Friday, October 31, 2008

My Digital Workflow

At least one of my readers has asked how I accomplish my photo editing and blogging. After 9 months on the road, my workflow has changed very little. I'm really happy with my process and my gear and will do it the exact same way next time around.

Here's my gear list:

  • Sony Vaio VGN-TZ195N laptop (tiny, carbon fiber, 48GB SSD, 2GB RAM, DVD burner)
  • Adobe Lightroom 1.3.1
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3
  • Microsoft Live Writer
  • Zenfolio for photo hosting
  • 2 Western Digital 250GB USB drives
  • Digital cameras

The blogging is pretty simple. I write the blog entries using Windows Live Writer. I don't need an Internet connection. I can write the entry offline, then post it whenever I have an Internet connection. I upload the photos for the entry to my Zenfolio site, add the photos to the entry (that part of the blog-writing process does require an Internet connection), then post the blog entry.

For photos, I attach the camera and one of the USB drives to the computer, then open Lightroom and import the photos into Lightroom with the USB drive as the location to which the photos are to be copied. I do 99% of my photo editing in Lightroom. I specify a few basic keywords upon import, then add others when the import is finished. I go through the photos, choose the good ones, make the necessary adjustments (I shoot RAW exclusively), export to JPEG, then upload the photos.

Sometimes, there are a few images that I delete. After the editing process, I plug the second USB drive into the laptop, so that now both USB drives are attached. At this point, I run Robocopy /MIR to create on the second hard drive an exact duplicate of the primary drive. So, both drives are kept in sync, including removing files that I may have deleted off the primary drive. At this point, I format the memory card(s) in the camera(s). On occasion, I create backups of the photos on dual layer DVDs and mail those home.

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