Developing a Good Photography Workflow for Enthusiasts & Artists
( Archival | Fast | High Quality | Powerful | w/o monthly payments )

Overview

 

Page 2: Strategy reestablishing a trusted and "Good Photography Workflow" ( w/o monthly payments for the next 10 years )

The Strategy can be divided into 4 Phases:

  1. Write down all my questions and worries triggered by Adobe's License Change 
  2. Figuring out where to go from here
  3. Develop Targets for the new "Good Photography Workflow"
  4. Implementation of said "Good Photography Workflow"
  5. Continuous Improvement through RFC Format of Rolling Articles and Community integration

Phase 1: Write down all my questions and worries triggered by Adobe's License Change 

  1. I just got CS6 & LR4. But if I keep using it do I dig myself deeper into Adobe dependency and even they do not get me now, will they get me later on monthly payments ?
  2. What are current alternatives to Photoshop LR & CS6 ? Should I change right now ?
  3. Can I change my workflow so I can use Lightroom and CS6 w/o being forced into the cloud ?
  4. Can I change my workflow so that changing to other Software packages later is less painful ?
  5. Are there strong benefits for Lightroom which actually make it a good idea to keep it ( or for others might there be strong reasons to even change towards it ? )
  6. Is it doable to develop a high quality workflow which will remain w/o monthly cost for say at least the next 5 ... 10 years, including publishing your work, including buying new cameras ?
  7. Now that I am looking closely at my workflow, what changes can I do to improve it?
  8. What could be a doable path from CS6 + LR now to a Adobe free photography workflow in the future ?
  9. Links to great Articles and videos on these subjects
  10. How to change / create the work flow to ensure you can open your files 10 / 20 years later ?
  11. How to publish Galleries efficiently to ( dpreview | flickr | google+ )

Phase 2: Figuring out where to go from here

I changed my Workflow in 2007. When Lightroom came out I took the time to look at my old workflow, list down all its problem. I looked at Lightroom with all its possibilities and started to develop a complete new workflow from scratch, which I refined with every new Lightroom release. Since I am about to create a new workflow it makes sense to have a look at my last process re-design. To make a list of what worked and what did not worked. When comparing the workflow 2006 with 2012 I will also get a sense of direction. In case I like the direction we already have a direction for the new work flow. In case I find problems with that directions, I will find the necessary corrections which need to be done for the Workflow 2013.

Comparing my workflow via Tools used in 2006 ( Pre-Lightroom ) versus today

  My Tools 2006 My Tools 2012 Similar Tools
Editing OS Browser Lightroom Photo Mechanic, Capture One, AfterShot, DxO Optics, Aperture
RAW Conversion Photoshop Lightroom Photo Ninja, Capture One, DxO Optic, AfterShot, Aperture, RAW Therapee
Photo Merging N/A Photoshop CS 6 Photomatix
Developing/Retouching Photoshop Lightroom Capture One, DxO Optics, PaintShop, Pixelmator, GIMP
Collection OS Browser Lightroom Capture One
Print Layout Illustrator Lightroom Illustrator, InDesign, Quark Express, Open Office Writer
Uploading FTP Client Lightroom  

Benefits of the changing from Workflow 2006 to Workflow 2012

  • Working speed: My Speed has more than doubled
  • Cost: The reduction in tools reduced my cost roughly by 50%
  • Administration Effort: Probably reduced by at least 60% due to greatly reduced number of SW packages which needed to be updates, maintained, etc ...
  • Quality of my Work: Greatly increased. Lightroom Image Retouching of 2013 is better than CS 2 ( which was the Version I use). Another reason is that due to increased working speed I produced more output and thus had more practice.
  • Filesize: Greatly reduced. While in 2006 an average file of an image I retouched for printing was 300 ... 500 MB, the same image in 2013 was 4 ... 15 MB.

Was I going in the right direction ?

Yes and no. Obviously all Benefits of the Workflow 2012 over Workflow 2006 are improvements and therefore keepers. So I was very happy with this workflow. Especially after I added Photoshop CS6 I was looking forward to add Photo Merging ( HDR | Panorama | Replaced Sky ) to my arsenal and was expecting new creative juices to be unleashed. However, now I am realizing I made unacceptable Sacrifices ...

Unacceptable Sacrifices made in my Current Lightroom-centric Workflow 

Unacceptable Sacrifice 1: Loss of Archival Quality of my work

Before the Adobe License dilemma I had not given it any thought. Now I have to say that since all my files are in proprietary file-formats that my current workflow is not archival and has to be changed.

Unacceptable Sacrifice 2: Loss of Freedom to switch Tool without loosing my work invested into my Photos

After Adobe's License change I analyzed what would happen to my workflow and assets if I changed away from Adobe SW. The result was shocking me: If I would make this change now I would loose all edits & retouches that I have done. Considering that I spend 1/3 of my time shooting and 2/3 of my time editing, retouching and presenting this means the majority of my work would be lost if I stopped using Adobe SW today. After Adobe showed me its teeth I now am grimly motivated to change my workflow so that I can change tools without loosing the work time I have invested into my photos. Never again!

Phase 3: Develop Targets for the new Workflow 2013

  • Remove the Unacceptable Sacrifices of the Workflow 2012 ( Non Archival | Locke into Adobe )
  • Keep as many Benefits as possible from Workflow 2012
  • Rethink the Workflow from Scratch and add as many new benefits as possible
  • Remove unnecessary steps
  • Make Workflow Steps transparent and documented
  • Split the Workflow Description into Generic and Application Specific
  • Create a standard to document an Application specific Workflow so that Workflows provided by different Authors still can be easily compared
  • Create Training Materials for the newcomer to Workflow as well as the seasoned expert
  • Support Simple Benchmark Methodology to be able to compare speed differences
  • Support standardized List of features to be able to create comparison tables of Workflows

Phase 4: Implementation of said "Good Photography Workflow"

Page 3: Implementation of said "Good Photography Workflow"

Phase 5: Continuous Improvement through RFC Format of Rolling Articles and Community integration

Page 4: RFC Format of Rolling Articles and Community integration