I have been wanting to do this blog for a while. You see no one really told me when I first started out any particularly good file workflow. As I have stumbled thru different attempts I have evolved to something logical and repeatable, and thought it might help out a fellow photographer or two….
First, It goes without saying you need to ingest your images into your computer with a date naming convention for the folder and the contents. In the example above, 20100627 is the date of the shoot, 01149 is the image number for the day, and NY is the state and Rhinebeck is the subject. That is simple and basic….And I think a lot of people are doing that or something similar…Next you’ll have all your Images in a big old Master Hard drive somewhere….But perhaps the day will come when you’ll evolve to bring them out from your vault to answer the Million dollar question. What are you going to do with those Images ???
Answer: SHARE THEM.
So let’s establish a work flow to get only those special Images that you want to share, out into the world .
Start a Blog, Gallery, Flicker, Google+, but your on the right path…do something with those beauties….
- You are going to be around for awhile.. so your first set of folders will be YEARS
- You subFolder will be your post date and description i.e. 02/01/12 Rhinebeck TP Slicing
- You now are going to create three subfolders
Subfolder 1: Source
This is a copy of your original NEF. There is not debating that Capture NX2 has the Nikon secret sauce for Raw conversion so open your NEF and save to SOURCE Folder, then save as TIFF and also save to Source folder. The TIFF has baked in raw settings such as sharpening,White Balancing and Picture Control; i.e. Vivid, Standard, Neutral. I then open up the TIFF in PS5, I usually forgo going into ACR, but I may if only to tweak a bit further. I just keep in mind that I have already baked in a few parameters in NX2.
Subfolder 2: Working
After I open the Image in Photoshop I’ll save immediately to the working folder, usually as a large document format .PSB. If I have created any Lab color saturation Photoshop files or HDR conversions, or image harvesting, alignment etc,etc it all goes here. If I want to get to my working files, I know where and what they they are by using prefix, i.e. LAB_xxxx, HDR_xxxxx
Subfolder 3; Share
- This is the fun part…where do your share your images. I suggest that you find a few places and create specific folders. In my case, because I goto the web, I created an action to resize and save as sRGB, 8bit, Jpeg. and put that in a PREWEB folder.
- Then I open up that image and process it thru the Photoshop’s Save for Web, why? more secret sauce and optimization and compression and it strips metadata about all your image info from prying eyes.. I then rename the file with its web posting title and save that in the WEB folder.
- There is more sharing of coarse, I have another action for setting up parameters for the Image to go to my Gallery Folder,
- Then finally Images that are printed go into the PRINT folder as flattened PSD with the size LXW in the name……..
That’s it…..1. Source, 2. Working 3. Share it could not be any simpler and you’ll soon be able to rapidly go to a specific Image in your workflow in a moments notice…
Extra Credit: Photoshop – File/Save for Web – Highlighted arrows are my settings-