DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY BEST PRACTICES AND WORKFLOW
CODP came across this really interesting article the other day, which outlined a short list of recommended best practices for digital photography – practical solutions for preserving digital images along with their colour, intent, quality and appropriate metadata. There are some really useful tips here, courtesy of dpBestflow.org! If you would like to learn more about this topic then please join us on one of our Editing Courses.
A more comprehensive description of best practices can be found at www.dpBestflow.org.
- Invest in the best monitor you can afford, and keep it regularly calibrated and profiled in an appropriately illuminated environment
- Acquire abundant hard drive storage capacity
- Maintain your computer and operating system properly
- Shoot raw, if possible. This provides the highest image quality and the most flexibility for image correction and interpretation.
- Embed and preserve the appropriate color profiles in image files.
- Use a large color space for image editing, such as Adobe RGB(8 or 16-bit) or ProPhotoRGB (16-bit).
- For the best possible results, profile your camera and printer.
- When delivering image files, make sure all parties understand color profile requirements.
- Use parametric image editing tools for as much image editing as possible.
- In order to enable non-destructive image editing in Photoshop, use and save layers, adjustment layers and smart objects to master files.
- Use TIFF or PSD as working file formats.
- Use JPEG or TIFF as delivery file formats.
- Use TIFF or PSD as file formats to archive rendered master files.
- Use DNG to archive raw file data.
Storage and Organizational Practices
- Assign unique file names to images in order to distinguish one file from another and to prevent overwriting of files.
- Create a naming convention that is easy to use and remember and that can be automated.
- Use folders to organize and store files.
- Use metadata and cataloging software to manage the content of your image collection and to streamline image searches.
- Design workflow according to image lifecycle phases: capture, ingestion, working and archive.
- Embed credit, contact and copyright information in all image files.
- Add bulk metadata to describe the shoot and add keywords as necessary.
- Use the appropriate metadata field for more specific tags such as location.
- Be aware of programs and workflow steps that may strip metadata.
- Use a 3-2-1 backup (3 copies, 2 different media, 1 stored offsite) whenever possible.
- Clearly distinguish the primary and backup copies of your digital image files.
- Schedule system backups to occur at appropriate places in the workflow and image life cycle.
- Clone your system periodically to avoid lost time and lost data in the event of system drive failure.
Preservation Management Practices
- Archive capture files as soon as possible in the workflow to protect your images.
- Archive layered master files to ensure projects can be re-created in their entirety.
- Migrate to new media periodically, to prevent loss due to media failure and to increase the speed of access.
- Migrate to new file formats as necessary to stay current technologically and to avoid obsolescence.
- DNG offers a secure openly documented and forward compatible format for image archiving.
- Validate critical file transfers to ensure the transfer has occurred without data corruption or loss.
- Validate both primary and backup storage regularly.
- A DNG archive can be validated with a much higher level of certainty than any other image file format.
- Use write-once media as part of your archive backup plan, since it can be validated with certainty.