Monday, October 26, 2009


I am a heavy amateur photographer and I am being crushed by data. My rinky-dink desktop is choking trying to handle the volume that my raw files dish it. I currently have over 22,000 pictures that I have taken in the last 4 years or so, so in another 4 years…oh I don’t even want to think about it. I was talking to a fellow photographer about the importance of workflow and I realized that I did not really have a workflow, bummer.

So what is a workflow in the first place? For digital photography, I would define it as how your photos go from raw data files in your camera to final product – which would be defined by the job (from a web album to framed prints). Right now my workflow involves downloading the files, saving them by a crazy date list that I would have to be some sort of history nut to remember. Then praying like crazy that nothing happens to my external hard drive that houses all that precious data. Think I need a change???

One thing I have always heard is that you need to have at least 3 copies of any data in 2 places…so I will try to incorporate that into my mix. I have also heard that your post processing time should be double your shoot time, so a 2 hour shoot equals 4 hours of post.

Here is my contingent plan – highly subject to change:
1 – Download pictures to internal hard drive.

2 – Burn a DVD of the original raw files. This way there is at least one copy on disk that has not been messed with in any way. (storage 1). Delete pictures from memory card on camera (I am totally committed a this point).

3 – Send the pictures to a cloud (storage 2).

4 – Copy pictures to external hard drive. (storage 3). At this point there are three copies of the originals.

5 – Return to internal hard drive and make a list of ‘keepers’. The best of the best, and the ones worth looking at. Delete the rest off the internal hard drive.

6 – Begin editing my work, saving it in a file that ends in ‘share’.

7 – When complete with editing, burn a DVD with an event title, date, and client name (1 copy).

8 – Upload the file to my website, flickr, or cloud storage (copy 2).

9 - Copy the file to external drive (copy 3).

10 – Keep on hard drive for 3 months, then delete to save space.
Whew, that was exhausting. A 10 step work flow…hmmmm, let’s see if it will work!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Finally playing with Elements

I am an old school photographer because it is 2009 and I am just now learning how to use Photoshop Elements. I know it is pathetic, but when I bought the program a year ago I was just petrified of it. It scared me to death and when I opened it, I was not sure where to begin. So over this past weekend I sat down with my Missing Manual, and went to town. I am not that far in, but this is proof I am trying to learn how to work with my photos to develop my art.