Monday, October 24, 2011

My Digital Workflow

A few people have asked me since I've started my blog about my digital workflow. Digital Workflow is how each person takes their photos from their camera and then places them onto their computer, and the workflow to post-process those photos and potentially share them via email or on the web on through Flickr or Blogger.

For starters, I have a Canon 7D SLR camera with a Sigma 150-500mm OS lens. I have a nice medium range zoom lens that offers a nice F2.8 aperture through the range of its zoom. With this camera, I have 2 8GB memory cards.

When I get home after birding, I typically apologize to my wife for being late, then place my 8GB Compact Flash card into a USB card-reader. I have a great program called Google Picasa (see screen shot above) that not only edits my photos but also imports and manages my collection of photos. The one thing I really love about Picasa is that it 'runs light'. It opens up quick, does what you want to do, and you're done.

Here is a link to Google Picasa's Official site: This Wonderful Image Editor/manager is free software!!! The video below is 5 minutes and well worth watching if you are even mildly interested in photography.

An incredible feature in this software is non-destructive editing, so if you crop, brighten, darken photos, you can always revert back to your original no matter how much you change the original.

You can "tag" your images so if you need to find pictures of a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, you can simply search for it and if you tagged it earlier, it will be found as you type each letter or the item you are looking for (Lexicographically).

You can "Star" your images so that even if you only have 20 out of 200 that are really keepers, you can hide your unstarred photos so you can see the best of your work, without deleting the many others you may want 'just in case'.

Finally, one final feature that I love is the Export feature.

You chose a single photo that you might want to email to a friend or post on a blog, so you simply click File | Export then set the settings in the export dialog box. The screenshot above shows what that looks like. One cool thing I like to do is label my photos with a 'watermark' stating the bird, the location, and the month/year and a final stamp, ~DM that lets you know that you are truly looking at a Dwaynejava original, a photographic work of art (lol... I'm not that good).

To further describe how export works, think of your large, original files in "My Documents/My Photos". When you export, you make a second (smaller) version of that file. I like to export my files to a folder on my desktop, say "Desktop/Exported Photos". When I export a file, they show up in that desktop folder. So its that smaller, water-marked, cropped, brightened, post-processed photo that I upload to my blog.

I still can't understand how this software is free. Thank you Google for making great, simple image editing software and then giving it to the people!

Good Birding,


  1. I have iPhoto on my Mac that sounds like it works the same way.
    I haven't figured out how to watermark my photos though. I'd like to be able to do that.
    There were 100s upon 100s of Monarchs at the tip again today and it looks as though they'll be there in the morning as well.
    Also, several 100 Red Mergansers were off the west side of the tip this morning. A real sight!

    Thanks for sharing this post. I'm always curious about this too.

  2. No wonder you take such gorgeous photos ... you've got great kit! :)
    I'll be upgrading in about a year. Until then I have to put up with my mediocre equipment. It gets frustrating when you can't get the shots you want of the birds.

    And don't be so modest! lol
    You take fantastic photos!


  3. Picasa edits RAW images? Wow, I had no idea. I have the native Canon editing suite loaded on both computers, but hardly ever use it-- the jpeg export is substandard compared to Photoshop.

  4. Thanks for sharing on this Dwayne. I've been trying to figure out the best way to handle my pictures for a while now without spending money on software instead of saving for a new lens. :) I've been trying Gimp for a bit, but not sure if I'll stick with it. Maybe I'll try picasa.

  5. Thanks for the comments to all. Stuart, I should try exporting the same JPG file in Photoshop and Picasa and then do some pixel-peeping. I don't shoot RAW because neither of my computers can handle 14MB files well. Brian, I'm happy this article may have given you some ideas. I personally think its a great program and you will love it. Karen, thanks for the kind words!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...