I use two cameras to make photos. One is a Canon Digital Rebel (D300) and the other is a Canon SD200. In the past, I've just been shooting in Highest Quality JPEG on both cameras. Due to a recent HDD failure and complete disorganization of my older photos after a partial recovery, I thought I'd try RAW mode on my Rebel. This makes my workflow much more complicated.
In the past, I just used iPhoto and let it manage the library of some 10,000 images. It was bulging at the seems and needed a rework anyway, so the loss of photos seemed like a perfect opportunity to implement a new workflow and reliable backups.
Before coming up with a workflow, I need to figure out what I want to accomplish.
On the input side, there's really two key points:
- Shoot RAW in the Rebel to retain highest quality images possible.
- Shoot Highest quality JPEG on SD200 since that's all it can do.
On the output side, I *think* this is what I want to handle:
- Be able to easily print the images from either camera
- Through a local provider (National Camera)
- Via web storage (SmugMug)
- On my local color inkjet
So now, how to get from input to output?
I've been playing around with some testing and haven't come up with a definitively good solution (aka, perfect workflow). My latest attempt was this:
- Shoot RAW with Rebel.
- Use Image Capture to "import"/"download"/"copy" images from CF card onto my local HDD in a directory which includes the date and a "subject". eg. 20080204-Raw_Workflow_Test
- Once the images are in that dir, I launch Adobe Photoshop CS (8.0) and use the "file browser" function to do some "stuff"
- Create two sub-dirs. One called originals and one called rejects. Copy all originals to that dir and then weed out the rejects and move them to that dir.
- Batch rename images according to the shot. eg. Subject_Name_000.CRW. Note that this may include an index (which is why batch rename works well).
- At this point, I can then upload the images to our SmugMug page and create a backup on CD/DVD, but at a minimum, I run a backup to an external HDD (Which is regularly rotated with another that is offsite).
To overcome the first obstacle, I could use iPhoto, but then I've got another copy of my images. I also tried using Graphic Converter to both import and then "catalog" my images, but that seems to be a slow program. Maybe I need to give G.C. a bit more testing, but I'm not convinced it'll be part of my eventual workflow. So, I'm starting to look at other programs. I know Apple makes Apperture and then there's Lightroom from Adobe, but both of those are pretty expensive programs.
Some other things to consider...
- Adding copyright info to the image and/or EXIF type data.
- Resizing images for web pages/e-mail.
- Including keywords/other metadata in the EXIF tags.
- So far, this workflow ignores the SD200, although some items will apply... Just not the Raw-to-JPEG conversion.
So, I continue to mull this over, but need to come up with a solution in the next week or so since I'm going to be taking a large number of images thereafter.