my posting MO or what to do with all those photos on your hard drive pt 1

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Everyone following this blog is probably interested in photography but I seldom go into any detail about the process of getting photos into the blog format.  There is a lot of information on the web and at the library about taking photos and processing them and I don’t think I can add anything worthwhile to what is available.  But I thought I would outline some steps of my own process of posting on this blog and at lightscatter for anyone who might be interested.  I’ll try to keep this brief but if anyone would like more detail, just let me know in the comments section.

After I download the day’s shoot and process them (usually in Lightroom), I try to decide if there are any photos that I think others might be interested in.   Actually, and to be fair, I don’t post anything I’m not interested in myself, so maybe that’s the prime reason right there.  I’ll add, too, that I like to process photos as much as I like to shoot them.  But only a small percentage are post-worthy.  After the processing is completed on a folder the files are star rated (0-4, with 5 stars reserved for the “book”, a once a year limited edition printing).  Usually, there are not many 4 star photos at this point and zero 5 star photos.

I try not to post many 3 star photos (but they do sneak in from time to time).  Sometimes the difference between a 3 star and 4 star rated photo is another processing step that may have been overlooked first time around.  It could be a crop, a conversion or a modification that (in my opinion) would elevate the photo and make it presentable.  I’m not looking to win any prizes but I don’t want to be ashamed of them either.  If I’m lucky (there is a lot of luck involved) I’ll have some 4 star rated photos to post.

Lightroom makes it easy to export files into a useable, web friendly format.  I have a preset I use for this purpose and it’s really the only one I use for the blog photos. I choose not to include a watermark even though it’s easy to do in LR.  It’s a distraction and not much of a deterrent to theft.  The files are exported to a desktop folder called “photos to post”.  Once each week I choose photos from that folder for the following week posts and put those photos in other folders.  This makes it easy for me to find the phot0s to import into WordPress and schedule the blogs.  After the photos are downloaded into WordPress, the posted photos are moved from the original folder to another folder named, you may have guessed, “posted photos”. This helps me keep track of them and not post them a second (or third) time.

I usually schedule the WordPress posts on Sunday for the week, usually posting on Monday and Thursday.  I always set the time of post at 02:00 (2clicksaway) and 02:22 (lightscatter).  (in this way I only use the 2 and 0 keys, which are very close together on a numeric keypad). I don’t post many time sensitive photos so that’s why you may see fall foliage and ice crystals in June and roses and other flowers in December.  Also, alert readers may notice I don’t put much (or any) effort into assigning names to photos or post titles. However, I do admire those photographers that have taken the time for this and some do it very well.

There you have it.  I apologize for the extreme length and little information but I am willing to answer any questions regarding this process.  I also hope other take the time to describe their process and I am always interested in techniques others use.

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21 thoughts on “my posting MO or what to do with all those photos on your hard drive pt 1

  1. Meanderer

    I found that an interesting read. It’s good to hear about how others go about the process, and the art and science, of taking and posting photos. I like the way you organise and file your images – something I could do with improving, for sure. Also the ratings idea is a good one.

    You’ve inspired me to write about my own way of doing things. I’ll have a think about questions and may come back!

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Meanderer. I would love to read about your process. I’m thinking of expanding this to include details like file naming, presets and organization so that I could pick up some tips from others who may have some suggestions on ease and efficiency.

      Reply
  2. Howard Grill

    What do you mean you don’t put effort into assigning names or post titles. There were the salad dressings, the veggies, the song title references…..I l-o-o-ove your titles!

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Thanks, Howard. There is a link to lightscatter to the right of the photo on this blog. It’s not much in the way of advertising, though. lightscatter is my pet project where I like to present what my favorite photos without any explanation or introduction. It lets me concentrate only on the photos and usually never includes text, photo names or post titles (other than the date posted). I choose the simplest theme WordPress had to offer. I do have plans to include more pages in it, so stay tuned.

      Reply
  3. Linda Grashoff

    You really want to know how I do it? OK, this is gonna be long.

    I also do most of my processing in Lightroom. I keep all my photographs and my Lightroom catalog on an external hard drive named Photographs. In my first run-through after downloading I flag (pick) the photos that I want to work on. After fooling around with them, I give five stars to the photos I think are worth posting on the blog or that I want to e-mail to someone. Usually I assign no stars or five stars, but sometimes I give four stars to photos that may be useful sometime but aren’t blog material. I rarely assign one, two, or three stars.

    I export the five-star photos to a folder on my internal hard drive that identifies the shoot. For purposes of this explanation, let’s call that folder Folder A. Folder A is inside another folder I named 4 Blog and Mail. The folder called 4 Blog and Mail is inside my Mac’s Pictures folder. The real name of Folder A relates to the folder in Lightroom that holds that shoot. So on my internal hard drive, the organization looks like this: Pictures > 4 Blog and Mail > Folder A.

    I organize my photos in Lightroom according to time and location. The last shoot that I downloaded is nested like this: All Photos 2001 – > 2017 Photos > 2017 Florida > 01012017 South Lido Park. Each filename is numbered consecutively and uses the folder name as the main part of its name. For example: 01012017 South Lido Park-1, 01012017 South Lido Park-2, 01012017 South Lido Park-3, etc. The folder within 4 Blog and Mail (the Folder A folder) that is related to this download is called 2017 South Lido Park. I could delete the various Folder A folders as soon as I’ve posted the photos within them to my blog or e-mailed them out, but I usually let them hang around for half a year or so (don’t ask me why). I don’t need to keep them because I can always export them again from Lightroom, and I know which ones I’ve posted because they are marked with five stars.

    I try to schedule a batch of WordPress posts ahead of time (for 6:00 A.M.), and usually I do, but sometimes I race out of the bedroom at 5:45 to post for that day. And occasionally I slip up and don’t post until later in the day. I like having something posted every day, but sometimes life overtakes me and I have to cut back. I like posting photos from my most recent outing, but sometimes I don’t get out and resort to posting from my archives photos I took before I started the blog or photos that hadn’t appealed to me earlier.

    I’ll be amazed if anyone besides Ken reads this.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      I understand your process and it sounds very efficient (except for the getting up at 5:45 part). Years ago I started a new job, replacing a person (I’ll call her Bea) who had been doing the job for 4 years. Bea was training me for the job and I had so many questions about why she did things a particular way or the order in which things were done. She said that’s just the way she did the work but I can do whatever I wanted as long as my report at the end of the week was accurate. I found my own way of completing the work in a way I felt comfortable and my reports were always accurate and on time. They used to say there’s more than one way to skin a cat but I never really understood that. Point is, after doing something for a long period of time we find our own way of doing things but sometimes we can learn from others. I may use your idea of using an external HD to store photos and LR catalog. Also, your folder and file naming is interesting to me. I use the default file number from the camera file and just add the shoot date in my LR import preset. Another thing I left out of my MO is keywording of files and the LR Smart Collections ability for finding files. These are powerful tools I find very helpful.
      It can be difficult to try to describe a process in writing but you have done an amazing job here. Thank you.

      Reply
  4. disperser

    Well, crap! Now I feel compelled to share my methodology . . . such as it is. Double warning: this is a long read.

    The mechanics of it:
    I download from the camera using Nikon View. This allows me to quickly go through the photos once on the hard drive (drive G:) and get rid of the out of focus one.

    The photos are arranged in folders by camera and date. For example:
    G:\Nikon Originals\D200_2009\MISC_030609_1
    is a subfolder of the photos from March 6, 2009, that I shot using my Nikon D200. I have D200 folders for the years 2009 through 2015. I have D700 folders for the years 2011 through (now) 2017.

    When I read them in, I usually add keywords to the photos, but not always.

    From there, a copy is made to hard drive H: (both drives are on the same machine). Only then do I format the memory card in preparation for the next set of photos.

    Once a month (or thereabout), I attach an external drive and copy the new photos for the month onto the drive. Then, I attach another external drive, and copy them there too.
    Just added: Amazon Drive (or Prime Photo) offers unlimited storage for photos and 5GB for videos. I believe there are some restrictions as to what they call a “photo”. HOWEVER, for $60 a year, you get unlimited storage. Photos, music, videos, documents . . . if you can upload it, you can store it there, no limits or restrictions. That means I’m in the process of uploading my whole catalog of photos onto Amazon Drive.

    Note: the reason I went with Amazon is that like Apple, their terms of service state that they will not use or do anything with the photos or documents you upload. No targeted ads, they will not use them, they will not mine them. Essentially, it’s like renting a storage unit in the real world; you put whatever you want in there (almost – most rental places frown on the storage of dead bodies).

    The above procedure is repeated for my Lumix Point and Shoot and for photos taken by the phone. The phone photos are automatically backed up to Amazon and Google.

    The Process:
    After the initial review, I consider each and every photo as worthy of publication. On rare occasions — when I shoot bursts — I’ll clean up all but one or two of a series that are essentially the same.

    Note: this could be disputed by some, but given today’s post-processing choices, I stand by my assertion that every photo can be made interesting and worthy of showing.

    Photos are imported into Lightroom in catalogs arranged by cameras and years. When I read them in, I have the import set to use a preset that will change the Camera Calibration to “Neutral”, change the sharpening to “0”, and switch on the lens calibration.

    From there, individual photos are tweaked (if necessary) for brightness and contrast. Very light tweaks.

    From there, the photos I want to publish or share go through the onOne Effects module where I have a number of presets saved depending on the photos. Generally, I add a bit of sharpening and tonal contrast.

    From there, they return to Lightroom where I have a few post-onOne presets that will punch the photo up a bit.

    At this point, I am ready to export . . . unless I want to play with some of my other programs (like the Topaz plugins). Generally, I do this on the spot for interesting photos and I save them to a separate folder for use at a later time.

    When I do export, I export at a 1280pxl resolution for the blog and at full resolution for Smugmug. The template I use in WordPress will show a maximum width of 640pxl, but I link to the original so that if anyone clicks on the photo they will see a version roughly twice as large. The originals are usually available in SmugMug for anyone interested in really examining any given photo.

    And, that’s it. Time-consuming; some might even venture to call it anal, but that’s how I roll. And, no; I don’t believe anyone read all of it.

    Hey! . . . this would make a great post, and it’s already written! Thanks, Ken.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      Your welcome, E. And thanks, too. One of the nice things to spend the long winter nights on is to find a better way to do a process and this is something I could spend some time on. I’ve been toying with the idea of exporting higher res but I need to do more research on this. I have visited your SmugMug galleries many times and I like the presentation and increased resolution it affords. My folder structure is very simple compared to yours but I think you probably have a better idea of where your individual files are located than I do. Another thing I should work on.
      I have been using plugins less and less lately. Even most of the B&W conversions are done in LR. That said, I still do like the ON1 v9 conversion and the standby SilverEfex Pro. Still, I do spend a lot of time trying to finesse photos to the point of their full potential (at least as I see it at that moment). Sometimes it’s obvious that there has been a lot of manipulation done but those photos are just fun to work on. I usually wait a period of time before I post a photo as I have a lot of self-doubt about some photos and need to “finesse” them even more.
      Thanks for sharing your process. Now I know what I should be spending more time on over the winter.

      Reply
  5. LensScaper

    I’ve never used Lightroom but rather wish I had – i think I’m past the point of trying to use the library facilities of Lightroom to catalog my ever growing archive. it is a nighmare keeping track of images, but I follow the same ideas as you in making sure that all my posted images are filed in one place so I know what I have used. Actually for WP posts I have a set of quarterly folders – a little easier to search through them as they are of a more manageable size.

    Reply
    1. oneowner Post author

      The quarterly folders is a nice idea. I may have to borrow it. I can’t undo what’s done but we just started a new quarter and now is a good time to start. Hope you don’t mind that I steal your idea.

      Reply

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