Friday, March 7, 2008

I've been DAM busy this week

Remember that post a few days ago about 814 Photographs? Well, post processing of those photos and some backend work on my image archive is the reason you've been looking at that ASMP camera for three days now. Thanks, by the way, to the couple of people who put in a few words of support on Chase's website. It should be interesting to see what happens with that. More about my DAM week, after the jump.

First off, let me say that I am absolutely in love with Adobe's Lightroom, and the powerful tools it brings to the table with regards to image editing workflow, cataloging, and archiving. The bad news is that I am now painfully aware of how woefully unorganized my image library is, and that it's going to take a lot of boring, unglamorous work to get a handle on ~52,000 images from the last two years.

My thanks to Josh McCulloch, who wrote in a comment late last week:

- Post Production workflow: Check out the DAM book and the DAM forums at The DAM Book Website. This is a great resource for anything related to PP workflow. They have forums for all different software, including Lightroom. Definitely worth checking out, they're a great group of helpful people. I wish I had learned PP and set up my image archive well when I started shooting, instead of 2 years and 15,000 images later. It's much easier to do it as you go!

I burned an hour or two in the forums there, learning a bit about Lightroom and a lot about how little I really knew, and decided to pick up a copy of the DAM Book. It arrived 48 hours later (Thanks Amazon!) and I've been digging through it earnestly the last few nights.

Without going into too much of a review, I'll recommend this book for any photographer who finds themselves with an ever-expanding library of photos, and wants to be able to use their images to the fullest, rather than have them simply taking up space. I know that I can't remember everything I need to know about 50 thousand images, and my archive is going to need some serious work to get up to speed. However, I think the end product will be worth the effort.

In related news, I managed to turn my clean Lightroom library screen into a multi-colored, multi-categoried mess over the last several days, trying to get an initial edit of the wedding photos put together, then select the group shots and candids that needed minimal processing, then working with the wedding party portraits to clean them up and make them beautiful. By now, all my initial ratings are jumbled, I don't remember what color is supposed to be what, which version of which picture I uploaded, which still need to be edited, and which ones I can make available for prints. Oh, and I still need to put together a CD of the selects and embed some kind of slideshow.

I definitely needed to think this one through a bit more before plunging headfirst into selecting, editing and uploading pictures, and now I get to go back and clean up after myself. The good news is that I have not deleted or overwritten anything, and I have a backup copy of the selects offsite. If my house burns down tomorrow, I can still deliver the pictures.

In the meantime, I'm going to try and get a bit of sleep.

1 comment:

Josh McCulloch said...


Glad to help. A point on the DAM book: A few things have changed due to new/updated software since the book first came out, and as such the workflow Peter recommends in the book will need to be modified sowewhat. For example, in his book he suggests using a script for Adobe Bridge called "Import from Camera" to import your images, which has now been replaced completely by Marc Rochkind's ImageIngester (Lightroom can also handle most of this function, but II is a great little app, especially the pro version). Just keep this in mind as you read the book. The most important thing is to grasp the concepts, and why he does what he does, and then apply them to your situation, shooting style and software choices.

Cheers, Josh
Josh McCulloch Photograohy