A couple of people have asked about my photograpy & blogging workflow so I thought I'd offer a brief overview.
On the hardware side, I shoot mainly with my Nikon D40 but will occasionally use my iPhone or point-and-shoot Canon. I have a Garmin 60CSx GPS — powerful enough to get a signal even in the deepest woods — for recording track logs. In addition to the 60CSx I also have a Garmin Forerunner 305 which I use on occasion, mainly for running and cycling. I write and manage the photos on a MacBook Pro.
I do all my photo editing with Adobe's awesome Lightroom. For a year or so iView (later Microsoft's Expression Media) managed my photos but Lr can handle both non-destructive editing and photo cataloging. I make heavy use of keywords and other metadata so I can find photos easily later.
To aid in geo-metadata management I use Ascent for syncing my GPS with the computer — it manages my racing and training data too. GPSPhotoLinker marries the photos downloaded in Lr with the gpx data from Ascent.
If you're still with me, here's a more detailed timeline of my workflow.
In the field
- Turn on the GPS and establish a strong signal. Sync the clock on the camera with the GPS to make the linking of the tracks and photographs more accurate. I find the D40 clock runs quite fast and so I re-sync just about every time I shoot.
- Make sure the memory card has been re-formatted. I reformat before every session.
- Shoot. I try to carry a tripod but it doesn't always happen and I have no VR lens so I often will shoot 4-5 photographs in sequence — one or more of which is usually sharp enough.
- Have fun. I most enjoy capturing my daughter as she grows up but I like to lay stomach-to-the-ground in the mud to photograph a mushroom too!
Archiving & Tagging
Most people seem to dislike the process of meta-tagging and editing but I enjoy it.
- Download the GPS tracks to the computer using Ascent and export the tracks to a gpx file. Sometimes I don't have a GPS track log so I skip this step but more and more frequently I do.
- Download the photographs from the camera using Lr. I download all new photographs into an
Incomingdirectory separate from the tagged and archived structure in which they will eventually be placed. Lr doesn't delete the photos from the card so I now have two copies of the photos: one on the computer, one on the card (that's why I reformat before every shoot).
- Drag the gpx file and the files from Lr into GPSPhotoLinker, map a few photos to make sure the time and place agree and batch tag the photos.
- Reload the metadata from the photos in Lr and continue tagging with keywords. I use the hierarchical keyword feature of Lr to tag People, Event and other keyword metadata extensively.
- Run through the photos in Lr and remove all the rejects and duplicates. On a typical weekend outing to the beach I'll shoot about 400 photographs but keep around 150-200. I don't know if this is typical but I'm getting faster and faster at culling so this often means I'll get a few photos I really like.
- Now the time consuming part, for all the photos I want to keep, begin making adjustments to color, exposure, crop, whatever.
Some photos require more work such as this photo in the farm stand under really bizarre lighting. I also took the liberty to crop out some needless components (mouse-over to see the changes).
- All of the keepers are moved within Lr to a directory matching their
Year/Monthand renamed accordingly in sequence. Since I make extensive use of metatags the actual directory structure is less important than other workflow schemes I've seen.
- Export to SmugMug the best of the keepers, or if of my daughter everything I have — sometimes with jfriedl's plugin, other times with pysmug.
- Backup. At this point I have a copy on the card, computer, SmugMug and external hard drive.
After all the photographic bits are done I will occasionally blog about where we went and what we did.
Then I post, then you enjoy … I hope. Thanks for reading.