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Thread: Lightroom - Best/Good Workflow - Best Practices?

  1. #1
    Member birdie's Avatar
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    19 Dec 2008
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    Lightroom - Best/Good Workflow - Best Practices?

    I'm a lightroom user, but I don't use it to the full extent yet... I don't use the keywording, I don't rate my photos, I don't use collections... I basically just import my photos, and then tweak the ones I want in the Develop Module and then Export them as JPEG to upload to the net or send off for printing and that's about it...

    Now I want to start learning the Best/A Good Workflow using all/a lot of the features including keywords, rating, collections, etc and learn the best practices...

    There's two reasons for this, I want to get more efficent at Lightroom, and second later this year my local photography club have asked me to do a talk/workshop on Lightroom, so i thought I'd better start learning a good workflow so that I can teach the other members that rather than my dodgy poor workflow...

    Are there any good websites I should check out about this, or books that you'd recommend?

    I realise Lightroom 3 is getting close to dropping so I'd probably prefer not to buy a book at this stage which won't be up to date as soon as Lightroom 3 is released... and it'll be whatever the latest version is at the time when i do the talk i'll be showing...

    I've read a few tutorials where they copy the photos from the memory card to a folder on the computer manually and then import into lightroom...

    Is there any benefits in this method?

    The way i do it is, i simply use lightroom to import directly from my card in the card reader, and i let lightroom mange the files and stores them by date (folder for year, then sub folder for year-month-day)

    is there any reason not to do it this way?

  2. #2
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    16 Nov 2009
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    I guess most people have their own workflow that works well for them. I've developed mine through a mix of websites and books on Lightroom and Digital Asset Management. It's not perfect and may not suit you but I'll go through it and you can make up your own mind.

    My goal from this process is to have a catalog of images, where I can find an individual image at any time, and where they are in a state ready to be exported or printed.

    1. Import the images from the card. I set up a new folder for each import with the date in yymmdd format - this makes sure that the folders will always be in order in my pictures folder. You can just let lightroom manage the dates, I don't think it matters too much, but you need to have good keywording to be able to find images amongst thousands of others.

    When importing the images, I also create a backup to an external HD, and my primary HD is backed up to a separate external drive. That should give me three copies of the raw files. I import in .dng format, and the copy to the external HD is .CR2

    2. Highlight all the images in the import and assign them the colour red. When I edit images I remove the red colour. That way I always know which images in my catalog haven't been edited yet.

    3. Go through the images and assign any obvious images to delete the colour blue. Then filter the blue images and delete them.

    4. Go through and keyword the images. I use 4 broad sets of keywords - Location, People, Events and Subjects. Every image gets at least a location keyword, and 99% will get keywords from the other categories. Where possible I try to assign the keywords at the import stage, so this step is ofter just adding to those.

    5. The editing process. Starting with batch adjustments for all shots ie if WB needs to be altered on a batch of images, then global and local adjustments for each image. At this point if I'm finished with the image I'll give it a rating and remove the red colour. If I'm going to take it into Photoshop or Photomatix at a later time I'll mark it as green. I'll usually do all the Photoshop work on a group of images after I'm finished with LR.

    6. Do any work needed on external editors and save those files back into LR, stacked with the originals.

    There are a lot of good websites and books that can help with the process. I found this book to be really useful in helping put together a good workflow, regardless of the software you are using.

    LIghtroom Killer Tips is a great site for developing a workflow specific to Lightroom.

    Hope that's helpful, and I'm sure others can provide suggestions for improvements.

    Canon 5DII, 40D, some lenses, and some other stuff.

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