Photography capture workflow

I’ve been meaning to write this down for a long-time. Now seems as good a time as any to have a first-shot at documenting what I do.

I use three cameras. The main one is the Sony Alpha 700 – it uses Compact Flash cards but I usually transfer pictures off it using the USB cable. The everyday camera (used on walks as well) is my Panasonic Lumix TZ10 – it uses SD cards, but again I tend to use the cable for transfer pictures. I use it also for short video clips. It has an inbuilt GPS capability which I have switched-on. It’s worth noting that I have several Compact Flash and SD cards. I try NOT to delete any pictures from a card whilst away from the desktop machine, even if I’ve downloaded pictures to either the Mac Book Pro, or the iPad.

[Incidentally, the iPad with the Camera Connector kit works really well and is a good travelling companion with these two cameras.]

Finally I use my iPhone 4s for both pictures and video clips. I transfer them using Import Pictures and Videos from Windows to the PC. They are also uploaded to Google+ Photos by Instant Upload. I don’t sync photos with iTunes.

Pictures from the first two cameras are always imported into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (v.4) into a Folder for the Year, Sub-folder for the date residing in the My Pictures folder (which happens to be on my Removable Hard Disk (E) drive in Perseus (my dual-boot WinPC) – I plan to move this to my faster and larger User Space (F) drive at some time as this will be my main work area). The import is controlled by a Pre-set in Lightroom, and a Backup Copy of the pictures is made at the same time automatically to a folder on a different drive (currently F:My backupsLightroomImports). This folder is cleared-out periodically after other backups have taken place.

Pictures from the iPhone are Imported into a separate iPhone Pictures folder in the My Pictures folder and stored by date. Only rarely will photos from this folder be imported into Lightroom.

After processing in Lightroom, which includes tagging them and adding them to Collections, they will be exported to Picasaweb using a Lightroom Plugin (or 500px, or Flickr, or …) for sharing in Google+. They might also be exported as a final picture into a JPG (all other work with the Sony pictures is done on the RAW {.ARW} format files) because Lightroom does not store changed pictures, it stores the changes you’ve made to an original – so you can always go back to the original) – and to do this I save at the highest possible quality and size.

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