Workflow 2020

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
John
I have to admit, with 15 years of digital photography I've never really honed a workflow.
I used Lightroom to sort and develop and once in a while I'd finish in Photoshop or a plugin like NIK or Luminar, etc.
When Adobe went subscription only, I wandered off to try and find something else but was never really satisfied.
Of late, I've been using and liking the free CaptureOne Fuji/Sony and Affinity photo but haven't figured out a viable culling solution.
Now, I've found the culler in FastRawViewer. Really like it.
I've upgrade the free Capture One Sony to Pro and like it as well. The perpetual license makes sense to me and so far I’m finding the tool set as good or even a little more powerful than LR, and I really like the built in tether solution.
I bought Affinity a while back and gave it a solid go a few months ago. It has all that I need albeit in a different place or a slightly different method.

I've never really got a grasp on DAM.
I’ll likely tighten up this process in the future but for now I can manage.

I think I'm starting to get it - or at least something that's going to work for me going forward.

Curious as to what works for you?
 
I have stuck with Lightroom and Photoshop when Adobe went for the subscription model. I'm OK with it, buying Lightroom and Photoshop updates was a costly affair before that, so I actually prefer paying a monthly fee and being up-to-date. I have played with Capture One but I concluded that Lightroom gave me equally satisfying results. I bought FastRawViewer but hardly ever use it, Lightroom's DAM is too good to pass up on it, even though culling can be slow.
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
John
I have stuck with Lightroom and Photoshop when Adobe went for the subscription model. I'm OK with it, buying Lightroom and Photoshop updates was a costly affair before that, so I actually prefer paying a monthly fee and being up-to-date. I have played with Capture One but I concluded that Lightroom gave me equally satisfying results. I bought FastRawViewer but hardly ever use it, Lightroom's DAM is too good to pass up on it, even though culling can be slow.

I think there's huge value in Adobe's subscription plan. For me, it would be an easier path with a potentially minimal financial obligation. And to be truthful without proper GAS management a perpetual license could easily be a burden.

I think the move to Capture One is mostly lateral at this moment but I can see that eventually I will prefer it. And the cost of Affinity makes it easy to maintaining a perpetual model. And that I already own it.

As for FRV, I feel it's a very logically built, very affordable software that can be fast and accurate. I really like the ability to cull right off of an SD card. The tools for maintaining a home made file structure are adequate. In lieu of Lightroom this is an excellent choice for at least the culling process imo.

What are some of things that you value in LR's DAM? I have a feeling I'm missing some of the strengths that make it indispensable. I almost don't want to ask now that I've purchased C1. :biggrin:
 
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What are some of things that you value in LR's DAM? I have a feeling I'm missing some of the strengths that make it indispensable. I almost don't want to ask now that I've purchased C1. :biggrin:
Where to start? Opened up Lightroom Classic to get to some thoughts. When I mentioned Lightroom, I really mean Lightroom Classic, I never use Lightroom (the cloud version). Adobe maximized confusion about product naming when they introduced their new Lightroom product for the cloud. A veritable f*ckup, damn those marketing guys.
  • Collections, indispensable for keeping track of what I published on forums, what I showed at the photo club, series I made, what I printed, what I want to print etc. etc.
  • Smart collections are very powerful in conjunction with keywords and other metadata
  • Filtering options, vastly extended by Jeffrey Friedl's Data Explorer plugin
  • Metadata panel per picture is configurable with Jeffrey Friedl's Metadata-Viewer Preset Editor plugin, showing exactly the data you want to see in the order you want to see them
  • Configurable import options, enabling renaming while importing, adding keywords, applying a default setting for the camera and optionally extra develop settings, converting to DNG if so desired, making a backup copy to another folder
  • Extensive export functionality, enabling presets which I use all the time
  • Keywords, flags, ratings, color labels with filtering on them
  • Adding location to photos from a gpx file generated by a GPS (don't need it anymore, but highly valued it when I did)
  • Synchronizing between Lightroom app on iPhone and Lightroom Classic
  • One catalog easily handles all my image files, 65K+ at the moment and counting
  • Moving files within Lightroom takes care of moving files in the file system
  • Freedom to choose the folder structure in your operating system to your liking, while cataloguing can make use of collections to augment the folder structure. It took me a few reorganizations, some of which painful, before I got to a structure that works for me.
After I will have posted this, I'll undoubtedly think of things I forgot to mention. Setting up and using the DAM functionality is excellently explained by Tim Grey, almost 2 hours but worth watching IMHO.
 
John, this video will show a lot of tips for portrait editing in C1. I don't necessarily all of the sepia he is doing. But the rest of what he does will show you a lot of the tools available and how to use. Unfortunately he doesn't touch on any of the stuff you can do for skin and skin tones. Which can get pretty in depth.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
My workflow since 2017:

  1. Import raw files from the SD cards into directory structure "/pics/2020-02-20-beach-walk" for example. If I shot several cameras during that walk, I import them into the same directory.
  2. Edit and process in Darktable. I import the entire directory as a filmroll (Darktable terminology) and I'll rate, reject, PP and export things as I see fit.
  3. My starring process goes like: 2/5 is the default, 3/5+ is a good picture and 1/5 is not particularly good but I wouldn't delete it. 0/5 or rejected pictures (Darktable terminology) are either technically failed or duplicates, in the sense if I shoot 20 frames of a stationary swan, I'll keep 2-3 frames and reject the ones that are the same.
  4. Usually I plain DELETE the rejected files.
The exports are low-res ones and go mainly into this forum and occasionally to family or flickr/ipernity. I usually empty the export directories and no exported results remain. Only the raw files.

So this leaves me with very little about managing pics, organizing them by themes or anything like that.

In Linux, the choices for DAM are poor. I would regard something like LR the gold standard but when it's not available then it's not available.

As such I'm currently tinkering with a simple idea for a project, where I capture everything darktable or equivalent exports and my program will collect them into a database where pictures can be searched, tagged, named, described. I am envisioning a simple app where there's nothing else but a gallery view and a collection of search tools. Think "Gmail".
 
Location
Boston Burbs
Real Name
David
When I was shooting events I used Photo Mechanic as a culling tool, saved me a lot of time.

I use Lightroom for most of post processing, the last perpetual license version (6.14). I've considered going on the subscription, but I'm more concerned about what happens when you go off subscription. The big issue for me is Lightroom is the best DAM, I've tried a number of them and none have something as simple and easy as the Library Metadata filter. Both Camera Bits (the makers of Photo Mechanic) and Affinity are suppose to be releasing a Dam, so we'll see. So far my cameras have been supported, but it's also helped curb my GAS for the latest E-M1, E-M5 and the X100v. So that's also plus. I used CaptureOne Fuji sometimes, but not often. With my Pen F I've been using the Olympus Workspace for mono processing. I usually make a few adjustment and then export to a TIFF and finish up in Lightroom.

For anything beyond Lightroom I have an old version of Photoshop and the current version Affinity Photo. I'm still more familiar with PS, but working on the switch.
 

gryphon1911

All-Pro
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
Andrew
I'm on the "Lightroom sucks for X-Trans" bandwagon when processing RAW. I much prefer the output that CaptureOne produces.

I'd love to find something better than Lightroom, but I agree with you that it is the best DAM out there that I have found. Now, if we can have the speed of PhotoMechanic with the searching power of Lightroom, then I'm all for giving it a shot.
 
I use Lightroom for most of post processing, the last perpetual license version (6.14). I've considered going on the subscription, but I'm more concerned about what happens when you go off subscription. The big issue for me is Lightroom is the best DAM, I've tried a number of them and none have something as simple and easy as the Library Metadata filter.

I'm exactly on the same camp. I was hesitating to go to subscription mode, but eventually did it. And no regrets. Lightroom is just so good for DAM and good enough for my modest needs on developing RAW.

BTW, after the subscription termination
Adobe web page said:
Lightroom images
Adobe will continue to store your original images for one year after your membership lapses. During that time, you can continue to launch Lightroom to download your original files from our cloud services.

Lightroom Classic images
You continue to have access to all your photos on your local hard drive through Lightroom for the desktop. You can continue to import and organize photos and output your edited photos through Export, Publish, Print, Web, or Slideshow. Access to the Develop & Map modules and Lightroom for mobile is not available after your membership ends.
 

christilou

Legend
Location
Sunny Frimley
I started out with Lightroom a very long time ago and despite trying some other programs decided to just go subscription although it did rather stick in the craw! I'm getting too old to figure out new stuff and I have a lot of colour profiles that work with Adobe Lightroom so there it is. I use ASE as a plug in to finish off and export from there.
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
John
It's nice to get an idea of what everyone else is doing.
Thanks to all.

After exploring Ad's list of items I think I will eventually utilize more of LR's tools. Especially since I already have nearly ten years of catalogs without a solid foundation of organization.

Right now, I use Flickr's camera roll to access a homemade catalog so I can easily date and locate old photos. This works pretty well for me.

So I guess for now I'll have my golden age of photography with LR5 and a newer developing system based on C1/Affinity.
 

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