As many would have already known, I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as a major part of my photography workflow. I believe that maintaining a basic workflow working with hundreds if not thousands of pictures helps a photographer to stay sane.
A basic workflow would including from importing the digital files to storage, post-processing, and finally producing the end result. I strongly believe that backup of the digital files and media should also be included in the workflow itself as it is critical to keep a copy in the situation when the working copy is no longer available.Step One Importing Importing from the media card to a hard disk would be the first essential step. Especially when you will be working on several media cards, importing it to a hard drive attached to your computer would make organizing and sorting much more easier. I employ a system where I group all my pictures based on dates and shoots. This way, it makes searching for a particular photo from a particular event much more easier.
During import, I also apply a preset Metadata and keywords during import. I also sometimes prefer to set Render Previews to 1:1 to ease the loading time during sort.
Step Two Organizing Due to the nature of my work, I sometimes shoot with up to three camera bodies. This is essential especially to capture the critical moments without wasting that split second changing lenses. On the camera body, both the time and date is synchronized to the second. In Lightroom, the images are arranged based on capture time.
Step Three The Mistakes Before anything else, I quickly scroll through the images that I have imported and delete any images that are obviously mistakes. In Grid mode, the ones that are solid black, or shots that I have accidently took are removed. Medias are so inexpensive nowadays that I just flag them as Reject (X on the keyboard) without actually deleting them.
Step Four Creating a ‘Full Shoot’ Collection I create a collection set for a more complex shoot, like a wedding for example. Now that the bad ones are out of the way, I Select All (Ctrl + N on PC, Command + N on Mac) and put all the photos into a Collection. I make this Collection as part the Collection Set that I have created.
Step Five The Winner Looking at thumbnails can be deceiving. For this, I enlarge the size to fill my screen (Spacebar on the keyboard, or double click with the mouse). I press Shift + Tab to hide all the panels, and L twice for “Light Out”. This puts the photo at the center of the screen with a black background around my photo. I also press F twice to toggle full screen mode. I use the left-right key on my keyboard (or tablet if you have configured it) to mark the photos that I have missed when looking at thumbnails. I usually use the ‘Pass’ (P on keyboard) to select the winners.
Step Six The Best Shots Using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom filtering system, I turn on the filter to show only the ones that I have marked. I put these into a Collection which I named ‘Picks’ into the Collection Set.
Step Seven Best of The Best I do not practise sending clients all the good photos. I rather pick and do some photo editing and send them the best of the best. Sometimes there are a series of burst shots, this is the time where I pick the best out of it. I turn the filter on again to show those that I have marked. I put these into a Collection which I named ‘Select’ into the Collection Set. Now I have 3 Collections
- Full Shoot (without the bad images)
- Picks (winners)
- Select (what the client will see)
Once I am happy with what I have selected, I start on by working on the photos. By this time, I disabled the ‘Light Out’ mode so that my panels are visible. I work entirely on Develop module as it is easier to gauge by looking at the values and sliders. During this process, I crop, adjust the colors, White Balance, Exposure and Highlights. I also apply Noise Reduction and Lens Correction when necessary.
How is this working out for me:-
- If I want to see everything that I have shot, I click “Full shoot”
- If I want to see the good shots, I click “Picks”
- If I want to see what I am sending to the client, I click “Select”