What is your workflow when editing photos?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Brian Kimball
Brian Kimball Regular Member • Posts: 335
Re: What is your workflow when editing photos?

Nic727 wrote:

Currently, I'm rejecting and deleting bad photos or photos that are better on my phone than my compact camera (that I will soon replace for a new camera, so new technology = better photos).

I agree with this.  Blurry?  Trash.  Bad photo?  Trash.  Really bad facial expression?  Trash.  Horribly boring?  Trash.  Too-similar duplicate of other good photos?  Trash.  I will only keep:

  • photos that I consider good/better/best
  • photos that make up a bracket or pano that I'm also keeping
  • photos that document a special memory
  • photos that provide important context to the other ones I want to keep

Long ago I tried to be a "completionist" and keep everything, but I quickly found it was overwhelming and also frankly depressing to wade through a bunch of photos I didn't want.

Since I mostly shot all my photos in RAW, I needed to do basic edit to almost all my photos, so it was very time consuming and I would like if you have any advice about that.

Does Luminar have an auto settings feature?  I use Lightroom and the auto settings has gotten so good I now use it as a baseline for my edits.  I might not keep any of the settings but it immediately shows me the potential of all the shots I just imported.

Do you shoot in JPG or RAW and in Neutral colors or Default? I shot in Neutral for a natural color… Whatever, just take a long time to do basic edit...

Yup.  Raw and flat profile on my nikon.

After editing I mark the photo with a green color for "done" and yellow for "I'm not sure, maybe reshot in the future". Also using blue for panorama.

Sounds like a good start.  Simple = good most of the time.

But after you've done all the edit you want, do you create albums and/or are you exporting all your new images in JPG or you just keep them in RAW to visualize them in the software you use (Luminar, Lightroom, etc.)?

I export "good/better/best" photos in JPG to Apple Photos (if you use Android, I'm sure Google Photos is about the same) and I export mostly just "best" to Flickr.

If I re-edit a photo and re-export it to Apple Photos, I then have to search for the old version in AP and delete it.  It's a pain.

How many months or years do you keep the RAW files if you exported them in JPG?

This is actually why I wanted to respond:  Never delete your raw photos!  As you progress in your post-processing experience and education you will want to go back and revisit them.  Your best-effort processing right now might look god-awful to you in 1 year or 5.  Save your raws!  Make sure they're backed up!  You will really appreciate being able to go back one day in the future.

Lightroom has a snapshot feature, so as I "finish" processing a photo I can snapshot those settings.  That way if I decide they need changes a few years later, I don't lose the original edit, and I can see how I'm progressing in post processing.

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