What's your workflow?

There is an interesting thread in the StudioLighting.net LightSource Podcast Flickr Discussion Group (boy, how's that for a mouthful?). RicDiaz posted a thread about workflow and asked "what is your workflow"?

I have been looking at refining my current workflow this year. As I shoot more, I find that finding my images that I need to work on is a bigger and bigger task, and a growing problem (literally).

The Expert
I think Peter Krogh is probably the foremost authority on the topic currently. I had a chance to meet him at Photoshopworld Miami this year and hope to have him on LightSource soon. I just picked up his book "The DAM Book" from O'Reily Press. It's a book that goes into the various applications and methods for organizing, protecting, and archiving your images. Pulling images off your memory cards is just the first step of transferring your images to your PC… not the last. This is where I lack the workflow. I often think, "Well, it's in a date labeled folder, I'm good for now. I'll keyword later." If only I followed through with that notion.

Work Now, Save Later!
Keywording and filling out metadata (completely) just after transferring images will save you work later on down the road. Whether you are uploading to a stock agency like istockphoto.com, or to Flickr or a publication… you won't have to relabel and caption your images after the fact, saving you time down the road. You can just export images in a variety of formats, sizes, with or without logos and all your information travels along with the file.

In addition, the closer to the shooting event you label an image; the more likely you are to capture details and emotion of the event in your descriptions. Later on, the memory fades a bit and your metadata might not capture the essence of the event.

My Workflow (as of this posting)
I'm using iView Media Pro and evaluating ACDSee Pro at the same time. I hope to settle on one soon. At this point, I'm leaning toward iView Media for cataloging, but like some of ACDSee's Photo Viewer capabilities. After I download from CF Cards, I convert to DNG (because iView Media Pro doesn’t write metadata to Canon RAW camera formats and it does not save metadata in a XMP sidecar file like Adobe Bridge does.) After I convert to DNG, it sits till I do something with it. (not good practice, huh?)

If I'm going to a model, I save as a web gallery and post online for them to choose and then I'll do prints.

If I'm going to iStock, I open to Photoshop, address any blemishes, save to a stock folder and then keyword (In Bridge, because it supports Keyword groups. For instance, when I select Sad, it adds unhappy, sad, upset…etc.) This cuts down on my keywording for stock.

If it's flickr, I have a Photoshop action that embeds a watermark logo shape (tutorial found at RusselBrown.com) and then use Flickr uploader.

See… not very efficient. This is why I look to streamline my workflow more this year. I'm looking to eliminate the "bottleneck" of finding, sorting and outputting images.

How's your workflow?