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LR 2, EM 2, AA 2, CS 3 -- DAM Workflow Review?
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Author Topic: LR 2, EM 2, AA 2, CS 3 -- DAM Workflow Review?  (Read 6345 times)
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« on: May 26, 2008, 02:49:17 AM »

Peter -- now that we're at Lightroom 2, Expression Media 2, Bridge CS 3, do you still think we go Bridge=>EM, or LR-based workflow is possible?

I in fact got all of them except for Aperture 2, and wonder whether I should leverage my riches or stick to LR which worked.  I like EM catalogs better after you taught us in Santa Fe, and they're more flexible than LR's, and just look better.

Yet even slightest edits affecting the image I like to do in LR as the history is fully recorded and redoable there.  So if I am to use Bridge, I'd do Rank only, no Adjust at all outside LR.

I'd do EM catalogging instead of LR -- is there still much advantage in it?

And Apple's Aperture (AA) is still an unknown beast to me, so I'd not know where to begin trying to fit it in/compare it.

I post it in the LR forum as it seems where most of the action is, and we all kinda weigh DAM workflows against it.

BTW, what are up to regarding the DAM book review, and what's your current workflow?

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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2008, 05:26:56 AM »

Lightroom is a great tool for image adjustment and output, and an okay tool for DAM.  Big problems are catalog unwieldiness (size, time to transfer, management and preservation issues).

I still use Bridge mostly as a front end, but will use Lightroom for some projects.  When matching a lot of images, or I need to do a critical focus inspection, LR is great. 

Unfortunately, once you get spoiled by full-functionality DAM, it's hard to give up. Opening multiple catalogs is a huge one to lose, as is easy transfer of the catalogs to my laptop when I travel (my entire digital photo collection - more than 250,000 images - fits in 5 EM catalogs that only take up 6 or so GB of space.  Just the Tasmania shoot (12,000 images makes a 40 GB catalog with full-size previews.)

Many users will be just fine with LR as their catalog solution - at least until they run into some kind of problem and want help sorting things out. Hopefuly this gets better relatively quickly, but as anyne can tell from the Public Beta of LR2, there have not been major strides forward in file handling.

Im currently writing the next book, but delivery date will not be until sometime net year.

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 11:10:05 AM »

Just to chime in here...

I work on very large volumes of images for a lifestyle/advertising photographer....sometimes 3000-5000 shot in one day.  Images are divided into subfolders for each of the day's shots.  Each folder usually holds between 400-1100 images.  For me, working on Windows XP machines with more than adequate hardware, Bridge CS3's current version is too slow to be usable. 

I started using Lightroom as a stand in for bridge, and all of my problems have gone away.  For me, waiting for Bridge to build the cache of thumbnails was just as time consuming as waiting for LR to import and build previews...but it was less predictable.  It would get 20-30% through building the cache for a folder and then just hang and never wake up.  LR never has this problem.

For speed reasons, I configure LR to _not_ immediately write changes to XMP metadata.  I make all my changes, and use the 'Metadata -> Save Metadata to Files' option to push changes to XMP all at once.

So the abbreviated version of my workflow is:

1)   Return from a shoot with a hard drive of CR2 raw images organized into subfolders by day number and shot number (i.e. day01 -> shot01, day01 -> shot02, etc)
2)   Copy the entire directory structure to a our server
3)   Photographer rates in PhotoMechanic, changes are written to XMP.  This is mostly because she likes to edit right away
4)   Import shoot into a new LR catalog saved locally on my machine, build standard size (1680px, medium quality) previews.  Apply bulk metadata using the LR importer.
5)   Start with day01 -> shot01
6)   Bulk color balance from color card
7)   Filter by photographer's rating, apply more specific bulk adjustments to selects
Cool   Start export of 72dpi, sRGB proofs for shot01
9)   Immediately continue to steps 5-7 for shot02
10) When proofs have been delivered to client via our website, select all images in the catalog and save metadata to files
11) Use Adobe DNG converter to build DNGs with full size previews and preserve subfolders, simultaneously importing into XM2.  DNGs are built into a directory structure based on hard drive sized buckets and backed up.
12) Use XM2 to locate and tag client selects as they come in (over a period of days to weeks later).  At this point, the CR2 files and the LR catalog are deleted.
13) Use the 'open with photoshop' option to open the files with ACR.  Use ACR's 'save' option to save the files as .psd to a working directory.  Process with Photoshop and deliver.

That's the quick and dirty.  Basically, using LR to cut out Bridge is the best thing that's happened to our workflow since the DAM book. Smiley

« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 11:12:19 AM by andris » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008, 10:52:50 AM »

Im currently writing the next book, but delivery date will not be until sometime net year.

That's the best news I've heard in quite some time ... can't wait to get a copy ... Thanks Peter
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