Where Would Lightroom fit in my Workflow?

Started Dec 19, 2012 | Questions thread
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Augestflex
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Where Would Lightroom fit in my Workflow?
Dec 19, 2012

Hello!

I'm getting back into photography again after a long time only doing Point & Shoot with Canon ELPHs and, over the last few years, cell phone cameras.

I used to do B&W photography with film where I would cut and roll my bulk film, process and develop the film and then enlarge and process my prints. It has been a long time since I got rid of all my film photography equipment and now I would like to start taking photography a little more seriously again. Recently picked up a Sony NEX-6 to get back into things.

My question, where in my digital workflow would Lightroom fit?

I ask because every other digital photographer I talk to swears that Lightroom is a good thing and that I should be using it. In fact they are shocked that I am not.

I have just over 18,000 photos in picasaweb and here is my current "workflow". I'm using the term loosely:

  1. Windows Explorer: Use Windows Explorer to copy photos from SD Card (via card reader, not camera) to folder on my hard drive. Usually they are for one "event"/"album" but every once and awhile it could be for two if two trips/events were close together and I didn't process the photos from the first event. I should mention that I have been using my smartphone, and before that various Canon ELPHs over the years so I have jpegs not RAW images. Note that I guess I will have to evaluate if I will continue shooting jpegs with the NEX-6 or switch to RAW. So far, just starting out I am shooting jpegs.
  2. Windows Explorer: Navigate to the folder on the drive and open it up in FastStone Image Viewer where I do a few things. Since I didn't see sub-bullets, I'll list them as separate steps though really they fall under Fast Stone Image Viewer.
  3. FastStone Image Viewer: Auto rotate all images based on EXIF data.
  4. FastStone Image Viewer: Straighten and crop photos if/as needed.
  5. FastStone Image Viewer: Remove red-eye as needed.
  6. Photoshop: Open a few problematic images (very infrequently) in Photoshop CS5 and adjust/modify. This is a rarity since the majority of my images are either only self-viewed or shared with people that I went on the trips with. Apparently CS5 doesn't support the NEX-6 RAW format   sad panda
  7. Windows Explorer: Split out events into own folder if the photos encompass more than one event/trip. This is also infrequent. Usually I process after each event/trip. Folder Name/Format: YYYY_MM_DD Trip Name
  8. FastStone Image Viewer: Batch rename all photos in event folder: YYYYMMDD_HH-MM-SS_#####.ext
  9. Windows Explorer: Move all event/trip Folders to appropriate year folder on NAS (so I can view on PC, PS3, TV, and all shared devices via DLNA (Twonky Media Server on my NAS).
  10. Windows Explorer: \\NAS\Photos\YYYY\TRIP/EVENT Folder
  11. Picasa: Open up Picasa and let it scan for the new folders on the NAS under my Photos\Year folder.
  12. Picasa: Face tag all known automatically recognized faces. 
  13. Picasa: Face tag some/all known but not unrecognized faces.
  14. Picasa: Add contacts (and single to google contacts/gmail) all new people from newly found faces of people I know.
  15. Picasa: Turn on Sync for the folder and upload to picasaweb.

So basically that is a break down of what I do and have been doing for the last 18k photos. Is there something I would gain from Lightroom? If so what steps would I replace? Note that I used older versions of Photoshop (pre Photoshop 7) and then CS a little bit but have barely used CS5 since I picked it up in Sept 2011.

Also note that I still have several boxes of negatives and prints from my old film photography days that I am slowly scanning in, if that makes any difference. Generally I scan them in and place them in a folder and then begin at step 2 in my workflow above!

Thanks in advance to any input or suggestions! I am excited about getting back into photography and look forward both to the challenges and the fun of taking better photos!

Cheers,

Augestflex

ANSWER:
Sony Alpha NEX-6
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