Searching for an efficient workflow

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by tklancer, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. So, I've got a perfectly workable digital workflow right now, with one major
    problem: it's slow. Very slow. In fact, I just finished sorting my photos from
    August 2005 a few days ago (now I'm only 5400 shots in the hole!). So, I'm
    looking to see what I can do to speed up the process, and to see what other
    people do. But first, my current workflow:

    1) Download everything
    2) Run a custom python script on the download folder that sorts everything into
    month/day folders with a title for the day (like this: [...]\2006 07
    (July)\07-03-06 - Shenandoah in summertime)
    3) View every image for a particular day and, if I think it has any potential:
    a) Name it something moderately descriptive
    b) Possibly tag it ("nice", "good idea", etc). Note that there might be
    multiple tags assigned to an image. This tagging allows me to find a particular
    class of image easily later.
    4) Move the un-named (i.e. rejected) images into a sub-folder called "the rest"
    5) Run a custom python script on the named files that numbers them based on
    their EXIF exposure time (note: this is a relic from when Windows didn't have
    the ability to sort based on EXIF info).
    6) Eventually, if I feel a strong enough desire, I go back and pick out the best
    ones and fix them up in photoshop.

    Really, the naming and the tagging are the hard bits... I name them and tag
    them so I can do a file search later and find all the "nice" shots or the shots
    that have "dad" in the title (I end up with filenames like this: "051 - Hunting
    for dinner (nice) (mod).jpg"

    So, having said that, does anyone out there have any ways to speed up the
    process? Is there some sort of tool that will help with metadata tagging and
    file naming? How do others handle this? Am I the only person that goes through
    the whole naming process?

    Thanks,
    -Tom
     
  2. So, I've got a perfectly workable digital workflow right now, with one major problem: it's slow. Very slow. In fact, I just finished sorting my photos from August 2005 a few days ago (now I'm only 5400 shots in the hole!). So, I'm looking to see what I can do to speed up the process, and to see what other people do. But first, my current workflow:<p>

    1) Download everything.<br>
    2) Run a custom python script on the download folder that sorts everything into month/day folders with a title for the day (like this: [...]\2006 07 (July)\07-03-06 - Shenandoah in summertime) <br>
    3) View every image for a particular day and, if I think it has any potential: <br>
    a) Name it something moderately descriptive <br>
    b) Possibly tag it ("nice", "good idea", etc). Note that there might be multiple tags assigned to an image. This tagging allows me to find a particular class of image easily later. <br>
    4) Move the un-named (i.e. rejected) images into a sub-folder called "the rest" <br>
    5) Run a custom python script on the named files that numbers them based on their EXIF exposure time (note: this is a relic from when Windows didn't have the ability to sort based on EXIF info). <br>
    6) Eventually, if I feel a strong enough desire, I go back and pick out the best ones and fix them up in photoshop.<p>

    Really, the naming and the tagging are the hard bits... I name them and tag them so I can do a file search later and find all the "nice" shots or the shots that have "dad" in the title (I end up with filenames like this: "051 - Hunting for dinner (nice) (mod).jpg"<p>

    So, having said that, does anyone out there have any ways to speed up the process? Is there some sort of tool that will help with metadata tagging and file naming? How do others handle this? Am I the only person that goes through the whole naming process?<p>

    Thanks,<br>
    -Tom
     
  3. http://www.basepath.com/ImageIngester
     
  4. Tom,

    Correct me if I'm mistaken, but this is pleasure photography and not business...

    How important is it to sort everything in folders by date? Can't you just name them 06_07_14-16, for example, dl'd into a similarly named folder? Most downloaders will increment the number like this 06_07_14-16-001.jpg etc.

    Since you are tagging the files, why bother giving them a descriptive name?


    Of course, I have no idea what you need, but you asked for a way to speed it up, and one way is to combine or eliminate steps.


    Good Luck,



    Don E
     
  5. You have two separate workflows. One is image management and the other is image processing. For the first, try The DAM book and for the latter try a book on your image software (PS or ??). Good luck.
     
  6. Obi: Thanks, I'll look into ImageIngester.
    Don: Yeah, I'm definitely not a pro (only 5400 images since last september?) Sorting everything into date folders is really easy, so that's not a huge worry for me. Naming and tagging are the hard parts.
    Scott: I think you hit the nail on the head. My asset management workflow is where I've got a problem. I'll definitely check out the O'Reilly book.
    A related question for all of you, though (amateurs or pros): How do you handle this issue? Specifically, how do you handle asset management? Do you just pick selects and refrain from any sort of captioning?
     
  7. As to "A related question for all of you, though (amateurs or pros): How do you handle this
    issue? Specifically, how do you handle asset management? Do you just pick selects and
    refrain from any sort of captioning?", I haven't gotten there, having just added a real
    computer this spring.

    I name my slides in sequence and park them in descriptive folders. This avoids any
    filename problems. I use the number with a letter, none for original cropped tiff, n for first
    crop high res. jpg, s for small, p for print, t for thumbnail, and so on. For now I'm not
    adding any captions or titles yet. I don't save for the Web using image ready but use the
    image processor in PS2 to simply resize for the Web. This creates larger jpg's with the
    embedded scan/color information. I haven't decided if this really hurts anything except file
    size.
     
  8. For anyone still curious about the topic, I think I've settled on a slimmer approach, changing the 3rd and 4th steps:
    Using Pixort, I select each photo as a keeper or a reject. Rejects get sent to a folder called "the rest", and keepers are gone through again for hand tagging. Only shots that I'm tagging ("nice", "good idea", etc.) get a name. If pixort had a better renaming capability, I'd make it one step.
    After that, everything's the same -- numbering the photos, etc. I'm going to try this for a while and see how it goes, but I tried it out today and it seems much faster. Two things would speed it up further -- better renaming support in pixort (specifically, the ability to hit a button to rename the photo), and the ability to apply multiple tags to a single image. Then I could go through the photos one time, apply all the tags, do the appropriate renaming, and everything else would be automatic.
    Thanks to you all for your help!
     

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