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Thread: Photoshop workflow

  1. #1
    cneedha's Avatar
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    Photoshop workflow

    I recently acquired a cheap (and legitimate!!) copy of Adobe CS4. I have always shot my pictures in Canon RAW format, which gives me a ~12MB file from my 5D. When messing with the image in Aperture the file size doesn't grow much, maybe a MB or so. When I use Photoshop I was unpleasantly surprised to see my files explode to 55MB+, depending on how many layers I apply. I'm talking about .psd files here.

    Any suggestions out there for a workflow that takes file size as an important consideration? Does anyone even keep files in the .psd format? I would like to continue using Aperture as my archiving/file management tool. I checked the tutorials for advice and found some techincal info about RAW, TIFF, etc but not photoshop format files.

    Chris

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop workflow

    Hi Chris,

    I tend not to store psds for the reason you say (nor Tiffs), since my output is largely for my own amusement and here (i.e. I'm not printing, I rarely feel it is worth keeping the intermediate stages, I just save a final full size (usually unsharpened) jpg, then reduce size for web and sharpen and job doe -move on to the next. If I want to go back for a small tweak, I have the fullsize jpg, or start over from the original RAW (nef).

    Cheers,

  3. #3

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    Re: Photoshop workflow

    Quote Originally Posted by cneedha View Post
    Any suggestions out there for a workflow that takes file size as an important consideration? Does anyone even keep files in the .psd format? I would like to continue using Aperture as my archiving/file management tool. I checked the tutorials for advice and found some techincal info about RAW, TIFF, etc but not photoshop format files.
    I'll ask you to flip the question around. I belive it's a better idea to have a reason to delete a file - rather than needing a reason to keep a file. Personally I keep every file at every stage - and have the disk space to match. Large drives are getting ever cheaper. Backups, being rather expensive and time consuming compared to primary storage, it may be prudent to only save selected files (i.e. the origional RAW and the final product). I just don't understand why to delete files for the sake of deleting them... In my mind all it accomplishes it turning all of the "what if's" into "nevers".

    If storage space is a huge concern then this may not be possible at all. I would suggest you seioursly consider saving and investing in a high-capacity drive that will last you a few years (somewhere in the ballpark of 3/4 to 1tb).

    BTW: 55mb is nothing in todays standards. The RAW files from my camera are over 28mb, and the typical psd is around 250-400mb. I've been known to work the occasional 2gb+ images, which photoshop actually has a special version of the psd format specifically for large files.

  4. #4
    cneedha's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop workflow

    Thanks for the feedback Kent and Dave. Hobbes ( my mac's hard drive ) has 130 GB used, 30GB of which are photos. 100 GB remain open. My backup drive is roughly 250GB. I remember conserving space on an 80MB drive- old habits die hard! I'm leaning towards Dave's approach because it will help me feel a sense of completion- otherwise I will keep tinkering with old images rather than getting out and shooting more!

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    I have 4 external hard drives...

    I have a pair of 500GB Seagate External Hard drives which are attached to my desktop computer and another pair of smaller (in physical size) Western Digital Passport 500GB External Hard Drives which I use when I am traveling. External hard drives have become rather inexpensive in the U.S.

    I carry the two Passport hard drives when I am traveling and my workflow has evolved to downloading from my CF card via a card reader, opening the RAW file in Adobe Bridge which I have on my Toshiba notebook computer; checking the images for glaring equipment or operator malfunctions; batch renaming the files; and then copying the RAW files to each of the Passport Hard Drives. I store the drives in separate locations. As an example, when I am flying, one drive goes into my checked on bag and one drive remains in my carry on bag. I don't need to edit any images when I travel. I would rather spend my time shooting than editing on trips.

    I was in a conundrum regarding downloading images on an upcoming April 2010 trip to China because I will not be carrying my Toshiba with Adobe Bridge installed. Instead, I will be using my wife's small and not particularly powerful HP notebook since that computer is a lot lighter than the 17" Toshiba. I have decided to install the free programs which came with my Canon 40D onto my wife's computer and will use Digital Photo Pro to accomplish the above workflow.

    A local Camera store (Calumet Photo) has a class in Capture One Software on January 20, 2010. The price is only $50 USD for the course which includes Capture One 5.0 Software. I plan to take this course and see if I like working with Capture One 5.0 better than with Digital Photo Pro.

    I keep backups of my RAW images and of my final edited image on my desktop hard drives. I also back up my images on DVD's and I keep those DVD's over at my daughter's house.

  6. #6

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    Re: Photoshop workflow

    Quote Originally Posted by cneedha View Post
    I recently acquired a cheap (and legitimate!!) copy of Adobe CS4. I have always shot my pictures in Canon RAW format, which gives me a ~12MB file from my 5D. When messing with the image in Aperture the file size doesn't grow much, maybe a MB or so. When I use Photoshop I was unpleasantly surprised to see my files explode to 55MB+, depending on how many layers I apply. I'm talking about .psd files here.

    Any suggestions out there for a workflow that takes file size as an important consideration? Does anyone even keep files in the .psd format? I would like to continue using Aperture as my archiving/file management tool. I checked the tutorials for advice and found some techincal info about RAW, TIFF, etc but not photoshop format files.
    Hi Chris,

    What's happening is that LR is simply writing change information to the XMP metadata - so the files are resaved as RAW files (or written to a seperate sidecar file - or held in a database) unless you export them as something (original RAW data is always readonly).

    When you save as a PSD you're saving a file that's been "fully expanded" (without going into technicalities, although a PSD still has a degree of compression compared to a TIFF file).

    Space can be an issue, but it really depends on what you want to do with them; if you keep the originals - and you don't need to subsequently make heavy edits to the final output file then you may just as well save them as JPEGs as you can always redo them into something bigger if you wish.

    Personally, I keep PSD files - but, primarily as a landscape shooter, I typically only process 1 in 100 shots - but I do typically have several gigabytes per shoot which I then put into a "bulk DNG" folder which is backed up several times for safe keeping.

  7. #7
    cneedha's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop workflow

    Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. I hadn't checked back here in a while.

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