My Basic Photo Workflow Revisited


Your post production workflow – the steps you take after uploading your photos to your computer – is always a topic that is worth reviewing from time to time. As the technology, software, and your knowledge change, you will probably find that your workflow also changes.

About a year and a half ago, I posted an article that summarized my workflow. Looking back it, there are a few things that I have changed. In this post, I will describe the current steps I generally do. To see that article, CLICK HERE.

In this post, I describe what the basic steps are after I have uploaded my images to Photoshop Elements 14.

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Here is my current workflow that uses both the PSE 14 Organizer and its Photo Editor, with Photoshop CC added to the mix when needed. The description begins as soon as I have imported photos and videos into the PSE 14 Organizer.

  1. The first thing I do is tag my photos. If the subject matter is pretty fixed, this step takes only seconds.
    1. For example, on a typical weekend of watching my granddaughters’ softball and soccer games, I may find that come Sunday evening I have 500 images and several videos on my memory card. I already have the tag structure and tags defined. It’s just a matter of selecting the right images and dragging them over to the appropriate tags.
    2. If the input batch is from a trip or similar event or photo shoot, I will at least tag the images at the Category level, and then come back later to sub-divide them into Sub-Categories, and Keyword Tags.
  2. I use Events, Places, and to a much lesser extent People views – the tabs at the top of the screen.

 2016-07-20_9-48-29

3. I next screen the images using the Full Screen View option (F11) in the Organizer.

I skip over any videos I have imported at this point.To cull out the best photos I use the Organizer’s Star Rating feature using:

1 = Delete

2 = Needs work, or is member of a burst, HDR, or panorama sequence.

3 = These will most likely be included into an Album for a slide show, or DVD I plan to make at some point. They may not always be the best photos in the world from a technical standpoint, but are needed to better tell the story. I will also give the best photo of a sequence 3 stars.

4 = These are pretty good for me, and probably are the ones that I will most likely end up printing.

5 = Rarely awarded at this stage

After Step 3, I still have many images that have not been rated. They will remain in my Catalog.

4. I now screen the video clips that were uploaded in the grid view. I double-click on the video file and play the video in the enlarged window that appears, rather than in the full screen mode.

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5. If I am interested in the location where the photos were taken, I will then use Places view to pin point on the map the photos and videos were taken.

My current camera can embed the GPS data into the image files, so while taking the photos I turn this feature on for at least a couple of shots. I do not leave it on all of the time, because it drains the battery significantly.

If I forget to do it, I will take a couple of shots with my iPhone, and use these photos to identify the location using Places.

If need be, like when I have shot only video, I will manually add the location of the photos using the Places view.

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6. At this point, I have finished the vast majority of my keyword tagging of my images. I then write the Keyword Tags and other metadata to the image files – File > Save Metadata to Files. If you do not do this, only those images that have been at least opened in the Editor will have the tagging and other metadata written to the file itself.

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7. I then delete all of the 1 star images/videos from the Catalog, as well as the hard drive.

8. Next comes editing those photos and videos that are either in a sequence (2 Stars) and those that have 3 or 4 Stars.

Since I shoot RAW, I will naturally do my initial editing using the ACR.

Normally, that is all the editing I need to do. I fact, that is my goal, for individual photos.

If I can do that, I do not need to save an edited version. My changes are recorded in a small .xmp file.

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9. To print the photo or make editing changes requiring, for example selections or layers, I will open the image in Elements’ Photo Editor.

Occasionally, I will send the RAW image directly to Photoshop CC’s ACR to take advantage of its added tools and/or Photoshop CC itself. However, this will require that a dupe (actually a Version Set) of the RAW file to be generated, which will take up additional disk drive space.

10. The final step of my basic workflow is to periodically do either a Full Backup or Incremental Backup of my Catalog and all of the media it contains (File > Backup Catalog).

This pretty much summarizes my basic workflow. Generally, after Step 9, I put together my photo projects, whatever they may be.

I would love to hear your thoughts and workflow steps that you use or in PSE or other programs.

Working with Catalogs in Both Photoshop Elements and Lightroom


In Photoshop Elements

PSE Organizer

If you have used the Organizer in Photoshop Elements to manage your photos, you undoubtedly know the Cardinal Rules that you must not disobey if you want to avoid serious heartaches and frustration.

The rules are:

Once a photo has been imported into the Catalog…

Do not Delete the photo,

Do not Move the photo,

Do not Rename the photo,

Unless you use the applicable commands in Photoshop Elements. The same basic rules hold for the folders in which the photos are stored.

Remember, the Organizer’s Catalog is like a card catalog in a library. It does not contain the books. It only contains information about the books, including on what shelf the book is contained.

The PSE commands to move and rename photos are in the sub-menu under File.

 PSE File Sub-Menu

 To see comparable commands to modify folders, do the following:

  1. Open the left panel, by clicking on the Show Panel in the lower left corner of the screen.
  2. Click on Folders at the top of the panel.
  3. Click on the parallel lines button and then select View as Tree.
  4. Scroll to find the folder you want to modify, and then right click on it.
  5. Select the task you want to perform and follow the screen prompts.

PSE Folder View

You can also drag and drop folders to move them in this view, but I prefer to not to. It is too easy for me to move them to the wrong place.

In Lightroom

 LR Library Module

I suspect many of you who started out using Photoshop Elements to organize and edit your photos may be thinking about moving on to Lightroom, or have recently done so. There are many reasons to do that, not the least of which is you can rent Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC from Adobe for $10 per month!

The Catalog used in the Library module of Lightroom is essentially the same as the Catalog in Elements. That is, they are both databases. They do not contain the actual photos, only previews of them, with pointers to where the physical files are stored.

Because Lightroom was designed for professional photographers, it is more robust than the Organizer in Photoshop Elements and consequently somewhat harder to use. There are a multitude of websites and blogs that cover using Lightroom. One of the many Lightroom experts is Victoria Bampton.

Below is a sampling of her articles that discuss similar topics in using Lightroom. As you can see the tasks are a bit more complicated.

How do I move only my photos to another hard drive, leaving the catalog where it is?

How do I find and move or rename my catalog?

 Which Lightroom files do I need to back up?

In future posts, I will cover using Lightroom in much more detail, but hopefully the above articles will get you started on the right foot.

Please click on the Like button below if you found this post interesting and helpful. Also, do not hesitate to add any comments or questions using the area provided below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Change an Edited RAW Image Back to Its Original Settings


One of the great advantages of shooting RAW images is that you can always return an edited image to how it was captured by your camera after you have edited it. In this quick video tip, we’ll demonstrate how to do that using the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) editor in Photoshop Elements 14.

However, the steps are the same in earlier versions of Elements, as well as in Photoshop CC.

YouTube Title

 

 

Upload a Photo to Dropbox Directly From Your iPads Photos App


In this short video, I demonstrate how to upload a single image to Dropbox from within your iPad/iPhone Photos app. True it is limited, but often that is all you need to do.

There is an alternate approach where you start from within the Dropbox app. It allows you to select multiple images and upload them at one time to Dropbox. I will cover that in another video.

1 photo dropbox title.png

Where to Find Me Online


Where to Find Me

Summer has begun for me. I have just finished teaching my last digital photography class of the spring term for the Torrance Adult School. The only class I will be teaching in the fall is “Photoshop CC on Your Laptop”

I am going to use this time to become much more active in this blog. I am going to be spending the summer upgrading and adding significantly more content to this blog, website, and my social media pages.

Many of you are on my email distribution list. I do not send out many emails, and they basically only deal with my upcoming teaching schedule. Their frequency will probably not change, but I will their content with time.

If you want to follow me and view the written, and video tutorials that I have already published, and those that I will be adding moving forward, there are several ways to do that. Here are several ways to follow what I will be posting:

Email Distribution List – Not very often, since it requires heavy maintenance on my part. If you are not on it now, feel free to email me requesting to be added. And by all means, you can use email to ask me any digital photography, iPad/iPhone questions you have, and I will promptly reply.

 

donstouder@ca.rr.com

My Welcome Page – Most of you are familiar with this, and it does provide links to some of my sites.

Welcome

www.donstouder.com

This Blog – Probably the timeliest and most frequently updated of all of my sites. I have been posting here more many years now, and there is even a Search button that can be used to get to previously published material. There is also a button that allows you to subscribe to it and get an email whenever I post something. And please hit the Like button, and add a comment when you find a post that is useful or interesting.

Blog Home

https://don26812.wordpress.com

Facebook – I actually have two (actually three of you count my Leuzinger High School page) on Facebook. One is where I generally post family stuff, but on occasion will have links to digital photography topics as well. If you are a Facebook user, please go to the pages below and subscribe or Like the page. I would really appreciate it.

Pers FB

More Personal Posts – www.facebook.com/Don26812

FB Photo Page

Digital Photography – http://www.facebook.com/DonsPhoto/

LHS 63

Leuzinger HS Class of 1963 – www.facebook.com/LeuzingerHsClassOf1963

YouTube – Currently, I have a large number of videos already posted on YouTube, but they are generally accessible by direct links provided from one of my other sites. My Channel is not really active now, but that will change very soon. If you go to one of the linked videos, which are mostly Public, you will see Like and Subscribe buttons there, similar to Facebook. Please Subscribe or Like the videos if you found them interesting or helpful. Here is a link to one I posted recently from a trip I took to Mammoth in 2015. From there you can view or subscribe to my videos, most or many of which are tutorials and demos.

Typ YouTube

https://youtu.be/jTGiCNXJt8A

Pinterest – On my Pinterest page you find links not only to my tutorials, but those I found interesting written by experts. There are scores of links on several boards with a variety of subjects related to my interests. It is a great please to see very interesting and helpful articles and videos that have helped me. You can subscribe to my Pinterest posts as well.

Pinterest.png

https://www.pinterest.com/don26812

My Photoshop Elements eBook – Now for my commercial. I have written three eBooks that cover only the Organizer of Photoshop Elements. My latest one covers Photoshop Elements 14. They are all available on Amazon. Here is the link to my latest one. I suspect I will write additional eBooks in the future.

PSE 14 eBook

https://www.amazon.com/Photoshop-Elements-14-Organizer-Revisited-ebook/dp/B016WURRMK?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Well there you have it.

As you know most of my posts and videos have dealt with Photoshop Elements. I will continue covering that program, but will add more and more content covering Lightroom CC, Photoshop CC, as well as material on iPads/iPhones. Related subjects, such I my use and experiences with my DJI Phantom 2+ drone will also be added.

My overall goal is to pass on what I learn as I practice my hobby making the content more understandable and easier to follow than its original presentation may have been. Also, suspect I follow these technologies more closely than you have the time to do. These two provide the value I add to a information available online.

Slide Show Using Premiere Elements 14


I do not like the Slide Show Editor that is in recent versions of Photoshop Elements and is accessed from within the Organizer. It lacks all of the customization features the editor in PSE 10 and earlier versions included, such as the Ken Burns Effect and caption customization.

So I have been spending some time learning more about PRE 14 and making a slide shows using it. In this video, I did my photo editing in PSE 14 and then sent the photos and video clips to PRE 14. The titles and pan/zoom, background music were all produced within PRE 14. I did not include captions, but could have. Also, I could have customized the transitions if I had wanted.

PRE 14 also provides a wide variety of output formats for sharing the finished slide show, including direct upload to YouTube, which I chose to use. The learning curve is a bit steeper than using PSE 14, but certainly well worth the effort. It integrates nicely with the Organizer, which also is included if you buy PRE 14 separately, and do not even have PSE 14.

If you shoot a fair amount of video with your camera or mobile device, you may want to consider buying PRE 14 to go along with your PSE 14. By the way, to share the same catalog, both PSE and PRE need to be the same version.

Ok, here is the link to the video. For the best experience, view it in HD selected from the YouTube window.

https://youtu.be/jTGiCNXJt8A

 

 

New Drive-Lapse


I am still experimenting with time lapse videos. This one was taken with my iPhone 6 using its standard video mode. I then used Premiere Elements 14 to speed up the video by a factor of four.

I have experimented with the iPhone’s Time-Lapse mode for this type of time-lapse video, but the resulting video is too jerky, even when you slow it down. However, I really like it for scenes like moving clouds etc.

Here is the link to the video.

Quick Video Tour of Don’s Digital Photo Corner


Many of my students who come to my blog as the first step of accessing the handouts for their class have no idea just how much other content is in the blog itself and its pages. Hopefully this post, which includes a video, tour will help them find the additional digital photography information contained here.

Below is a quick video tour of my blog and its pages.

I have had my blog now for over four years, so there is a wealth if information that, which I hope will be of interest and useful to you. The video shows where you can search for a title topic, and I have put together a list of all of my posts for the last couple of years. This list is at the link below. It is an Excel spreadsheet. Once you open the file, you can click on its title and go immediately to that post in my blog. Your browser may ask you whether or not you want to open the file or save it. Just follow its prompts.

http://www.donstouder.com/digital-photo-corner/blog%20posts%20list.xlsx

Please comment, Like, and share this post if you have found it useful.

Scratching the Surface of Nik Color Efex Pro 4 to Work

Photo Examples 13-182_edited-1 Multi Layed Nik Effects

About a week ago Google made its complete Nik Collection suite of plug-ins for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements available as a free download. In an earlier post I explained what was in the collection and where to download it.

In my last post on this subject, I illustrated how the Dfine 2 plug-in can be easily used to reduce the noise that results when an image is captured using an extremely high ISO.

This time, we take a very brief look at what  Nik Color Efex Pro 4 can do. It has so many presets and effects that there is no way to do it justice in one short blog post. So instead, I’ll just illustrate what I did to pretty overexposed image. I chose to use Photoshop Elements 14 for this post, but earlier versions of Elements, and of course Photoshop could be used as well.

  1. First, I added one of the image Border presets in Color Efex Pro 4.
  2. Then I added one of the Color Efex Pro 4 Tonal Contrast presets.
  3. At that point,I added a traditional Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer.
  4. I then merged these layers into a composite layer using Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E.
  5. Finally, I applied the auto profile setting of Dfine 2, since the adjustments I was adding to this small JPEG image were beginning to take its toll.

Shown below is the layer stack I ended up with.

Efex Pro Layer Stack

A couple points are worth noting here. First I had set the Options in Color Efex Pro 4 to apply each effect on its own layer. Among other things, this allowed me to tweak the impact of the effect by adjusting the Opacity of the layer. Also, note that you can intermingle Color EfexPro 4 layers with layers dealing with Photoshop Elements commands. Think of the multitude of presets embedded in Color Efex Pro 4 as starting points for you to adjust to create your own vision of the captured scene.

The figure below compares my before and after for this simple example.

Efex Pro Before After.jpg

I hope you found this post helpful. If so, click on the Like and share it with others using the buttons below. Also, let me know what you think of the Nik Collection in the comments below.