Over the past few years I’ve found an efficient workflow and thought that sharing might be interesting to some. (Disclaimer, I do not currently have Lightroom which seemingly every photographer swears by. Perhaps I’ll get it when I have a desktop, but for the moment, I find this workflow to do just fine.)
After a shoot, I go through the images while they are still in camera and delete the definite no’s. I do this here because I’ve learned that the limited memory on my hard drive fills up ridiculously quickly if every image gets transferred. Once I have only the best left, I transfer them over to my drive. When that is complete, I IMMEDIATELY back up those images on my separate backup drive. (Better safe than sorry!)
Once I have everything copied over, I like to open up the folder in Adobe Bridge. This is the way our professor taught us how to review our images before editing, and I find it much more helpful than the default preview on the computer. I go through each image and give them ratings. 5 stars are ultimate favorites, 4 stars are those I really like, and 3 stars are for maybes. I don’t typically use the 1 or 2 star rating.
Next I like to use the sidebar in bridge to filter by 5 stars. I open all of those images in camera raw to start the editing process.
Once in Camera Raw, I typically do the following: adjust exposure & white balance, bring up clarity just a touch, bring up certain colors saturation & luminance in the HSL panel, crop or correct any distortion, and do any other adjustment that the image calls for.
Once I’m over in Photoshop, I save a PSD version so I can continue my edits. I do the fine detail work like spot healing blemishes or cloning out flyaway hairs here. The time this takes varies from image to image. Once the retouching is complete, I might save a large high res image to print, but that depends on if it is strong enough to go in my book. I do typically save a small web version for my website and that will end up in its designated folder so everything stays organized.
And that’s basically it. Like I said before, time will vary from shoot to shoot and I may not have time to complete all of the images in one sitting, but this is typically how I go about editing them to completion.
May the light be with you.