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New Journal Workflow

:: Wednesday, August 4th, 2004 @ 2:25:40 pm

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Now that I’ve switched to Exhibition Engine, my journal workflow for images has become (more) complicated. Read on if you are excited by image organization. :)

My old workflow involved:

1. quick 10-15 second photoshop edit + action to output various resolutions
2. copy EXIF data from original image to screen-res image
3. use Breezebrowser (the best program ever) to add EXIF comments to screen-res images
4. copy EXIF data from screen-res to web-res images
5. watermark and generate HTML/thumbs with Breezebrowser and custom template
6. upload!

It looks complicated, but it didn’t take that long to do.

The new workflow:

1. quick 10-15 second photoshop edit + action to output various resolutions
2. using BB, copy EXIF data from original image to screen-res image
3. use BB or Exifer to add EXIF comments to screen-res images
4. use Exifer to batch-edit IPTC keywords, categories, and locations
5. copy EXIF/IPTC data from screen-res to placeholder (small) web-res images
6. upload placeholder web-res images to Exhibition Engine for processing
7. after processing, re-upload web-res images and thumbnails without EXIF/IPTC data to replace the placeholders.*

The intermediate, screen-res images become my “master” files with EXIF data and IPTC data intact. I would use the original files from the camera, but they’re so large that they can be unwieldy to work with.

*I believe that EE is smart enough to strip out EXIF/IPTC data from uploaded images if it is in charge of resizing from a higher resolution down to web resolution, but since I do all of my resizing myself, I have to upload the final images myself. This could be made much easier by allowing EE to resize to web-res and the two thumbnail resolutions, but… I’m anal. :) We’ll see how long this workflow lasts. I may get lazy and let EE do everything, eventually.

Also, I’m not currently doing any asset management with local programs for my daily “life snapshot” images, mostly because the images move around so much during my workflow that I don’t know at which stage I should “fix” them in place for archiving. I’ll have to work on that. Any program I would consider using would have to embed EXIF and IPTC data in the images themselves in addition to storing metadata in its own database.

I should also note that most of this workflow exists to preserve camera EXIF data in the images themselves, because I think it’s useful for people (and for myself) to see details about each image that I shoot. The alternative would be to turn off photo details and just resize, caption, and upload the photos. Ahhh, the sacrifices I make… ;)

| North County San Diego, CA | link | trackback | Aug 4, 2004 14:25:40
  • http://tontamoo.azn-bish.com Janice

    Wow, that went way over my head. So much lingo I don’t understand.

    Anyway, I logged onto your journal today, because I was watching the show California’s Gold and their special on Muybridge just now. I was highly amused when I saw you in your shades with the other photographers.

  • echeng

    hey! that’s cool. I haven’t even seen that footage yet. would looove to see it! you wouldn’t happen to have it in some sort of electronic form, would you? ;)

  • syndromes

    I don’t know if you’re fielding questions/comments on workflow…

    The problem I have is very similar to yours. I want to take the original files (be it raw or jpeg), add iptc comments, archive the “negatives”, THEN start working on the files keeping the exif info intact as you mentioned.

    I was thinking something like…
    -Add comments to raw files
    -Burn/save “negatives”
    -Convert to tiff’s for image processing/resizing
    -Possibly burn/save “processed files” again (hrm…)
    -Convert to jpeg for web, etc.

    But I am just not happy with the tools available (or that i’ve found), so instead of actually doing post processing, I just don’t process them at all and don’t display them :/

    Any suggestions?

  • echeng

    my suggestion is to not shoot in RAW for daily snapshots. if you do shoot in RAW, don’t convert to TIFF unless you have something that is going into a portfolio you care about. a JPG conversion will be fine for any resolution you are going to look at the thing in — on screen, or printed out.

    i only do 10-20 second photoshop editing because i’m only processing for screen resolution and for the web. when i need a hi-res version for fulfillment, i go back and re-process the image from the RAW file.

  • syndromes

    Yah, that’s a good point about not bothering to go apeshit on the processing just for web shots I don’t care all that much about.

    Although i’ll probably still continue to shoot raw probably. There’s not much of a downside for me since my d30 doesn’t produce gargantuan files and only gets like 3fps for something like 9 shot bursts anyways :P

    The work-flow stuff is appreciated though. I’ve always been curious how other digi-photogs go through processing their photos. The next step is actually getting back into shooting :P

    Excuses excuses… :)

  • daniel mendez

    You had mentioned IMatch somewhere on your site… It can handle iptc,exif and it’s own metadata… why is it that you don’t use it for asset management? just curious.

  • http://tontamoo.azn-bish.com Janice

    Alas, I did not tape it. Then again, I wasn’t expecting to see you on the show either. Even if I did record it, it would be on the standard video tape — nothing fancy shmancy like TiVo. =) I do have the KTV-like music video of Vienna’s on tape though. I’m not sure if you were still looking for that.

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