My workflow with Adobe Lightroom

My workflow and Everything I do after taking images and before sending to my clients.

I import my RAW or JPG images with a fire-wire card-reader to the computer by dragging the folder from the camera to the folder “Photo-import” on my hard-drive. I rename the folder with it’s date and subject. This looks like: “2009-03-29 subject name”. After this I start up Lightroom and import the entire folder into Adobe Lightroom. The import settings in Lightroom are: Convert the RAW images to DNG and copy the images to my external drive called Photo’s. Place the folder in it’s original name into the folder of the recording year. This looks like this: “Ext.HD” – “Images” – “2009” – “2009-03-29 subject name”. Now I already have a backup of the original images on the computer hard-drive and this allows me to safely erase the memory-card if speed is necessary.

I batch rename all images by replacing DSC (Placed there by the camera) with the subjects name, while leaving the continuos number intact (Something like “Landscape 1254.DNG”. I ad the captions and image titles.

Now I boot up my backup drive and backup the external drive called Photo’s. I disconnect the backup drive and continue working in Lightroom.

I continue with making selections by giving the images red labels. I switch on the filter for the colour label red and only see the selected images. Now I start a second and final selection by removing the red lables from the rejects. The images in the final selection are awarded with three stars (To make sure that I can select them easily with a filtersetting with 3 stars after removing the colour label).

The selected images are being edited in Lightroom and/ or exported to Photoshop and edited. The settings for exporting to Photoshop are: 8 bits TIFF with LZW compression to save space on my drives. After editing the image I remove the red label. When finished editing all the selected images I turn off the Red filter setting and choose all images with 3 stars (Click on 3 stars in the filter settings). These are the finished images and ready to export and sending to my costumers.

I make another backup to the backup drive and after a month or whenever I’m sure that everything has gone well (Satisfied costumer) I remove the folder with the original NEF files from the computers hard-drive.

The reason I use one external drive to store all images and another one as a backup is that after the drive is almost full I buy a new and bigger one (well two actually because the backup is of the same size) and replace the older one. There are two advantages on this system:

  1. The drive that contains the images is being used and therefore I’m always aware of the fact that it’s functioning as it should. A drive that is being stored has a chance of being broken without you even noticing it and then it’s probably too late.
  2. Should my computer brake down I can take my drives to another computer and start working again.

Notes:

  • In the past I used iView Media Pro in the workflow. But since they where taken over by Microsoft I couldn’t bring myself to upgrade. I don’t trust anything that Microsoft makes and therefore I had no choice other than to choose for a different Database system.
  • I didn’t choose Aperture for the simple fact that I don’t believe that Apple will continue this software in the future (Making software is not their core business). Adobe is specialised in photo software and therefore can be trusted to continue and support this software for a very long period of time. I don’t want to even think about exporting all images from one database to another (You lose all RAW settings).
  • I import the images as DNG instead of the original Nikon NEF files to avoid incompatibility in the future.