The Perfect Sunrise

by NULLZ

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To handle a large number of pics a a smooth and efficient workflow is needed. I am currently doing the following, which I find too cumbersome and annoying. This has a bad effect on my pics, which don't get the attention that would deserve.

I'm on Windows 7 with a Canon camera.

  1. Import from the CF card via the canon utility ZoomBrowser EX. I don't particularly love it but it is relatively unobtrusive.

  2. Three alternatives for the raw files

    of these DPP appears to extract the best information from the raw files (they appear more realistic and sharper) but it offers only the most basic functionality. UFraw and Rawtherapee are much better, if only I were able to achieve the same quality of DPP. I will add that I have noticed this only in some photo, maybe because it is not so apparent, or because I have begun shooting with a new lens, or I simply got better at spotting the differences.

  3. Import to gimp: this depends on the source. Both ufraw and Rawtherapee directly call gimp, while with DPP I have to convert to TIFF. This has a huge impact in terms of disk space: from a 20M raw file to a 80M TIFF.

  4. First thing in gimp: save to its own native format (xcf) and kill the tiff if importing from DPP. This is needed because I am doing backups and so all these useless TIFFs floating around annoy me.

  5. Proceed to work on the image as I am capable of (that is, not much! :-) )

  6. Backup everything on an external hd

  7. Empty the CF card

This is not efficient or smooth. How can I improve it?

Please note that given the limited set of features of ZoomBrowser I am not systematically tagging/starring the pics. This is going to bite me, I am sure.

PS: I am still trying to pinpoint the differences between DPP and UFraw/RawTherapee. It could be the subject of another question...

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1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

In general - switch to a one program solution like Lightroom.

It gives pretty good results (I don't know how it compares to DPP though, but it must be at least comparable given its popularity). It will handle the import, tagging, sorting, labeling, and most of your basic edits to the photo all in one program without keeping multiple copies of the image around. It will do all the color corrections, spot removal, sharpening etc without the need to go into Gimp. (If you want to start cutting stuff out of the image or adding stuff in, or selective color, or stuff like that, you'd still need to go to Gimp though. But that stuff should be much more rare.)

I'm a fan of Gimp, I am. But both GIMP and Photoshop excel at making detailed changes to one photo at a time. Lightroom ( or heck even Picasa) allow you to do many of the basic modifications in stride, rather than stopping to mess with switching files around.


Picasa is an option, but really Lightroom is in a whole different league. I was a big Picasa + Gimp fan for awhile, but Lightroom is just so much easier/faster.

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Coudn't agree more - LR is the only option :) –  Rafal Ziolkowski Aug 10 '11 at 7:55
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Lightroom is better in almost every way than DPP. The only places where DPP has an edge is where the Canon proprietary information is used -- things like dust delete data. Lightroom uses Adobe Camera Raw for processing the images but it's not a "one program" solution for everything. There are some things that Lightroom can kinda-sorta do but Photoshop can nail with half the effort and higher quality. Complex patching comes to mind. –  Steve Ross Aug 10 '11 at 7:56
    
Picasa is definitely not enough for me. I am experimentig with it but... I can see that it can work for a lot of people but it is not what I am looking for :-) Thanks for your suggestion, I am looking into LR. –  Francesco Aug 10 '11 at 8:29
    
+1 For LightRoom. I'm a big open-source software fan too, but software designed specifically for photographic editing and cataloguing is still a bit lacking in that community. Gimp is great -- as good as Photoshop for many jobs. But Lightroom is a completely different tool. Yes, its more expensive, but you get what you pay for. –  ltn100 Aug 10 '11 at 10:33
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