Workflow and software suggestions please.


DaveR

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 11:52
I want to finally step into sorting out my image filing and develop my own workflow. I’m looking to do a greater number of professional shoots. So far I’ve dabbled a small amount with Adobe Camera Raw (from CS4). I shoot RAW with Pentax gear and use a Macbook Pro 17 inch. I shoot portraits, functions, macro, landscapes (including many sunsets). From my initial investigations it seems I need software that has a fast review mode (I like that function in Adobe bridge), good file organization, ability to add metadata and is non-destructive. It seems Aperture, Lightroom, Elements, Aftershot Pro have these features. Questions:
1) Do any of these have a fast easy to use review mode that handles lots of images to delete the obvious bad shots and rate the rest?
2) Is it just a matter of personal preference?
3) Am I likely to need Photoshop for sunsets etc. that have a wide dynamic range (I’ve heard of the blend mode in Photoshop) or will other programs handle these types of shots?
4) Any other suggestions please?


The basics: I've had much time behind a camera, not so much in front of a screen, a little time with ACR . I shoot RAW, landscape, macro, portraits, functions (sometimes lots of images), sunsets.
The gear: Pentax K-7 and fast glass etc. Macbook Pro 17", Aperture3 - hardly used yet.
The goals: Sort out my image filing/management. Develop an efficient workflow from card to basic adjustments to more complex editing, output/backups.
It seems from reading these forums and other places there are a few main contenders for software: Aperture, LR4, CS6 and maybe Gimp.
I'm anticipating my workflow might look like:
1) s/ware to download, add file names file and copy to external drive
2) review to delete obvious losers, rate others
3) add metadata (copyright, keywords etc.)
4) process images for basics like WB, exposure etc.
5) curves?
6) more advanced processing/editing for images with a large contrast range eg. sunsets
7) convert to TIFF?/Jpeg?
file and copy to ext. hard drive

Questions:
a) any suggestions/sites/tutorials to add to the above workflow? (I've heard of DIM 4.0 and Photo Mechanic).
b) I like the simplicity of the review mode in Bridge to delete losers, what software from the main contenders or elsewhere have a similar fast and simple review mode to delete and add ratings?
c) with processing software it seems from the 'side by side comparison' on this site the above contenders seem very similar in features. Price aside, is it mainly a matter of personal preference or are there any other significant differences? and any other software suggestions?
d) I've read that most processing/editing doesn't require CS6. Would I need it for i) dust removal? ii) the likes of large contrast range shots like sunsets (I've heard of the 'blend' mode being used for this)?
c) any other suggestions advice please?

Many thanks,
Dave.

cabstar

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 15:24
Lightroom I think is the best for this workflow, only thing you can't do in LR is curves adjustment but you can do specific adjustments.

The majority of your workflow you can automate in Lightroom so on import you can rename, insert metadata, backup elsewhere and then do selections by rating, pick or colour.

Finally export to social networking, file, print or book.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

cabstar

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 15:25
Oh and dust removal can be set n import too...

I only use cs6 for content aware tool now which is a waste considering e price of cs compared to LR.
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

SteveEveritt

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 15:32
I'm with CabStar on this.
I tend to have anywhere between 500-1000 photos to go through after a day at the kart track.
I tend to use a freebie called FastStone Viewer to sift out the obvious dross simply because it is much faster (on my PC) to flick through and view full size with a simple click on the picture (runs standalone on mem stick too). Then the rest in LR except any cloning out of dust spots or ugly backgrounds which I do in PSE10.
My Flickr link

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" (John Lennon)

Smeggypants

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 18:58
cabstar wrote:
Lightroom I think is the best for this workflow, only thing you can't do in LR is curves adjustment but you can do specific adjustments.

The majority of your workflow you can automate in Lightroom so on import you can rename, insert metadata, backup elsewhere and then do selections by rating, pick or colour.

Finally export to social networking, file, print or book.

Do you mean Tone Curves ?
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

cabstar

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 19:59
Yes, I am not aware of curves adjustment in Lightroom,,,,
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

bforbes

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 20:17
Lightroom 3 has a Tone Curve adjustment link
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young
.
Pentax K1 K5-IIS K-01 K20D A50/2 A50/1.7 DA10-17 DA18-250 DA18-135 DA18-55 DA300 DA40 DA50-135 DA50-200 DA55-300 DA70 F35-70 DFA150-450 FA20-35 FA100 FA135 FA35 FA28 FA43 FA50 FA77 K55/1.8 M135/3.5 M200/4 M28/3.5 M28/2.8 M40/2.8 Q 01 02 MX-1 I-10 Sigma 15 24 105 180 8-16 10-20 17-35 17-50/2.8 24-70 400/5.6MF Tamron 70-200/2.8 17/3.5MF 24/2.5MF 28/2.5MF 90/2.5MF


http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes

cabstar

Link Posted 27/10/2012 - 21:29
How did I miss that, guess the word tone threw me, I don't think I've ever even clicked that tab in Lightroom....


That's today's lesson for me
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

Smeggypants

Link Posted 28/10/2012 - 01:49
Just checking.... LR4 has Tone Curves for Red Blue and green as well as overall.


Indispensable for restoring old film scans.

I very very rarely use the tone curves for digital snaps
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

giofi

Link Posted 28/10/2012 - 09:46
Dave,

As you use a Mac Aperture is a worthwhile alternative, and price wise very reasonable (in euros it is 69.99)

Maybe you should download both Aperture and Lightroom and try them out, see which you feel better with and whether or not you need anything else on top of those?

You can find good Aperture hints for instance here
Giorgio

Pentax Photo Gallery

szgabor

Link Posted 28/10/2012 - 18:31
I agree with Giorgio. You should try them parallel to decide that which one is the most useful for you.
The Lightroom is a nice SW with nice features, but the Aperture has far better organazing features. And the Lift/Stamp feature is great to copy the settings (changes and EXIF, IPTC data) from a picture to another ones. You can use more curves tools with different settings and you can paint over the different areas of the picture with them. You can use the same method with almost all tools. So the Aperture is a really professional tool IMHO.
Regards,
Gábor
My website
My PPG site

Smeggypants

Link Posted 28/10/2012 - 18:38
szgabor wrote:
I agree with Giorgio. You should try them parallel to decide that which one is the most useful for you.
The Lightroom is a nice SW with nice features, but the Aperture has far better organazing features. And the Lift/Stamp feature is great to copy the settings (changes and EXIF, IPTC data) from a picture to another ones. You can use more curves tools with different settings and you can paint over the different areas of the picture with them. You can use the same method with almost all tools. So the Aperture is a really professional tool IMHO.

Interesting. Organisation of images is just as important to me as the editing is ....

What organising features of Aperture are far better than Lightroom?



.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283
Last Edited by Smeggypants on 28/10/2012 - 18:41

szgabor

Link Posted 28/10/2012 - 21:04
In AP you can store your images in folder/project/album/'light table' structures while in LR you can store your them in collections only.
I can put my pictures into projects that are created in folders (e.g. 2012/events/pony riding) and I can create virtual subfolders like album or light table.
Both aplications can handle virtual sets (Smart Collections in LR, Smart Albums in AP) with similar filtering capabilities.
In my opinion the organizing features are more sophisticated in AP.
Regards,
Gábor
My website
My PPG site

Smeggypants

Link Posted 28/10/2012 - 22:10
szgabor wrote:
In AP you can store your images in folder/project/album/'light table' structures while in LR you can store your them in collections only.
I can put my pictures into projects that are created in folders (e.g. 2012/events/pony riding) and I can create virtual subfolders like album or light table.
Both aplications can handle virtual sets (Smart Collections in LR, Smart Albums in AP) with similar filtering capabilities.
In my opinion the organizing features are more sophisticated in AP.

Thanks


I looked up what a light table was and while LR doesn't have that, it's something I'd ever use to be honest. Everything else LR can do suign it's collection and smart collections. I make extensive use of those.

The big handicap for Aperture of course is that it's Mac only ( Unless I'm mistaken? )
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283

szgabor

Link Posted 29/10/2012 - 05:49
Smeggypants wrote:
... I looked up what a light table was and while LR doesn't have that, it's something I'd ever use to be honest. Everything else LR can do suign it's collection and smart collections. I make extensive use of those. ...

Not exactly. The Smart Collections does similar like Smart Album in AP. The big difference is in the Collections, where the AP provides more features and more flexible structures.
Smeggypants wrote:
... The big handicap for Aperture of course is that it's Mac only ( Unless I'm mistaken? )

it's relative. I switched to Mac for Aperture. 3 years ago I should have to buy a new laptop and the Macbook Pro + Aperture had not so much higher price than a similar laptop with Windows and Lightroom. I did not mind the change.
Regards,
Gábor
My website
My PPG site
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