D70 Workflow advice

Started Jan 12, 2005 | Discussions thread
Alan Heartfield
Regular MemberPosts: 151
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Re: D70 Workflow advice
In reply to Charles H., Jan 12, 2005

Okay, I'll take a shot. I have been using digital cameras since 1998, starting with a 1.3 megapixel Agfa and working my way up to the D70. I still have my D7Hi because it is only worth 1/4 of what I paid for it, and it has some neat features that even the D70 doesn't have. Its an excellent slide copier since it has an electric remote shutter release. Program a basic stamp and set up a carousel and walk away. But I digress.

I shoot mostly jpeg unless I know the shot will be critical, but always in large and fine, since I have a 1GB microdrive and 305 pix is usually enough. I am shooting more and more raw, and learning Nikon Capture to decide if it is better than Photoshop at opening raw images. I think it is, but PS is better at some processing steps such as sharpening and cloning.

So if I open a file in PS, usually the first thing I check is levels(Ctrl -L) and adjust the histogram to maximize the dynamic range. I may adjust the gamma a small amount also. Then I open curves (ctrl - m) and either make a shallow S curve to adjust the contrast, or perhaps raise the center of the curve to brighten the image. On many images I don't open curves at all.

Then I always 'defog' the image. This makes a huge difference. It is done with the unsharp mask set to 21%, 17 pixels and 0 threshold, or thereabouts.
On a few shots I may raise the saturation a bit.

With the D70 I find sharpening rarely is necessary, but if I do want to sharpen I use Fred Miranda's Intellisharpen actions.
If there are any parts of the image I don't like, I clone them out.

Then I save the file with a new name so the original stays untouched. I save with a quality setting of 10. Storage space is cheap.

Filing of pix is an ongoing problem. Most of my 50+ CDs are indexed into a SQL database that I created myself. This is nice since the database is online as well as on my computer, so it can never get trashed. I can search by subject, location, date, etc., and a search takes no more than 1 second to narrow down files to CD, folder and file name.

I have tried using Photoshop Album, which is an excellent program, but all the images are stored in one huge catalog. This is good and bad. Good since you can click on an icon and see all images that are tagged with that icon, bad because after a few thousand pictures it gets unwieldy.

I just bought a DVD burner, and have started filing images in a new folder and subfolders for 2005. I figure one or two DVDs will hold all the images for one year. With backup copies of course.

I have lately been investigating using embedded IPTC data to file images, and to add captions that will be permanent and can be read anytime in the future. I found the usage of IPTC and EXIF fields is at the whim of the software programmers. For example. PS Album inserts caption data into the EXIF field, not the IPTC field. So Nikon View, etc does not see it. Another reason I am dropping PSA. The best program I have found so far for inserting IPTC data and printing images with IPTC info and making web pages is ImageWalker. The data all goes to the right fields and is readable with a number of programs such as Exifer, NV, and XP itself. Highly recommended.

I use a Canon i950 printer. It does an excellent job. However, true colours are only obtained when using Canon paper and the Canon software Easy Photo Print Plus to print. I have never been able to get a profile for PS that will print accurate colours. EPPP does it every time.

There is no 'right' way for any workflow, and no 'wrong' way, as long as you are happy with the results. I am a Type A personality, and most of my shots are either never seen by anyone, or end up on my website. Someone shooting for commercial use, or wanting fine prints for exhibiting would need a different workflow.

I hope this helps.

Alan

Charles H. wrote:

Given the large numbers of new D70 owners unfamiliar with much of
the processes of digital photography workflow it might be of great
help for those more experienced to share their processes from
taking the photo (which format etc.), downloading into which
editing and/or organization software, using which storage media
and catalog processes and printing method (online, which printer to
own etc.). Take a picture and walk us through your workflow from
beginning to end! We are eager to learn. Thanks.

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