I'll save a seperate copy of that and re-import to Aperuture, usally in a sub folder of the photo set.
    6) I will usaully rank the photo's and have a smart folder of the better pictures.

    Thats it.

    If I am going to print or export I'll export in jpeg straight from aperture.

    Backup wise:

    I'll Have copy on mac
    One copy on my Nas
    One copy on my Time Machine drive
    Off site back up every 2 months or so (yes i mabe could do with doing this weekly!)
  10. Razeus thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    Perhaps, but all my files get transported to PS anyway and LR automatically makes those tiff's (in 16-bit, no compression). I go to PS so I can sharpen my photos. That's just how it is because PS's high pass filter is the best sharpening method (for me). Any black and whites are done with Nik Silver Efex Pro, there is no better plug in than Silver Efex Pro for black and whites. I also use Noise Ninja on occasion.

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