What is your workflow when editing photos?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
LordKOTL
LordKOTL Senior Member • Posts: 1,386
Re: What is your workflow when editing photos?

This may be long...so grab some popcorn:

I tend to not delete in the field, I just shoot and chimp when I feel it's necessary.  I also shoot RAW; with one of the SD slots as a mirror to the other to protect me from myself.  I focus on shooting and worry about culling later.  My current SD setup in-camera allows for over 2k photos--plus I carry spare SD's.  I can deal with culling later when I'm done shooting.

After shooting:  On both my main computer and my travelling laptop, I have a "Working folder" set up with all of the appropriate subfolders:  finished web JPGs, prints, TIFF intermediates (for stitching, panos, stacking, etc.), and the RAW sidecar files as used by my usual RAW processors (View NX-i and Capture NX-D).  I copy the photos and GPX file (if geotagging) to that working folder.  I make sure to not delete anything for the SD cards yet.

If I'm geotagging, I do that in View NX-i 1st.  Then I go through the photos in either View NX-i or Captrure NX-D and rank them:  usually 1-2 are the best and favorites, 3-4 are okay shots worth keeping that might need some work. 5-6 is for sentimental images--might not be technically great but something say my wife and I would want to keep for the memory.  7-9 are used to denote stacks.  From there I filter out the 0's and cull.  If I have a few multiple shots of the same thing that I don't intend on stacking I just choose my fave and cull the rest.

I then go through my RAW processing.  Since WB and the camera control settings are metadata in the RAW, I usually shoot FLAT camera control and Sunny WB...both of those can be changed non destructively in Capture NX-D.  If there are images that are in similar lighting conditions, I'll edit one and save a development file (same working folder location), which I can affect onto multiple files if necessary.

When done I process as needed--for prints, web-ready JPGs, intermediate TIFFs, etc.  Final web JPGs I then affix a watermark to.  From there my workflow differs slightly depending if I'm away from home or at home:

If I'm at home I copy the working folder to a final folder that has the year, and a short description of what I shot (i.e. 2019_Vysoke Tatry, 2018_Anniversary, etc.)  Then I run a script to back my photos up to my NAS, then I clean the Working folder, and finally, clean the SD cards.

If I'm away from home I make a copy of the work folder following the process outlined above, but copy it to an external SSD, and then clean my SD cards and working folder.  Once I get home I copy everything to my computer and my NAS, then clean both the laptop and SSD.

All of my photo folders have the same folder structure so it's really easy to find stuff, and everything is kept together.  I just find the shoot and everything is right there.

To answer some of your other questions:

I always export at least a Web-ready JPG for sharing/viewing--usually 1920px on the long edge.  Prints get a full rez export and maybe some additional processing if needed.  TIFF intermediates get edited in the appropriate editor (GIMP, Hugin, etc. and then when finished get JPG'ed like my usual workflow).  No RAW viewer I know of other than the Nikon ones read the sidecar files, and most people I know of who aren't photogs are more comfortable with a .jpg.

I always keep my RAWs.  I know I don't know everything in terms of RAW processing and I occasionally run across a tip/trick that I'm like, "I could have used that on xxx photo!"  So I can always go back and re-process.  It's like keeping your negatives.

I hope this helped a bit if you read it all--I know it was a wall, of text.  Good luck and happy shooting!

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There's no shame in using auto or semiauto modes--no matter what the salesdroids at Best Buy tell you.

 LordKOTL's gear list:LordKOTL's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED +3 more
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