Typical Photo Importing & Editing Workflow


Aug 3, 2020
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If you're brand new to photography, you might not be familiar with the typical workflow that takes the process from capturing your scene all the way through saving out your photos. While many folks don't really think past the taking of the picture itself, there are actually quite a few important steps that after that, that you'd benefit by learning. Nothing here is earth shattering or anything, but by incorporating a process early on, you'll be starting off on the right foot. Organization is key when it comes to photography, so plan to get organized.

In today's post, I think I'll walk through a condensed version of the save a picture, edit that picture, and save that picture workflow. This is all very straightforward stuff, so if you've got a camera, a computer, and photo editing software, read on. What I'll do is name a step and then offer a short description of it. What I'd like to do is simply familiarize you with what you might expect on a daily basis as an amateur photographer.

Choose Your Resolution: Before you ever take any photos, you'll need to dive into your camera's menu area and choose your resolution setting. I mentioned this topic in a previous post, so if you're interested in JPEG and RAW files, I welcome you to read that one. In case you're not interested in doing that, I'll tell you here that JPEGs are smaller files, but they're compressed to save space. RAW files are very large, but are much more versatile when it comes time to edit. Most cameras give you the option of choosing to photograph in both JPEG and RAW file formats. This can be handy if you aren't sure of what you ultimately want. When you take a picture with this setting activated, your camera will save both file types. If you take one money shot out of dozens, you can save just that one RAW image, while discarding all the other RAW images. Then, you'd simply keep the good JPEG files that you want. Keep in mind though that if you do choose to save in both formats that it'll take quite a bit longer for you to transfer these images from your camera to your computer, so you'll want to make sure you're using a fast memory card in your camera with a computer that's equipped with a fast USB port.

Transfer Images to Your Computer: After setting your resolution and taking your photos, you'll need to transfer those photos from your memory card to your computer for processing. To do this, you can physically remove your memory card from your camera and insert it into either your computer's memory card reading feature or an external memory card reader. I prefer to plug my camera directly into my computer using a USB cable. Once the two are connected, you can transfer your files.

Select & Discard Your Photos: I suggest you take full advantage of Adobe Bridge for this step. It's a photo organizing application that comes with the Photographer's package over at adobe.com. With this program, you'll have the opportunity to view all of your images, rank them, organize them, add search tags to them, put them into separate folders, and delete them if you wish. I highly encourage you to promptly scan through your images after a shoot and delete the ones you know you'll never use. Chances are, you've taken far too many photographs. It's best to keep only those you'll end up needing in the future.

Edit Your Images: After organizing your images in Adobe Bridge, I advise that you edit the important ones in Adobe Camera Raw and then Photoshop. This is a typical workflow for photographers and these are the industry standard editing and organizing programs. Camera Raw will edit both your RAW and JPEG files. It's perfect for editing photographs. Actually, that's its job. After Camera Raw, you can easily import your photos to Photoshop to finish up anything Raw couldn't do.

Add a Copyright: If you want to, you can take advantage of the File Info menu item inside of Photoshop. This is a place where you can add all sorts of information about your image, including a description and copyright.

Save Your Image: Once you're finished editing, you can save your image straight from Photoshop. There are many different quality settings and formats available to you. If the quality was there from the beginning, you'll be able to save for print or for use on the web.

Back Up Your Photos: This is a step most people miss and then they're sorry that they did. It can cost more to back your photos up, but if you do and if you lose your computer or if your hard drive crashes, you won't shed a tear. Think about what most people say they miss the most after tragedy strikes. It's the photos. Would you like to have every single picture you've ever taken be deleted in the blink of an eye? It can happen if you don't back them up. Your computer's hard drive isn't good enough. Yes, save your pictures to that, but also save them to an external drive you keep safe or save them to the cloud.

I'd like to mention a quick something about memory cards. The kind you can use in your camera. I recently purchased a 128GB card in Wal Mart for $15. That's huge and it'll hold more photos than I'll ever be able to take during one shoot or vacation. There's absolutely no reason to struggle with changing your card or filling it up. These things are cheap now, so head out and buy one or buy one online. Don't mess with little 2GB, 4GB, or even 16GB. Go big or go home.

That's about it for this post. I know there's an enormous amount of information to be found in the cracks of this post, so if you'd like answers, just ask the questions down below. Thanks!
Typical Photo Importing & Editing Workflow was posted on 01-19-2021 by WendyMay in the Photography Forum forum.

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