Workflow Question & Answer

June 23rd, 2007

I think I may start doing a weekly, maybe even daily, question and answer post. But for now here’s a question from Andy. He asks:

“What’s your typical digital work flow? From CF card to finished piece ready for print.”

I work on an Apple Mac Pro so my work flow is lean and mean to say the least. In the past I’ve been troubled by working on a PC but now that I’ve made the switch, I feel as if nothing really stands in the way of my work flow. Moving onto my process, I’ll run through some of my work flow steps briefly.

1. When I get to my station I tend to close all of my applications and pop the card into my SanDisk reader and open up Aperture. To import quickly I use the quick import shortcut (CTRL + I) to import the items directly into the library. I like to keep organized so I make a new album and continue importing.

2. Once all of the photos are fully imported, I’m ready to skim through and rate images. I rate the images from one star to five stars. One star being the good, five stars being the excellent. Once I’ve rated all of the images, I tell Aperture to select all of my five Star (sometimes 4 star) photos in a selection area for the next step in the process.

3. With a larger number of photos–sports–I like to organize them into groups/stacks (I.e. tackles, kicks, catches). With portraits I tend to organize by full, half or head shots. This is a huge way to cut down on time trying to decide which shots are best to use (time management).

4. After sorting, rating and stacking, I then begin color correction and other post work that might need to be done.

5. After post-processing is done, I can finally select the images to export at full quality TIFF’s or JPEG’s and designate the sizes for the printer. I just leave my PPI (Pixels Per Inch) at 300 for best print out quality.

Andy also asked me:

“What’s your preferred method of long term storage for your digital images?”

I would have to go with Hard drives. Even though its not the safest storage option, it is the most convenient for me. I backup all of my photos onto Aperture’s Vault system and maintain backups elsewhere. See my post about backing up your work.

Posted by on 06/23/07 in Photography, Workflow

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