I think since December 2012, I’ve been analysing my digital workflow and thinking as to how it’s possible to improve it. I made a few improvements, but still there are a lot to work on. The exercises from the first part of “Digital Photographic Practice” encourage the students to pay attention to their workflow and come up with a better one.
The first thing, I wanted to improve was the process of the first review. I’ve noticed that after my pictures uploaded onto the computer they hardly ever get properly tagged. They gets a few very general tags while uploading onto the computer thanks to a custom preset, but they hardly get any content related tags unless I deal with pictures from a single task.
At the beginning of November 2013 (I started my course that month), in Lightroom, I created a new preset called DPP-HW1. Now, when I need to upload any pictures taken for an exercise, I simply pick up this preset from the list of my presets and Lightroom:
- uploads the original RAW file onto the external hard drive into a specific folder (…/DPP-Pics/Module1-Pics/DPP-HW-pics)
- creates a corresponding DNG on the computer in a specific folder (…/DPP/DPP-HW1)
- applies a few general tags (OCA, DPP, HW, Module1, Exercise)
After all the files have been uploaded, I usually sort them into the collections according an exercise they were taken for, leaving the process of tagging for later. Later, like tomorrow, never came. I usually do a bit more tagging for the pictures I take for an assignment. I just resent sitting by the computer and typing. It’s much easier to type on my iPad with its predictive text, auto correction and fantastic dictionary. ( I have a good pop-up dictionary on my computer, but it’s not as good as the built-in iPad dictionary, so it’s not easy to correct typos)
I knew that there were several apps for the iPad that could help with some basic tasks in Lightroom. I tried out a few of them (PhotoPicker, PhotoPhile) , but they did not impress me a lot (no tagging and not so easy for me to transfer results between iPad and computer). However, there was an app that could’ve been a winner. The only problem was that it was very pricy and it did not have a lot of favourable reviews. Several people tried it and they were disappointed, so I was unsure about getting it. I kept an eye on that app, checking the reviews every now and then. Eventually, there was a big update and the reviews became a bit more positive, so I got this app for my iPad. I thought that the current version of Photosmith (3.02) could really help me improve my workflow.
Still, it took me a while to figure out how to use set the app effectively. Although, its help was very detailed, I could not figure out how to tag, rate and label my Raw files. Luckily, there was Mr Google. As usual, it was possible to find at least one article leading me to the answer. After, changing the initial settings for the Photosmith plug-in in Lightroom and sending my most recent collection (Histogram) for the test, I’ve managed to tag the photos in Photosmith on my iPad and see those tags in the Lightroom on my computer after the sync.
Still, I need to figure out the easiest way of selecting and deselecting pictures for bunch tagging on my iPad, but it is nice to be able to go through my pictures sitting upstairs.