What I want in a photo workflow application

I never go far without my Pentax *ist DS camera. I take a lot of pictures.

Normally when I move pictures from my camera to my computer and do the first raw sorting, it’s a fairly manual process, involving things like the windows explorer (copy), a small file renaming tool (to rename to the exif date/time), IrfanView (browsing) and The Gimp (for crop and levelling).

I want to try and automate this process a bit, make it work better with raw files and add delta edition (the original picture is left untouched, changes applied is saved to a seperate file).

My process often looks something like this:

1. Insert memory card
2. Move the 100Pent Directory to my server (mirrored harddrives on that one)
3. Rename directory to todays date and maybe and a word or two that sums up the contents of the directory
4. Rename the images to something like “2005-11 12_10-10-20 – IMGP0455.jpg” (exif date-time – org name.orgExt)
5. Browser through the pictures with either IrfanView and/or the Windows Explorer in thumbnail view
6. Foreach picture that has an interest:
6a. Load into gimp (drag/drop from Windows Explorer if that’s open)
6b. Level and/or whitebalance
6c. Crop
6d. Save with a short description added to file name (like “2005-11 12_10-10-20 – IMGP0455 – Tractor, levelled.jpg”)
6e. Scale down (resize) for web usage (down to between 25%-50%, depending on crop)
6f. Save again, with the text “_sml” added to filename
7g. If any anything good came out of it, zip up the _sml files and upload to my gallery

So my wish list looks like this:

  • [Nice] Copy/Move files when memcard is inserted (auto create directory, using date name)
  • [Nice] Rename files, either during copy or after
  • [Nice] Browser images
  • [Must] Basic image manipulation feature (level, crop, whitebalance, curves, scale…)
  • [Must] Delta editing
  • [Must] support Pentax *ist DS Raw files (.pef)

I’ll try different kinds of packages to we how they solve my problems. I’ll put each review in a separate blog.

  • ACDSee 8 from ACD Systems is a nice piece and relative cheap piece (50us$) of software, but I didn’t get far, as it doesn’t support Delta editing or *ist DS Raw files, making it useless to me.
  • Bibble, I’m currently testing this one. It seems to have all the must-have features, but it’s also really annoying. Full review later.
  • Capture One Pro/LE. 500euro for the Pro and 100euro for the LE, I’m looking forward to seeing what this can do…

Update [april 28th 2006]: For the moment I’m using Photoshop RAW. It seems to do the job…

1 thought on “What I want in a photo workflow application

  1. TC Post author

    Note to self: Adobe LightRoom beta seems to do the job. I’ve been trying the beta’s and they work quite well for my purposes. A bit slow in places and very slow in others, but they are beta’s and hopefully the final version will be more stable and a lot faster.


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