Digital Photography

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Saving to CD as a Part of Workflow

Saving to CD should be part of your workflow with digital images.

As soon as you have the images on the computer some save all - some edit - go through and throw all the ones they deem worthless then save to CD.

CD seems to be the most popular choice at the moment as they are deemed more stable than DVD but as technology changes that will too. As we move to RAW and the huge image files DVD becomes more viable.

How important are your images to you? this is very personal - and financial -

Burn 1 CD of originals ( digital Negative ) then burn a tweaked, worked over CD.

Some will burn 2 CD's of each - and make sure they have 2 different brands of CD. ( So if they run into a bad run of CD's they still have images on a different brand of CD ) There are cheapy - to expensive CD's - some sold as archival and guarenteed.

After burning a CD it is a good idea to make sure it reads - by opening it in a computer - a different computer than it was burned on is a good idea.

What file type to save in:

JPG - is pretty universal and will open in the most applications. - BUT - it is a compression file and does a bit of compressing every time you save.

TIF - Doesn't compress - widely used.

Other file types - may be propritary - will only open in the same software they were generated by. Raw files may have different file extensions - saving files in their raw format is desirable but keep the propriaty thing in mind - especially as the years go by and technology changes.

Then there are the how to mark CD's questions - Sharpie just came out with a special CD marker - I number my CD's on the clear circle around the middle hole. I store mine in the slim cases in a box that holds them standing up.

Some store the second copy at work, bank, with family in another location.

With all these CD's how do you find a certain picture when you need it? I file by date - but some people file by event - Whatever works for you. Some people print contact sheets - but I found that combersome so now I usually have a pretty good sense of the date so I just pop in the CD and look through the thumbnails.

The best thing is to come up with a workflow that works for you - AND THEN DO IT. It's sad when a harddrive crashes - or a backup system fails and someone looses a year or two's worth of photos.

What are Conversions ?

This process is called conversion - converting from color to b&w or sepia or chocolate or green or blue or whatever - neon.

You will see people giving away or selling Their Conversions - which is the series of steps they take to get from color to whatever. This can be done in a couple steps or in a multitude of steps.

Some of the multi-step conversions need to be done in a full version of Photoshop. For instance they may open the image then duplicate it on a couple layers then desaturate one layer , gussian blur another layer, then change the opacity on one or all the layers, adjust curves, hue, and levels then sharpen and save then flatten and save again. ( This was made up don't try to make this work )

Each of these conversions have different steps - some may work better for some than for others - or some work better on some pictures than others. When converting to B&W some will give blacker blacks etc.

Photoshop ??????

Photoshop is generally recognized as the image editor of choice of professionals.

There is Photoshop 7 ( PS7 ), Photoshop CS ( PSCS ), Photoshop CS2 ( PSCS2 ) , Photoshop Elements 2 ( PSE2 ), Photoshop Elements 3 ( PSE3 ), or Photoshop Elements 4 ( PSE4 ). If you ask a question on a board about how to do something in one of these you usually get an answer pretty fast. There are other image editors and they are good softwares and may even be more user friendly. PS has a learning curve but it is so rewarding when you get it.

If you want to do work that requires layers be sure you pick a software that can do them. If you want to run actions choose a software that can run actions and check to see if someone is writing actions that run on your software. There are LOTS of books out there to help you learn PS. When you buy books make sure they are the ones for your specific version of PS.

PSE4 - runs under $100
PSCS2 - runs $600 or so.