The System

I've been thinking about my processing system the last few days with my claim that I was going to show you Dickens on the Strand photos a day after the event. At first I blamed my being sick as the reason for not working on them, but now I think that it is just the way I work on photos.

It is interesting how each person develops their own method for sorting through their pictures. Everyone develops their own style and rhythm and no one way is correct. Some people sort, edit, process and upload everything within a day or two of taking the pictures. Some people process a few pictures at a time over the course of many weeks, uploading at a trickle. I tend to fall between the two. It usually takes me a few weeks to get a photo project up on the photoblog, but once I start working on it, that is the only project I work on. The pressure is on to do things quickly in December because I don't want to be the person showing holiday photos in March.

So what takes me so long? I'm methodical of course, just like my Taurus personality. This system is new since I started doing themes on my photoblog and has been refined by the purchase of Lightroom. First, I pull all my photos into Lightroom and do a quick run through eliminating the obviously bad photos. Then I go through the pile a few more times and weed out more photos at each pass. Lightroom's compare feature has been especially useful in this stage of sorting. The passes could be minutes or days apart. Usually the longer I wait between passes the pickier I am about what gets to stay. Next I go through and start selecting my favorite shots. These picks are the photos that have a chance of ending up on the photoblog.

After that the editing begins and I start with the picks first. Sometimes after working on a photo it goes back into the regular pile because it just doesn't work out the way I thought it would. Then I work on the photos that aren't going on the photoblog, but are going online somewhere to be seen. There have been times when photos have shifted from one category to another at this stage. After everything is paired down and edited I export the photos out of Lightroom and then go through the reject pile one more time to make sure I don't want to keep anything. My final step is to have Lightroom delete all the rejects. That is a satisfying feeling.

Whew, that's a lot but it is my system and I like it. For example I'm really happy with the way this week's series is playing out. This is is also going to keep my photography fresh because I can't rely on archives. Photos will have already been processed and tossed or displayed so it will constantly require new content. (And truth be told I have a stash of photos that I can pull in case of a real emergency).

Chocolate Pop Tarts

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