Edit [March 2014]. As with the equipment page, this original posting dates to 2008. My workflow has simplified considerably in the intervening years. I did what most people do, and tried trials of both LightRoom and Aperture and, based on a pretty marginal call around UX and price, went with Aperture.
Backup wise, I limped along with a NAS drive for a few years, a LinkStation Pro, which I had to hack around a bit for power management purposes. It was very slow, and ultimately started to become a little unstable, so I just switched to a cloud backup service. I also cut DVDs [JPEG only, not RAW] about every six months or so.
Editing wise I very rarely do anything outside of Aperture and the the Nik Collection of plugins.
I shoot everything in raw, and about 90% – 10% in Aperture Priority – full manual. I import using Adobe Bridge to Elements 6 running on Mac Os.
I am a novice with Elements, in fact all forms of photo-editing software, so much so that I begrudgingly bought the first ever Dummies Guide a few weeks ago [I have worked in IT for 14 years. BTW: think hard about buying this book, as it is PC specific]. At the moment I tend to do an auto white balance adjustment on the RAW conversion on the way into the editing process, also any cropping in the same tool. I tend to save state – currently as a ‘side car’ file – by clicking ‘done’ before opening for full editing. I haven’t got into anything too sophisticated in Elements – at least not yet. About as much as I do is an adjustments layer to set the levels.
What I do next, in terms of preparing for sharing, is a work in progress by virtue of newly embracing this site. What I’ve done up to now was use a ‘process multiple files’ option in Elements to resize all of the files – generally to width 1024. This is quite crude, as it means that portrait shots are too ‘tall’ at this width. Doing two separate passes for portrait and landscape shot pictures exceeds my current levels of patience. Up to now, I’ve been using jAlbum for creating albums, and then a Mac specific FTP application [called cyberduck] to FTP up to my website. jAlbum has an integrated FTP client, which I haven’t used. I had some problems with it [going back a couple of years]; I also found one of the upgrades trashed the EXIF data. As a consequence I was using the separate app.
I’ll update this when I figure out the finer points of Gallery2 and the WordPress plugin.
In terms of archiving, I tend to have a minimum of two copies of the raw data at any one point in time. Generally I FTP the RAW and ‘sidecar’ data over to another Mac which has a 250 gig external drive attached. I create year/month/event subdirectories. I keep another copy on the same external disk, in a folder called ‘unbackedup’. When it reaches a threshold of 4 gig I archive to DVD. I then empty the folder, and clear the copy out off the primary Mac I use for Elements editing. All fairly labour intensive, but reliable – up until about 2 days ago when I accidentally broke my own rules and deleted the only copy of the RAW data from a recent trip to the Oval. This blog is actually to blame: way too much junk lying around on my desktop and I was a little over-zealous with my house keeping….