Chapter 1. Making Your Work Flow

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • What is a workflow?

  • Understanding the photographer's workflow

  • Ensuring that your workflow doesn't damage your files

Just a few years ago, when photographers were primarily shooting film, I rarely heard any of them mention the word "workflow." That's because post-production consisted of taking film to the lab and then picking it up when processing and proofing were completed. When they needed enlargements, they took their selected negatives or slides back to the lab for printing. Unless they were developing their own film and doing all printing in the darkroom, the film photographer's workflow was mostly over once the shutter clicked. Even for photographers who processed and printed their own film, the options were so limited that it wasn't necessary to spend lots of time thinking about them.

Now that digital photographers are taking control over the entire imaging process, the word workflow is a common word in their vocabulary. That's because products like Lightroom and Photoshop have opened the door to unlimited options in post-production. In this new photographic paradigm a shutter-click signals the beginning of a whole new creative process — rather than the end of one. The trick to unlocking the power of that process is to manage the countless possible options when editing digital files by designing and using a well-defined workflow.

So what do I mean when I say workflow? The underlying concept of a workflow is a tested system that yields ...

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