Workflow Discussion

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
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Alpha Doug
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Workflow Discussion
5 months ago

With the demise of Aperture, I'd like to throw some thoughts out about Workflow in general, where we've been, where we are, and where we might be soon.

I feel the biggest issue for most Pros and Hobbyists in general, is that if you embrace RAW as your processing choice, and you wish to have "non-destructive RAW adjustments", then you are pretty much at the mercy of whatever software you choose, presuming you wish to keep the RAW files untouched until you decide to "export" a fixed file type.  When I was just processing JPEGS in the early days of digital, I just accepted that you produced a new JPEG when finished, and saved it separately from your original.  I also accepted the fact that whenever you "re-processed" an already processed JPEG, it would lose quality.  Later, when I got my first camera that would shoot RAW, and I saw the power of this approach, I used a RAW convertor program (can't remember which, but it might have been Sony SRI, or Adobe Camera RAW) to adjust and convert the image to either a JPEG or Tiff, and I accepted the fact that it was a two step process, and that I had to have a folder hierarchy of RAW images, and another folder hierarchy of processed JPEGs or Tiffs.  When Aperture came out, even though it had bugs and hiccups, it provided a robust way to bring all your workflow elements into one container, and keep RAW images inviolate.  Later, Adobe jumped onto this bandwagon as well.  And there are now a couple or three other "workflow" programs that do some portion of that job.  But there is a price for using the proprietary all in one workflow programs.  You are stuck with them since migrating out of them is extremely painful.

So what I'd like to ask is, do any of you see a rational way around this impasse?  Are there potential ways to reduce the amount of disk space and hassle that one has to go through to nondestructively process RAWs, produce slideshows, organize, sort, and rate images, make photo books, and print images, as well as share images online or manage web galleries, besides Lightroom et al.?  I think we have reached a tipping point where even LR is looking old and weak.  Anyone?

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