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Author Topic: Need input on reworking my workflow  (Read 7378 times)
timhoke
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« on: June 30, 2010, 10:07:15 AM »

About 2 ½ - 3 years ago I was shooting JPEG with my Canon Digital Rebel and using iPhoto.  At the time I was outgrowing iPhoto and also experienced an HDD failure.  I lost a couple of months of photos (due to out-of-date backups) and have been hyper-critical of photo storage/backups ever since.  This is where The DAM book (1st edition) entered… I needed to get setup fast and I adopted the ImageIngesterPro (IIP)/Bridge (CS3)/iView Media workflow Peter outlined in the book.

I’ve been using this workflow, but it just doesn’t quite suit what I need I don’t think.  I suspect that I’m over-complicating this for how I need to work.  Here’s the details:

We have two cameras in the family.  Primary is now a Canon 7D, shooting RAW (CR2) (used to be a Digital Rebel [original] shooting CRW).  Secondary is a Canon PowerShot SD200 (obviously shooting JPEG).

We shoot mostly “snapshots”, family events, vacations, etc.  I aspire to do more, but just don’t have time.

My primary machine is a late-2009 iMac.  My working files are internal.  The primary archive and backup/offsite drives are externally connected via FW.  I have an old PowerBook which I occasionally use remotely, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to cut it anymore moving forward (it’s likely to get replaced with a MacBook Pro at some point though).

As for image “destinations”, regardless of image type (raw or jpeg) there are three primary places:
1. Print 4x6/4x5.3 via “photo lab” for my wife to put in albums
2. Best images (most likely aligning with those which are selected to print) are uploaded to online photo service for sharing
3. Occasionally print at home via consumer grade ink jet printer
4. This goes without saying… Archive/Catalog “most things” (i.e. that which wasn’t rejected/deleted during workflow) for future review/printing/etc

Some other points:
1. I don’t really make use of Photoshop today to do any post-processing above what happens in ACR (via Bridge).
2. Volume of photos is very sporadic.  For family events, there’s a moderate amount.  For vacations, it can be several hundred, up-to 1000 or so.
3. I’ve never had a good feeling of how raw and jpeg handling flow together (or don’t).
4. I’d like to revisit my older images and get them better organized/cataloged.  This includes my pre-HDD Failure images (all jpeg) and my mix of raw/jpeg images since then.
5. Video… I’ve got a stack of non-HD DV tapes I need to work on and with the 7D, I’ve now got video capabilities (which I don’t use today, but I’m sure I will at some point soon)

My challenge and why I’m here today…

My 7D raw format isn’t supported with CS3.  Therefore, I need to do something to address that.  Here are my options as I see it:

1. Convert to DNG on IIP ingestion and continue with my current workflow (except don’t convert to DNG after leaving Bridge)
2. Upgrade to CS5 and continue with my workflow
3. Change to a new application (Lightroom/Aperture) and new workflow

I’m strongly considering option 3 (in particular Lightroom).  Here’s the two options I’m considering for a workflow (and I’m in the process of testing):

Workflow A would be to essentially follow the “Batch Output Workflow” outlined at dpbestflow: http://dpbestflow.org/node/308#workflow

Workflow B is very similar to A.  Where it would likely differ is that I already own (and use) IIP.  I could continue to use IIP to perform the ingest, then just point Lightroom at the landing zone.

I could extend further and catalog with EM2, but I’m inclined to believe that adding EM2 will unnecessarily complicate my workflow.

Finally, the request for help…

First, what have I forgotten to mention that you want to know?
Second, what are your thoughts and recommendations?
Third, how does JPEG (from P&S) fit in this?

Thanks
-Tim
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2010, 11:38:01 AM »

Tim,
How many images in your existing collection?
Peter
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timhoke
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 01:13:23 PM »

Hmmm... Off the top of my head, I think I've got maybe 5000.  Iit could be more, but I can't imagine it's over 10K.  I'll double-check that tonight for sure and reply back.
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R. Neil Haugen
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 01:58:44 PM »

My 2¢ worth (and note, that may be overstating it!) is that from your comment that you never take things into Photoshop to modify them, only using Bridge/ACR combined with the size of your collection ... Lightroom may satisfy all your current needs. It will give you a vastly improved set of adjustment tools and some capability for nearly "automatically" sharing to several on-line service providers ... and it does do some of your DAM work. I use Lightroom as the front-end for going into the system, but it may be all you need.

Neil
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R Neil Haugen
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timhoke
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 06:28:18 PM »

The tally is in...

Old iPhotos ~= 10,000 (encompassing saving every image between 2003 and 2007 - so some rejects could be removed, but it's a small set)
New IIP/Bridge/EM2 images ~= 5,000 (2008 and newer)

My 2¢ worth (and note, that may be overstating it!) is that from your comment that you never take things into Photoshop to modify them, only using Bridge/ACR combined with the size of your collection ... Lightroom may satisfy all your current needs. It will give you a vastly improved set of adjustment tools and some capability for nearly "automatically" sharing to several on-line service providers ... and it does do some of your DAM work. I use Lightroom as the front-end for going into the system, but it may be all you need.

Neil

Thanks for the input Neil.

-Tim
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 03:01:33 PM »

Tim,
I agree with Neil that I'd try to do the whole thing with Lightroom.
Peter
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timhoke
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 11:51:04 AM »

Thanks for the input!

No one specifically commented on how JPEG fits in a Lightroom workflow.  However, doing some research/testing on my own, makes me think that I can simply insert JPEG into the same workflow as RAW.

So, Lightroom appears to be my winner!
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 12:21:10 PM »

Tim,
Yes, treat JPEGs roughly the same as raw.  except:

1. I suggest conversion to DNG for data validation purposes.  I would not yet do that to JPEGs.
2. Be more careful about how far you push those JPEGs.
Peter
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R. Neil Haugen
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 07:18:06 PM »

Peter,

Quick question: when you say you wouldn't convert JPEG's to DNG's yet, do you mean "yet" as in early in the workflow process or as in "not at all 'till 'something' changes"?

I've been wondering about changing some directories of ol' JPEG'S to DNG just for that validation ... so curious!

Neil
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2010, 09:26:41 PM »

NEil,
I'm still holding out hope that a future DNG revision will store the JPEG image data exactly as it is stored int he JPEG, rather than as the more TIFF-like way that it currently does. This would mean that the DNGs from JPEGs would be smaller.

I'm not sure what all the implications are for that. It could be that it would pose some kind of compatibility problem, if the source image data were stored with JPEG compression that is not part of the current spec.

The only real drawback to the current implementation is file size.  That will be an issue for some, but not for others.

Peter
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R. Neil Haugen
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2010, 12:17:38 PM »

Ahh, so your only objection to converting JPEG's to DNG's is one of increased file size, not a technical hitch of any kind. Thanks for the clarification!

Personally, as the collection has grown and "aged", all those early JPEG's have me a bit concerned ... I wouldn't mind going through at least the "important" ones and converting to DNG, doing a quick visual check in LR, and putting 'em back to bed just to get that hash in there. Seriously thinking about it!

Neil
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R Neil Haugen
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2010, 09:51:18 AM »

Neil,
Yes, the objection is only in file size.
I think using JPEG or TIFF in a parametric workflow is less than optimal.
Peter
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