Workflow “greatest hits”

The other day I was chatting to a young photographer and trying to explain why a consistent and logical workflow was so important. I confidently referred to my own (this) blog and the many years that I have been writing about photography in general and about workflow specifically. Much to my own embarrassment it took me a few minutes to find the posts that I was looking for. I made a note to come back and create some “greatest hits” lists of posts for various topics and this is the first one – workflow and Photo Mechanic.

  • Chicken or egg? Workflow or mess? – January 2012. This was an early attempt to define what a successful and repeatable workflow should look like. It was posted in 2012 but was originally written in 2007.
  • Revisiting my workflow – December 2013. I wrote this as a way of explaining the various steps that I go through when using an absolutely standard workflow. It is still a pretty accurate explanation of how I go from memory cards to client delivery using Photo Mechanic and Adobe Camera RAW within Photoshop. I’m not sure how many upgrades Adobe has delivered since the post was written but Photo Mechanic has barely changed!
  • In praise of Photo Mechanic – January 2012. This was written a few months before the arrival of Photo Mechanic v5. Now that v6 is almost upon us the reasons why I, and so many others, love this application are still the same. It is fast, efficient, highly configurable and completely free from flashy add-ons.
  • Customising your Photo Mechanic IPTC interface – November 2017. I prefaced the post by saying that it was possibly the most niche thing that I’d ever written. That having been said, the page received a lot of comment both on and off line and had ytens of thousands of visitors.
  • Getting captions right, quickly – July 2016. Written after spending four weeks editing other people’s pictures and using as many ways of adding accurate IPTC metadata quickly and/or automatically as possible. These are techniques that can help any photographer to do the least exciting and least enjoyable bit of the job with as little hassle as possible.
  • Getting pictures away quickly – August 2015. This one hasn’t aged quite as well as the others but it does make some important points about how to make sure that you have the skills and the tools to enable you to get your images to their destination in good time under almost any circumstances.
  • My iPad workflow – some conclusions – January 2018. I was laid up last year and unable to shoot much and so I spent way too much time investigating the idea of using an iPad (or even an iPhone) as a tool for editing, captioning and transmitting photos. It was never going to replace a laptop but the outcome was interesting. This piece was the summary of several other which came before.
  • Setting up FTP from a Canon EOS 5D MkIV – May 2017. This was written to specifically address the set up on one particular model but it is also a useful overview of how to go about transmitting wirelessly from any camera capable of doing so. This was an attempt at producing a video to show the process and has ben viewed more times than almost any other post on this site.
  • Using autocomplete with Photo Mechanic – June 2017. Written and recorded just as I was about to do my annual editing job at the Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this is a breif walk through of how autocomplete can save you hundreds of hours and improve your caption accuracy at the same time.
  • RGB and me – March 2017. This is less of a ‘how to’ than any of the other pieces and more of a reasoned opinion about why I moved to the sRGB colour space and away from Adobe RGB. I expected heated debate but most of the discussions that I’ve had have been to agree with my reasoning and even the odd “thank you” from people who agreed!
  • Re-working old files – April 2012. I went back and had a look at some older pictures and made new conversions with the (then) up to date version of Adobe Camera RAW. How successful it was is up to the reader to judge but my conclusion was that my tastes and requirements had changed more than the technology had.
  • Stage two of the RAW argument – July 2014. The argument that RAW can provide higher quality, more refined and more versatile images was won years ago. In this 2014 post I argued that the argument had moved on and that whilst not all RAW files were created equally, there was a way to get the best out of each that only time and experience could teach you.

So there you go a nice round dozen posts from the archives of this blog to get you up to speed my my techniques and opinions about workflow. There are quite a few others dotted in amongst the 200 or so posts that I’ve written in the last 19 years (not all of which are on this site by the way. You really don’t have to agree with anything that I’ve written. My hope is that you read it all and then go away and decide whether anything I’ve said can help, inform or improve the way that you work. At the very least, I hope that deciding to do it differently from me brings you what we all need – a stable, adaptable and repeatable workflow.


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