Digital Photography Workflow

Digital Photo Workflow Updated 21 August 2007

1. Capture – digital camera (or film scan)
– For D-SLR, capture in RAW if possible
– If capturing JPG be sure quality, color space and white balance settings are optimal
– Ensure correct exposure and focus – bracket as necessary

2. Ingest – transfer files to computer
– Automate as much as possible
– Adobe Lightroom, Photo Downloader, Bridge etc.
– Rename files on ingestion
– Convert Camera RAW files to Adobe DNG (optional but highly recommended)
– Make a backup immediately
– Reformat card in the camera after confirming transfer and backup

3. Add Metadata
– During ingestion if possible; enhance during editing
– Copyright notice and keywords at minimum
– Camera RAW files will use sidecar files for metadata
– DNG, JPG, PSD and TIF metadata is embedded in the file

4. Review/Edit
– Lightroom, Bridge, Expression Media, iView Media Pro, Elements Organizer
– Sort and compare
– Flagging, Rating, Labeling etc.
– Enhance custom metadata as appropriate
– Make Collections

5. Process Selects
– RAW/DNG converter – do as much processing as possible before conversion
– For JPG originals: Save As PSD before working on the file (never resave over a JPG)
– save Master File (TIF or PSD) at native resolution

6. Work the Master File
– Work on file at native resolution – no resampling until print time
– Crop (if necessary)
– Capture sharpen
– Adjustment Layers: Levels, Curves, Hue & Saturation etc.
– Dodge and burn
– Creative sharpening
– Retouching

7. Prepare for Printing
– Soft-proof and make adjustments – save in Master file
– Resize for print
– Sharpen for Print

8. Print
– Print from Photoshop or Lightroom with color management disabled in printer driver
– Photoshop (or Lightroom) Manages Color; use the same rendering intent used during soft-proofing
– Use correct ICC profile for selected printer/paper combination
– View finished prints in controlled lighting conditions – SoLux bulbs
– Apply protective coating – PremierArt Print Shield
– For canvas prints apply Breathing Color Glamour II Giclee Veneer
– Store prints in poly bags
– Keep out of direct sunlight

9. Share
– Generate slideshows and web galleries using Lightroom or Bridge

10. Backup and Archive
– Keep multiple copies; store permanent archives offsite
– Backups are routinely updated (synchronized); archives are permanent

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