A New Workflow

Everything was pretty simple in my old workflow. One folder on a hard drive for each year. One subfolder for each shoot or event or theme. Do backups, import to Lightroom, pick, edit, export to clients (Smugmug) or social media. But since a few changes from Adobe and with other new tools available and evolving I decided to change things for two main reasons:

1. Enable mobile editing. If I decide I want to edit on my iPad, I don’t want to have to go and find the file first on a laptop and move it somewhere.

2. To decrease dependency on Adobe. I’m planning to move away from Lightroom and Photoshop, so the first step is to do less editing there. 

This flow is what I’ve come up with for now.

So all my RAW images (or JPEG if I've shot some images in only JPEG) go automatically into Amazon Drive (cloud) and an Apple Time Machine backup (on a second local hard drive). Then my 4-star and 5-star selections in Lightroom are copied into an 'originals' folder in iCloud. Although in practice I am still editing sometimes in Lightroom, I'm trying to ween myself off it as an editing tool.

So this process and storage can be the same whether I’m editing in Affinity Photo, Luminar, Snapseed, Pixelmator or anything else. I was initially just going to use Amazon Drive to store the 'selections', but it doesn’t seem to give me a preview of the Fuji Raw files, and I’m already paying for extra iCloud storage anyway. 

Lightroom (or possibly Bridge) will remain for the initial selections and culling for now, at least until the promised Luminar update. If Luminar still doesn't seem a good solution then I may look at a dedicated package such as PhotoMechanic.

Finally, why not Capture One? It seems like great software and could be an excellent alternative. I'm pretty sure that if I was shooting with Sony then that's probably the software I'd be using. But Capture One doesn't support the Fuji GFX files (medium format), because it's a direct competitor to Phase One. Not that I'm using a GFX or am likely to in the near future, but it concerns me that they would limit Fuji support in that way. Maybe I'm wrong and needlessly missing out, but there are so many software options around now that we do have the chance to be choosy with where we invest our software bucks.


Update (26 Feb): After using Alien Exposure X3 more extensively I'm optimistic that it can replace Lightroom for image management and editing. I've used it for one entire shoot so far and it worked well, allowing for the fact that I'm still learning it. I'll update the workflow once I'm certain that I can drop Lightroom and switch fully to Exposure X3.