Class: Digital Photo Workflow with Lightroom and Photoshop

I’m partnering with Professional Photographers of Colorado to present a full day class detailing all the essential aspects of the modern photography workflow.

We’ll cover everything from editing shoots in Lightroom to advanced image processing with Photoshop. We’ll also talk a lot about using metadata and other best-practices for pro or aspiring photographers.

The class is in downtown Denver, all day Sunday Feb 21. PPC is offering special pricing for the event. For more info and registration click here.

Image File Naming

A recent question from a client:

“I have already confused myself in my own naming conventions and would like your advice. For FolioSnap (my website) I have been putting the state first, card name (for my named cards), or State, subject, year and number (if applicable). But then getting into it for my designer and GuestGuide site, I seem to be all over the board. I then put SM_season_year_what_number, so SM_winter_skiing_01 (if I had more details like family, kids, or location, I would put that in as well. No one way seems to be correct for all uses- yet I could be starting a real mess here. Any tips on this??”

My answer:

“It’s quite possible that your “internal” naming convention might not be suitable for all outside uses; other people might want you to use specific conventions. This is fine.

For your original, working or master files, do what makes sense to you. When saving your derivative files for specific usage you can use alternate naming schemes. Lightroom’s File Naming Template make this easy.

Also, if you rename files from within Lightroom, LR will keep track of the “original” file names, on the Metadata panel.

Keep in mind that you should use keywords to describe the specific subject matter of a photo. Don’t worry about making your file name too specific; usually date and location is plenty. For example, you can always find your winter skiing pictures later, using keywords.”

Lightroom Slideshows: Going from Desktop to Laptop

A question from a client:
“I have a slideshow on my desktop, and I’d like to be able to play it on my laptop. What’s the best way to transfer the file(s) over to the laptop?  None of the images are on the laptop at the moment.  If I save the desktop slideshow as a PDF, I don’t think the music will go, nor can I replace it when I play it on the laptop.  Is that correct?”

My answer:
“Correct, from Lightroom, Exported PDF slideshows cannot contain music.

The best way to do what you describe:

1. On your main machine (in your master catalog etc.) put the desired files into a Collection, if they’re not already.
2. Right-click/control-click on the Collection name and choose “Export Collection as Catalog”. Choose your desktop as the location and give it a descriptive name. Also enable the option to copy the original (master) files.
3. Copy that folder, with the catalog and all the image files, onto your laptop. It will be easiest if you just copy the folder to the desktop (Finder or Explorer). Using a USB jump drive would probably be easiest for this.
4. On the laptop, open the new folder, and double-click the exported catalog to open Lightroom with that catalog loaded.
5. Set up your slideshow and play it from there.

NOTE: You will also need to copy your music file(s) to the laptop.

ALSO NOTE: This is one of those cases involving multiple catalogs where you will need to check next time you open Lightroom that the correct catalog is loaded, before you continue working!”

Resaving JPGs from original JPG captures

A recent question from a client:
“I am still a bit confused on the whole ‘don’t save a jpeg to a jpeg thing’ when before I switched to RAW, my files are all jpegs, so if I want to save an image for the web, it will be a jpeg from a jpeg. Is this still OK? Can you help me with this?”

My answer:
“In this case, you have no choice, so don’t worry about it. After your editing is done, go ahead and resave your derivative JPGs from the original JPG captures.

Saving a new, derivative JPG from a JPG master probably won’t be a problem if you only do it once and use high quality settings on the re-save (quality 80 or higher). But you don’t want to keep saving a single JPG over and over, because each time data is lost.

So if you’re opening your original JPGs into Photoshop to work on them, immediately do a Save As first, and save the new master file as a TIF. Going forward, all work should be done to this TIF, and all derivatives saved from it. In this case the original JPG capture is no longer the working master and is only saved for archival purposes.

Save your new, final JPGs only after all your editing/processing work is done on the new master TIF, and when you need to generate JPG derivatives for specific purposes.

And of course, from now on, only capture RAW.”

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