Originally Posted by peter
How about giving us a run down on your work flow with light room. It would help a few people here I think.
I don't mind doing that Peter, though there is nothing mystical about it
Normally LR would be already loaded in, though you can set it to load as soon as a memory card is put in the reader. The import dialogue is then clicked on and the various options for where and how you want to load in the files. Normally I will import to an external drive, though most may just use their My Docs folder. I choose 'Copy Photos to a new location and Import' then choose 'My Documents' 'Organize into one folder' and 'Put in Subfolder' giving a name in the space for it. This will create a new folder with the given name in My Docs and all images will be imported to it. Whilst in the ame dialogue, I will leave the filename the same as in the camera, though you can change it. Also I will apply my own copyright to the Metadata. I have 2 or 3 different versions set up depending whether they are personal or business photos, and they contain my name address etc plus some statement of copyright. I will also at this point apply any appropriate keywords that may be useful later. Finally click import and leave it to do just that.
In the library module you can then see all images in the filmstrip along the bottom and either large thumbnails or single previews in the centre. My first task would be to Pick (P) the ones I wanted from a session. Lets say out of 100 raw files imported, I Pick (P) 50 if I then click on the Flag icon next to Filters it will show only the 50 I have chosen, the rest are hidden.
Usually I would change to the Develop module at this point, though simple adjustments can be done in Quick Develop in the Library module. Often I will have several shots that all require very similar adjustment, lets say to Exposure, and White Balance, though it can be other ones as well. These adjustments are applied to one, then by selecting all the similar ones, clicking on Sync Settings and making sure the appropriate boxes are checked the same changes are applied to all the files selected.
Once all the adjustments to the files are made in the Develop module, the selected files are then Exported in the Library Module. The Export dialogue again asks where you want to export to. Here I would choose Desktop, or some other location and check Put in Subfolder giving it a name. I may have a preset already made, but not usually. I will also set the other options like sRGB, file type, Quality etc. If I want for example to create a particular print size, I can put in the contrain proportions section 6x4" or perhaps a different unit. I have found if I want a 7.5x5, I need to put 5 in the height window (leaving width blank) and then it will automatically create a 7.5x5, it will not accept a 7.5 unit putting in the dialogue. When all this is done, simply click Export and leave it to apply all your settings to the images you set previously. If I'm only working on individual files, that need further post processing, I will also export to CS2. It is possible also at this point to burn them all to a CD too.
It may however be that you want to create a slideshow, or a web gallery at this point and there is no need to convert to Jpeg etc to do this. Just go to the appropriate module and its very easy to do. However if you need Jpegs, as I often do for a client, there is no need to keep the created folder once they have been sent, and I will now delete them as I know they can easily be reproduced if need be.
Essentially the whole process is done quite quickly and once you have a routine again things speed up. The fact is though that I don't need to use Photoshop anywhere near as much and Bridge is virtually redundant. File organisation, and location is a breeze. I have a separate library for personal files, and by pressing CTRL when you load in the program you get the option to choose or create a different library, very useful I have found.
If anyone has any further tips, please tell us