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Thread: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

  1. #1

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    Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    While vacations are great, coming back with a lot of pictures can be nightmarish to process. Any advice on a workflow process would be welcome. I use Lightroom 3, no Photoshop, no plug-in. I just dont know how to classified all this massive amount of pictures. Help!

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    Hi Louise, there are perhaps as many different ways to arrange images as there are photographers so my workflow may or may not help but if it provides you with some useful suggestions then it can give you a start.

    First I organize my photography hard drive for MY images with three primary folders, Original, Completed, Work in Process.

    In the Original and Completed folders there are two folders, Current Year YYYY and Previous Years.

    Under Current Year YYYY there is a folder for each photo session labeled "YYYY-MM-DD Photo-shoot Name". All original images from a photo-shoot go here. At the end of each year I move these folders to the Original/Previous Years folder with a YYYY name.

    I copy the specific images I am working on to the Work in Process folder and the completed images to the Completed/Current Year YYYY/Photo-shoot Name folder. At the end of each year I move these folders to the Completed/Previous Years folder with a YYYY name and start a new Current Year YYYY folder.

    I open the images in Lightroom and convert the new images from RAW to DNG format and rename them as "YY-MM-DD Photo-shoot Name - <Image Sequence Number>". I discard those that are either technically or compositionally poor and save the remainder. I can also apply keywords and priority settings at this time.

    I can now select those that I want to process. I currently have about 23,000 originals and 14,000 completed images that I manage this way.
    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 16th July 2012 at 04:35 PM.

  3. #3

    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    Firstly what is a massive amount? 100, 500, 1000+? Is part of the problem that you are actually taking photos that you shouldn't really? Since spending time studying composition I find that I now take a lot less photos, but more are keepers.

    1. Be brutal - do a first pass and just delete, delete, delete the bad photos.
    2. The remaining shots.....
    i. Tag them with the location, date, people etc.
    ii. Rank them. 1 star for a snapshot (only you or the person in it are likely to appreciate it), 2 stars for a shot that could be good if cropped/tweaked; and 3 stars for great images (a shot that someone who doesn't know you or the location would still think is interesting).
    3. If you have multiple similar shots pick the best one and rank that - people aren't going to be interested in seeing three almost identical copies of the same shot.
    4. Do post processing on the 3 star shots and post those first/separately. Posting lower quality shots in with your 3 star shots will result in people thinking all the shots are of a lower quality.
    5. Forget the rest. Anything you show now will be an anti-climax compared to the 3 star shots.

  4. #4

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    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    Check out ProImageEditors.com. They have post processing services for as little as $0.15/image with basic exposure and color corrections. i.e. 500 images = $75! I've never used them, but I have heard good things about the service.

    The best part is they work with lightroom, and can send you all of the catalogue files.

    http://www.proimageeditors.com/whypie.htm

  5. #5
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    Quote Originally Posted by wlou View Post
    While vacations are great, coming back with a lot of pictures can be nightmarish to process. Any advice on a workflow process would be welcome. I use Lightroom 3, no Photoshop, no plug-in. I just dont know how to classified all this massive amount of pictures. Help!
    Seems like you might be in a hurry to show your photos. If you are, browse through the images, pick the ones that need the least post processing, either print or burn to disk and let the viewing begin. I shot about five hundreds photos on my last trip. I had 150 free prints from my camera distributor so I sent the free from processing batch directly for printing. I then used patience to get around to the others and chose to display the remainder on a shot by shot basis.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    Thank you Frank and Dan and John. It looks like I have to establish a work method that would suit me as you have done for yourself. So I will work on that. Its all in the learning curve.

  7. #7

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    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    Salut Louise,

    It also sounded like you were interested in some way of batch processing these photos to classify them all at once; in other words to give them all keywords and other metadata without having to add that information one photograph at a time?

    Obviously in Lightroom you can organize your photos by creating collections, but I too would be curious to see whether it's possible to batch-process a bunch of photos in a collection by selecting them all and applying the same keywords, for example. You could add additional keywords to individual photos as you go through the sorting process. I can do this kind of thing with music files in iTunes, for example (I can select 20 tracks and in one step give them all the same artist name, year of recording, album name, etc. without having to edit each track individually), but I'm not sure how to do something similar with photos in Lightroom.

    In terms of culling the good from the bad, I use a technique that's kind of the reverse of Dan's: I go through the photos and first rank the best ones with four or five stars (I have very few five-star photos in my library, they really have to be exceptional to get five), the okay ones with three stars, and any that are not good but might be salvageable with cropping or other post processing I'll give two stars. Then when I'm done I filter for photos that are unranked and delete them all. This way I'm going through my photos to choose the best ones first, and deleting the worst is a process I can take care of "automatically" in one step by filtering for the photos I didn't bother to rank. I take a quick glance at them before deleting, but in general I trust my gut.

  8. #8
    Sponge's Avatar
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    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    Quote Originally Posted by bhurley View Post
    Salut Louise,

    It also sounded like you were interested in some way of batch processing these photos to classify them all at once; in other words to give them all keywords and other metadata without having to add that information one photograph at a time?

    Obviously in Lightroom you can organize your photos by creating collections, but I too would be curious to see whether it's possible to batch-process a bunch of photos in a collection by selecting them all and applying the same keywords, for example. You could add additional keywords to individual photos as you go through the sorting process. I can do this kind of thing with music files in iTunes, for example (I can select 20 tracks and in one step give them all the same artist name, year of recording, album name, etc. without having to edit each track individually), but I'm not sure how to do something similar with photos in Lightroom.

    In terms of culling the good from the bad, I use a technique that's kind of the reverse of Dan's: I go through the photos and first rank the best ones with four or five stars (I have very few five-star photos in my library, they really have to be exceptional to get five), the okay ones with three stars, and any that are not good but might be salvageable with cropping or other post processing I'll give two stars. Then when I'm done I filter for photos that are unranked and delete them all. This way I'm going through my photos to choose the best ones first, and deleting the worst is a process I can take care of "automatically" in one step by filtering for the photos I didn't bother to rank. I take a quick glance at them before deleting, but in general I trust my gut.
    Hi Brad, I know you can add keywords to groups of photos by either selecting them individually (after the first photo you have to hold the Command/Control key while selecting additional pics) or if they are in a row you select the first then hold shift and select the last one you want to edit and all photos in-between are selected. You can then edit them together.

    Cheers,
    Patrick

  9. #9

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    Re: Help processing all the vacation pictures!

    I like the idea of selecting the best one first. That is a simple approch (pun intended) that is more my style. As there is less great one than so-so ones, the task will be shorten. And it is more encouraging to pick the good picture. The rest can be delt with quickly.

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