Workflow

Workflow is a description of the stages in the process of taking an image from a digital camera, uploading it onto a computer, processing that image in some way, and producing a final result. It is important to develop a methodical and consistent workflow - this will help you build a professional approach to your photography.

There are 6 general stages that an image passes through in a digital photography workflow:

  1. the image in the camera
  2. uploading the image
  3. managing your image collection
  4. the image being processed by some application
  5. the final production image
  6. at least one backup copy of everything

At each of these stages, the image may be stored in different formats. Getting the image from stage 1 to stage 2 is importing (or uploading) the image, getting the image from stage 2 to stage 3 is exporting the image. The final stage of managing a backup of your work is vital!

The following sections discuss the differant aspects of workflow in more detail.

Camera Images

Your camera will have a range of settings that will affect the quality of the resulting image. You should check out the information on the following pages.

You can find more details on how a camera stores images here...Here

Uploading Images

You need to regularly upload the images from your camera to more permanent storage on your computer.

You can find more details on uploading images here...Here

Computer Storage

The camera files uploaded to your computer are your raw materials. You need to keep them well organized so you can always find what you are looking for.

You can find more details on storing images here...Here

Working Files

As well as simply storing you images on your computer, you will also work on them to produce the final product.

You can find more details on managing working images here...Here

The Final Product

You may produce images for print or images for the web. What ever the final destination for your work you will have to export the images in an appropriate format.

You can find more details on exporting images here...Here

Backup

Your images are your livelyhood and you need to protect them from accidental loss. You must develop a good backup strategy.

You can find more details on making backups here...Here

Links

If you want to check out a pro's view on workflow, you can find an interesting and detailed description at this link.

It's a long article with a lot of good advice, take the time to read it. I particularly like his homework assignment - this is a good starting point to improve your own process:

Tonight's homework: document your workflow. Really. Write it down. Include everything that happens from pressing the shutter release to looking at the final image (wherever it may have ended up, e.g. on a wall, on Facebook, etc.).