A workflow for LR - for family historian

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  • Updated 5 years ago
This post reflects a desire to share a workflow that is working for me, and to thank all of you who helped me develop it. I am the family historian, not a photographer. I maintain genealogy data in Reunion 10, photos and raw video in LR CC, create Movies from the raw video in iMovie, and keep track of the finished videos in LR. I have scanned in thousands of photos and slides. My most common uses for photos & videos are to share them on my iPad (often on Apple TV), provide requested copies (often to my wife, who does photo books), and search for (and find) specific photos of specific events. Equipment is an upgraded 2013 MacBook Air (1.7GHz i7, 8GB, 256GB), with an external 24” monitor, an iPad Mini (not retina) with 32GB RAM, an iPhone 5s with 32GB RAM, scanner is an Epson V600, Camera is Fuji Finepix F900EXR—and I shoot in RAW. I do not use Photoshop or Bridge. I have 14,000 photos and videos, and 7,700 of those are synched with both the iPad and iPhone in 58 collections.

Mistakes I made: 1. Started with a cheap slide scanner. Scanning takes time. I do not want to do it over. The V600 is an excellent slide scanner. Scan everything at a high resolution (1800DPI for slides). If you run out of disk space, buy more. It’s cheap.
Started with 300dpi photo .jpgs. Now scan to 600dpi .tifs. Same reason as 1.

Where to spend money: 1) on the scanner. 2) on the computer. LR is an amazing program. I’ve accidentally had it doing so many things at once that some of the edit options were greyed out! Corrective action: get a cup of coffee and let the thing catch up. Synching 7,000 photos took LR desktop about 36 hours as it had to create the smart thumbnails.

LR Folders: I have a folder on my desktop called Photographs with subfolders named for the year or groups of years. Examples: 1850-1910, 1910-1950, 1950s, 2013. All photos in all of these folders are visible to LR and managed only by LR. For videos, I use the Movie folder (OSX default) with two subfolders: Raw video and Home Movies. I reject only the photos I intend to delete immediately.

I also have a quadracopter and a trail camera that shoot HD video and shoot photos on my iPhone. I always use sort by capture time in all folders and collections. I have one library. I use a temporary folder called “In Work” as a holding pen for photos and videos that I have not processed. Below, I use the term “Library” to mean the entire LR library EXCLUDING "In work". The first step in all imports is to get the photos into the "In Work" folder.

Workflow: iPhone. Import to LR. Set import to apply Lens Correct and Chromatic Aberration removal + my copyright metadata on import. Copy files “In Work”. Delete files from iPhone using Image Capture. Dump the photos I don’t want, add keywords to the rest. Move the rest into folders that are simply the year.

Workflow: Camera. Same as above, except Copy as DNG.

Workflow: Scanned photos. Import to “In work.” Issue is that the photos have the capture time = scan time. Requires individual analysis. In addition, many times I get the same photo from multiple sources. Often a photo taken at the same event is already in my library, although it may be a lower resolution, or the original was damaged. Highlight all the related photos in the In Work folder and add an appropriate keyword. Create a collection from those photos. Now go to the approximate year in the library and see if there are other photos from the same event. If so, select them, add the same keyword to them, then drag them into the same collection. Open the collection. Normally, the photos from your Library will appear first as they have correct dates and the scanned photos have very recent dates. For each photo with the correct date, look for a matching scanned photo (select both, hit “c” to compare). If they match, check to see which has the higher resolution or is the better photo. If it is the new one, copy the metadata from the old one. Reject the one you don’t want to keep. Continue until there are no more duplicates (though the rejected ones will be visible), Now select all the scanned ones (rejected ones too) and set the Capture Time to agree with the photos already in your library. Enter appropriate keywords as you choose. If you rejected any photos stored in a year folder, select the folder and Delete all rejected photos (select Delete from hard drive). Go to the In Work folder and delete all Rejected photos. The photos you just worked on should be at the top. Select them and drag them into the year folder. If LR indicates files were not copied as they were duplicates--investigate, determine which to keep and which to delete. Loop until finished.

Workflow: get photos on iPad and iPhone. Use LR Mobile on both devices. Set the collections to sort alphabetically. On Mac, create Collections as part of the Collection Set “Synchronized” (even though the synch symbol appears, filing like this just makes it clearer). Since LR Mobile can display collections in alphabetical order, I start each collection name with a number (numbers come alphabetically before letters). I use this code:
1 {name} Things I most likely will share. Examples: views, sunsets, animals, flowers. Each collection has less than 20 pictures
2 {name} Things less likely to be of interest and in more depth. Examples: dogs, our house, my wife’s art
3 {name} Family photos. The best 50 photos of people of interest, Examples: my wife, my son, my brother and his wife, etc.
4 {year} The best 50 or less photos from each year or group of years.
5 {Name} Pretty good family photos (includes 3 above). Use the same names as 3. Typically 100 or fewer
6 {Name} These are all of my photos and duplicates the year folders above

For each collection on the i-Device, select the three dots on the right of the cover photo for that collection and select “Enable Offline Editing”—that allows me to do slideshows in real time when I am not connected to anything.

When I process photos in the In Work folder, I drag them into any appropriate Collection. If I add any photo to a year folder, I drag that entire folder into the Collection beginning with 6—LR will not create duplicates.

Workflow: get videos from iPhone or iPad or a video camera—follow the same process above, moving videos to the folder “Raw Videos”.

Workflow: Put videos on i-Devices. LR will not synch videos with LR mobile. I use iTunes to synch the Home Videos. After selecting the appropriate device in iTunes, select the tab for Movies. Deselect Synch Movies (although I guess you could choose to synch rented moves). Select the tab for photos. Select “Synch Photos from” and then select “Home Movies” (there are no photos in Home Movies). Then select the checkbox next to “Include Videos”

To create or edit a video. Open iMovie, import the Raw video files you want to be part of the movie, export the movie as a file to folder “Home Movies.” In LR, select the folder and Synchronize it.

Anomaly: on the iPad and iPhone, in the Photos app (used to be Camera Roll), you will see your videos twice: in an Album called “Videos” and one called “Home Movies.” If you shoot a video using the camera on the iPad or iPhone, it will show up in Videos but not Home Movies. When you import the video from the iPad or iPhone using the import process above, you will not see the videos you put on the i-device as available for import.

I would welcome any suggestions for improvements. I suspect LR Mobile will soon have Collection Sets and that will cause me to move the Collections around. I did discover LR deals with renaming Collections perfectly and, if you put synched folders into Collection Sets on your Mac, it will synch the collection, and show it in alphabetical order with the rest of the Collections, and just ignore the Collection Set.
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Dan Connors

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Posted 5 years ago

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