The Photographer’s Workflow

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You have reached the archive of articles posted on my personal blog. This blog is no longer updated, but you can read my latest articles at my new website The Creative Photographer and find my photography ebooks at my new store.

Thanks for reading! Andrew.

The Photographer's Workflow by Gavin Gough

The Photographer’s Workflow, an ebook written by Gavin Gough, is on special here for one week only. Click here for full details.

I’ve been using Lightroom for several years now to manage and process my photo files. Over the years my photo collection has grown and I now have over 55,000 Raw files. With so many files on hand organising, searching, viewing and comparing images has become as important to me as processing them.

How much has image editing evolved over the years? I first used Photoshop when I studied photography at college in the late nineties. We had one computer between ninety students, a film scanner and an outdated version of Photoshop (that computer still had Photoshop 2 on it after the release of Photoshop 4 – keeping the software up to date was never a priority for the college). Digital SLRs were an abstract concept and if any of the tutors knew what a Raw file was no-one bothered to tell the students about them (okay, that’s a bit harsh – I don’t think Raw files had even been invented).

Back then file management consisted of finding a place to store your photos after scanning them. I used a 3.5 inch floppy disk – in fact, probably more than one as storage was limited to 1.44Mb. We were encouraged to use Iomega zip drives (an obsolete storage device with more space), although I don’t know if anybody did because they were fairly expensive. Eventually I bought my own computer to use (with a ‘massive’ 4GB internal hard-drive) and then a film scanner and taught myself to use Photoshop. Then, as my image collection grew, I installed a CD-Rom drive (no, CD writers didn’t come as standard back when I bought that computer) and started using CDs as backup. That didn’t work out well – I have a pile of unreadable CD’s somewhere to attest to that.

I bought my first digital SLR in 2006. I started shooting Raw and backing up Raw files to DVD when my laptop ran out of hard drive space. DVDs aren’t much more reliable than CDs but luckily I realised and made the switch to using external hard drives. In those early days I didn’t give much thought to Raw file management – I used either Canon’s DPP or Adobe Camera Raw to process the Raw files and save them as 16 bit TIFF files that I then edited in Photoshop CS. The result? Unorganised folders full of processed and half-processed TIFF files. And the mess just got bigger as I took more photos.

Then a few years ago I bought Lightroom – and my problems were solved. The more I use Lightroom the more I appreciate the Library module and its capacity for organising my images. Organisation saves time and makes the tasks of backing up, editing and post-processing much simpler than they used to be. I’m going to write more about this over the coming months, but in the meantime, if you want to learn more about using Lightroom as a workflow tool, then this is for you:

Deal: The Photographer’s Workflow

The Photographer's Workflow by Gavin Gough

The Photographer’s Workflow is an ebook written by Gavin Gough, a photographer who I’ve long admired. It’s a complete guide to using Lightroom as the basis for an entire system of storing, backing up, organising and processing your photo files.

Gavin is letting me offer it to you at a discounted price for one week only – click here for the full details and to grab yourself a copy.

The Photographer's Workflow

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