I have been getting questions lately about my workflow, and has it changed with the new Lightroom (not Lightroom Classic/desktop)? The short answer is my workflow has changed some, mainly due to the ability of Lightroom to now edit images without having to import them into the program. Later this week I’ll post another blog comparing the two versions of Lightroom, and discuss some issues why you may or may not want to change your workflow. Is Lightroom Classic dead…maybe…but maybe not! Stay tuned…
One thing that never changes is how I photograph in the field, and start my workflow with tagging images in the camera. If I get a great landscape or wildlife image and I see it on my camera LCD, I am going to select that shot so when I open the folder of images in the computer my best images are already tagged. It always seems like I have some down time between shoots during the day…a great time to review images in my camera and see if there are any I want to tag.
When I wrote about this six years ago on my blog Photo Mechanic was the only program that showed tagged (locked) images. It works like this…find an image you like in camera, ‘lock’ or ‘protect’ it, and when you open the folder of images in PM the locked images are tagged. With my Nikon Z9 I have a lock button in the upper left of the camera back…just push the lock and the image is not only locked (you can’t accidentally erase it), but it is now tagged in PM. At the end of the day I just choose View-Tagged images from the menu bar, and these locked images show up. No need to spend tons of time reviewing all the images from the day, just do a quick edit of your tagged images, save them to your desktop, and show your client at dinner or post them on social media.
Here is the good news. Now Canon, Sony and other camera systems along with Lightroom (and Photo Mechanic) will also read tagging and star rating information from the camera. Most cameras will allow you to star rate the images in camera, and this information will show up when you import the images into Lightroom. Very nice! Tagging images in the field will help you quickly edit a few nice shots very quickly at the end of the day. Your ability to do this will vary with camera models, so you will have to explore what information tagged in camera will show up in your culling software.
Tagging in the field is just a simple first step. I still go through my entire shoot of images when I have the time, generally when I get home from a trip. Tagging in camera allows me to post my best shots from a trip very quickly, but I will do a thorough culling session of all the images later.