One of the joys of digital media is managing all the darned content. Considering this, I thought I would outline my typical workflow the day after an event, say a sonic performance. I attended two of these this weekend, so the process is one I'm currently busying myself with.
I am sharing this even though it's likely the least interesting topic ever to appear on this blog. Still, I have learned that self-documentation is a good thing. Further, stuff I take for granted others find useful... even if only as a reminder. Third, I am waiting for files to copy and so have time on my hands.
To make this slightly more palatable, I have included an unrelated photo of a dandelion.
OK, so, here is my initial workflow:
* create folder structure on main server for different content (still, movie, audio)
* copy files from memory cards to appropriate folders
* copy files from performance laptop to main server
* convert still images to standard Adobe DNG
* rename still images to differentiate cameras
* rename movie files to include date stamp
* rename sound files to include date stamp
* initial view and purge
* immediately backup files to second hard drive
* import still images into Lightroom
* tag with location, event, client, equipment specifics
Consider a gig at which Susannah is also gathering images. I might then have to amalgamate photos/video from three cameras, sound recordings from two digital recorders, plus a local direct recording made on my performance laptop (if it was one of my own gigs). No wonder I always need a new hard drive or two!
Though the remaining steps can happen at any time, I try to process material as soon as possible, so that the sounds and images of the day are still fresh in my mind. Developing a photo for me is a matter of turning the image the camera saw into the one I saw at the time. This works best before memory decays.
The next steps:
* continue with selection and tagging process
* develop chosen images (potentially a huge step)
* make a second backup to external hard drive (for off-site storage)
* upload select images to Flickr
* share select images to Facebook, etc.
* perhaps even print a few
Sounds and movie files are a different matter, since it really depends on what I am going to do with them. Lately I have been doing a lot more film work, so I have changed my storage system. I now gather all such files together on my hard drive under one folder structure. Broadly speaking, these files are either a document of an event or raw materials for a future work, so I can split them up functionally (the former chronologically, the latter in a big collection).
But these simple categories get confused when I decide to produce a finished video documenting one of my performances. This is both documentation and a new creative project in itself. Such a project might include video, stills, and sound files that all need to be knitted together. I never seem to have the same absolute time on any of my devices, and of course don't run time-code. (Not in my budget.) So matching up synchronous events can take a bit of work. This is yet another reason to work while memory is still fresh.
It should go without saying that this entire process would be extraordinarily error-prone using the standard operating system tools that come with MS Windows (or Mac OS for that matter). Instead of the normal file manager I use a free tool called Multi Commander, which is the best of about ten I have tried. This allows me to perform certain bulk operations effectively.
I also have a Python routine I've perfected over many years that allows me to quickly script file renaming operations. I edit a configuration file, run a batch process, and boom! Files changed.
At some point while writing this I filled a hard drive. I hear new terabytes calling my name. Oh look! A dandelion.