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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Digital postprocessing & workflow (Public) topic #64018
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Subject: "Opportunity for New Workflow" Previous topic | Next topic
Fried Registered since 15th Jul 2003Fri 26-Feb-10 05:26 PM
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"Opportunity for New Workflow"


Dallas, US
          

Hello Everyone

New Lightroom user, experienced Bridge+Photoshop user. I shoot competitive sailing events. In search of more speed-to-completion and simplicity.

I am also undertaking a major redesign and redeployment of my website and this will necessitate making new JPEGS for my entire catalog (approx 15,000 images). So this gives me a great opportunity to rethink my post processing. Ideally, I'd like to use this rebuild exercise to develop and get comfortable with a new workflow I can use at future events. I'm also going to use it to implement a standard file naming convention and set of keywords, and clean up some old work.

So I need:
A. A LR workflow that goes back to the original NEF but keeps the old ACR adjustments (at least the crop and level) so I can generate my new JPEGS with a minimum of rework
B. A new LR-based workflow for future events to replace my existing workflow. A significantly FASTER one!

Current workflow consists of:

At the event:
1. Shoot in RAW
2. Transfer RAW files from CF card to laptop "work in process" folder using OS. There are usually 800-1200 images
3. Open Bridge and let it build it's cache (XMP sidecars)
4. Rename all files with an event tag and sequence #
5. View each image in slideshow mode, giving "keepers" a 2-star rating (there are usually 80-150 of these)
6. Open groups of the keepers in ACR, depending on lighting, etc
7. Adjust WB, exposure, level and crop, some shadow recovery, spot removal etc
8. Click on Done for that group; loop through groups of keepers until all are "finished"
9. From Bridge, launch a PS CS4 action that: applies a moderate smart sharpen, noise ninja, saves as PSD in one folder, saves as fixed-size JPEG in another (this was the mistake I'm now having to go back and remedy; I should have been creating full-size JPEG as well along the way)
10. Upload JPEG online, keep PSD on laptop as needed for hi rez publication/printing
When I get home:
1. Delete the rejected NEFs (I've never regretted this; there are tons of rejects in this line of photography)
2. Transfer the "work in process" folders to my RAID5, backup to tape
3. Compare all folder sizes, preview all files on RAID5 in Bridge, then delete off laptop

I could, of course, simply rerun the PSD files through PS and make full resolution JPEGS. BUT...

I have the latest version of Lightroom and just finished Kelby's LR book. It looks promising. A little worried about LR catalog being the mother lode. Nevertheless, I'm excited about trying a new approach/application but I've earned so many bruises with PS+Bridge over the past 6 years I'm very reluctant to leap off this cliff. Adobe software has punished me too many times.

Fried Elliott * Dallas TX USA * www.friedbits.com
"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera"

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Opportunity for New Workflow
Fried
27th Feb 2010
1
Reply message RE: Opportunity for New Workflow
pdekman Gold Member
27th Feb 2010
2
Reply message RE: Opportunity for New Workflow
Fried
27th Feb 2010
3
Reply message RE: Opportunity for New Workflow
Fried
28th Feb 2010
4
     Reply message RE: Opportunity for New Workflow
KJvO
27th Nov 2011
5

Fried Registered since 15th Jul 2003Sat 27-Feb-10 06:18 PM
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#1. "RE: Opportunity for New Workflow"
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 27-Feb-10 06:22 PM by Fried

Dallas, US
          

An update...

I've done some preliminary speed testing using Lightroom. The Import function, while perhaps faster than Bridge, at least gives you a reliable progress meter, which is a definite improvement. However, it is still slow. On my laptop, importing from disk, it is approx 1.8 sec/image and then the preview generation runs after that. And I have a SOA laptop.

Here is the central issue. When I shoot on-the-water sailing, I can come back with 800-1200 images. Of these, 80-150 are going to be kept. I could elaborate as to why the yields are so low but my yields are pretty high when compared to other marine photographers.

In any case, the task is to get a good full resolution look at these 1000 images as quickly as possible and get down to the 80-150 that go forward. In the past, I've been:
1. Copying the entire CF card onto the laptop
2. Launching Bridge at that folder while I go get something to eat
3. View and rank in full-screen slideshow mode
4. Go forward with the ranked
5. Delete the rest

It usually takes me 20-30 minutes to go through the 1000 on step 3. However, to get to that step, takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes. Lightroom doesn't seem to get me there any faster. So this morning I googled "fast RAW viewer"... and happiness and light entered my day.

With tears of joy streaming down my face, I give you "Fast Picture Viewer".
http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/

It is simply phenomenal. I've been doing some testing viewing RAW files direct off my CF card. I really can't tell I'm not viewing off the hard drive. You view, using the arrow keys, the zoom/pan is instantaneous, and you can rank and "keep". The "keep" function is transparent to the viewing experience. You tell it once where you want "keepers" copied, and then whenever you hit the "k" key when viewing an image, and it copies the file to your destination in the background. So I've eliminated steps 1, 2 & 5 above. I simply plug in the CF card, "keep" the ones I want, and get to work on those in Lightroom.

Next Test: Setting up the "keepers" folder as a Lightroom Auto Import folder. I want to see if the import function running in the background impacts Viewer performance. If not, then by the time I've "kept" the ones I want, Lightroom will be ready to Develop, eliminating yet another delay.

CAVEAT... If you are intensely concerned about file integrity, this work flow may not be in your comfort zone. In my case, I'm working against deadline (or a lack of sleep). I need to get these photos out asap. After having "slept" on the day's shoot, I very occasionally go back and look at something, but rarely. In any case, this work flow doesn't destroy the original NEFs on the CF card so I can always copy the contents into a backup the next morning or sometime before I format the card for the next shoot. Or I could just get some more CF cards and cycle them in an every-other-day pattern.



Fried Elliott * Dallas TX USA * www.friedbits.com
"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera"

  

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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows. Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005Sat 27-Feb-10 09:01 PM
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#2. "RE: Opportunity for New Workflow"
In response to Reply # 1


Swisher, US
          

Fried -

I was going to recommend shooting RAW+JPEG and utilize the JPEG to view/sort/cull. I know nothing about Fast Picture Viewer, but it may be using the embedded jpg in the NEF file to allow you to sort and view quickly. Either way, it gets you what you need without the additional file. Many here will recommend Photo Mechanic as the premiere solution for this - i've not used it though.

As for the new workflow, it appears you're doing your research and using LR as it was designed. Make good use of the defaults to fine-tune your starting point (color mode, ISO-dependent sharpening, etc). Then, make some develop presets for any common needs or similar shots. When working on similar photos, I keep 'AutoSync' enabled, select image groups on the filmstrip and apply develop edits on a representative image. Very fast.

Export presets, naming templates, etc. will all be very useful to organize your final output.

Paul
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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Fried Registered since 15th Jul 2003Sat 27-Feb-10 09:05 PM
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#3. "RE: Opportunity for New Workflow"
In response to Reply # 2


Dallas, US
          

Thanks for the tips! I'll look more carefully at auto sync. It sounds similar to what I've been doing manually working on groups in Bridge ACR.

Fast Picture Viewer is rendering the RAW direct, not the JPEG. I've been using it all day now and it's amazing. I tried Photo Mechanic in 2008 and was not impressed. There is a great deal to say for very lean code that does exactly what you want and no more. Unfortunately, much of Adobe's products are far too heavy.


Fried Elliott * Dallas TX USA * www.friedbits.com
"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera"

  

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Fried Registered since 15th Jul 2003Sun 28-Feb-10 02:44 PM
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#4. "RE: Opportunity for New Workflow"
In response to Reply # 1


Dallas, US
          

I did some testing with the "watched folder" and auto import feature of Lightroom. It often locks up the computer at times while it is busy doing something in the background, a characteristic of much Adobe software. It also doesn't support the entire feature set of regular import under "auto import". For example, you cannot convert to DNG during import.

Yet another example of an Adobe feature that doesn't perform well in a production environment. I often wonder if the Adobe developers ever use their stuff under real-world conditions.

Fried Elliott * Dallas TX USA * www.friedbits.com
"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera"

  

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KJvO Registered since 03rd Aug 2009Sun 27-Nov-11 03:36 PM
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#5. "RE: Opportunity for New Workflow"
In response to Reply # 4


NL
          

I use Lightroom in the same manner and quantity but for swimming, because of the long time it take to process the RAW images I use the jpg instead (I shoot in both). I use this for social media and fast website publishing. When I have more time I process the raw files and use a plugin to sync these with the jpg (tags, labels and rating)
I think I have the best of both worlds in this way.

Kees-Jan

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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