Batch Output Workflow

This workflow example demonstrates the simplest system we recommend for processing a shoot. In this example, the work is done with an all-in-one application – in this case Adobe Lightroom – along with backup software. Images are ingested, processed, output for delivery, and then archived.

Workflow objectives
Watch it in action
Workflow steps
Software
Equipment
File flow

Workflow objectives

In this batch-output demonstration, an entire shoot is captured, sent through PIEware, and then output and sent to a client. Images are then archived. This can be an appropriate workflow for many event shooters, or a coverage of any kind where a large number of delivered images are required, and the budget does not allow for individual optimization of the photos in Photoshop.

Watch it in action

The embedded video linked below shows the entire workflow in action. You might want to watch it first, and then read about the workflow, or read first, then watch.

Figure 1 This video outlines the setup we'll be using for this workflow demonstration

Figure 2 In this video, you'll see the ingestion process.

Figure 3 This video outlines the image preparation process

Figure 4 This video outlines the archive and validation procedure.

Workflow steps

The bulleted list below outlines the steps for the basic batch output workflow.

Workflow steps

Capture

Step One: Capture

Capture raw image to card
Read about JPEG capture in this section
Read about Tethered Capture in this section

Ingestion

Step Two: Download

Download the image from the card to the computer

Step Three: Rename

Images should receive a unique name. This can be done at ingestion.
Read more about file naming in the File Management section

Step Four: Apply bulk metadata

Images should be tagged with any information that is applicable to the entire shoot. This includes contact and copyright information for the photographer, as well as some basic descriptions of the shoot.
Read more in the Metadata Section

Step Five: Apply parametric image defaults

By applying settings on download, the images will come in looking more finalized. This can include a custom profile you create for your own camera.
Read more about creating a custom profile in the color section

Step Six: Backup

Images should be backed up immediately as part of the ingestion workflow. Because we're ingesting with Lightroom, which does not have a great backup tool, we'll use separate backup software to backup the files.
Read more about ingestion backup in the Backup section

Working

Step Seven: Group/Add custom metadata

If the images would benefit by further division by subject matter, this should be done right away.
Read more in the Metadata section

Step Eight: Rate/Cull

Images should be rated as soon as possible. If rejects are to be thrown away, this can be done now.
Read more about Ratings in the Metadata section

Step Nine: Adjust

Once the images have been rated for quality, you can spend the most time on the best images.
Read more about Image Adjustments in the PIEware section

Step Ten: Output

Images are now ready for batch output and delivery.
Read more about Delivery Formats in the File Format section

Archive

Step Eleven: Transfer

Move the images to the archive using a validated transfer.
Read more about Validated transfers in the Data Validation section

Step Twelve: Backup

After the images get moved to their "permanent" home, make the "permanent" backup.
Read more about Archive Backups in the Backups section

Step Thirteen: Validate

The archive will need periodic validation. This can be a cursory validation, or a thorough one.
Read more about General Validation in the Validation section

Software

Raw conversion and file management

Adobe Lightroom is shown. Additional options include Apple Aperture.

Backup/transfer software

SyncBack is shown. For Mac, ChronoSync or Synchronize! Pro X are good choices.

Equipment

The workflow outlined on this page makes use of a handful of storage devices in order to fully protect the images. This is the minimum setup that we suggest a professional photographer should have. There are many options for storage hardware configurations.
Read more in the Storage Hardware section

equipment
Figure 5 Here's one way to configure the system shown in this workflow.

File flow

In this batch output workflow, the image files are downloaded from a media card onto the internal drive of the laptop, and then they are backed-up to two places. These working file backups are mirror backups which means that they are updated as the files in the working folder change. This protects the files and the work done to them.
Read more about Mirror Backups in the Backup section

Once the files have been rated and adjusted, they can be copied to the archive drive. This is the "permanent" home of the files. Once they are put away, they should receive a permanent backup. Ideally, one backup is written to a hard drive that can be moved off-site. Another backup should be copied to write-once media, such as CD, DVD or Blu-ray disk. This second backup could also be written to an additional hard drive, but that does not provide as much protection as write-once media does.
Read more in the Backup Section

file flow
Figure 6 This diagram shows how the files move from the card to the archive. The hardware needed to create this system is pictured above, in Figure 5.
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Last Updated February 27, 2012