This post describes the processing of thousands of images that we take during our odyssey. Since we often shoot more than one church in a day, it is important to collect and log the metadata early so we don’t make mistakes or get confused. And since we both shoot full frame digital, we have a great deal of data to organize, store, and back up.
First, we collect the data on 8GB compact flash cards in the cameras. For the 1ds Mark III, that amounts to approximately 320 images on a card (22-25MB per RAW image), while on the 5D that amounts to about 600 images (10-12MB per RAW image). A single card per camera suffices for a days shooting, although we have additional 8GB CF cards in reserve, if needed.
After shooting, we return to the hotel and download. Our hardware configuration is a 17″ MacBook Pro with 4gb of RAM for our workstation, and two 500GB LaCie portable hard drives as our storage devices (one connected by 800Mbps FireWire800 and the other by 400Mbps FireWire). Our software configuration of choice is Adobe Lightroom, supplemented by Adobe CS3. We connect the camera and import the contents of the cards to a Lightroom catalog. The original files are copied to the first LaCie drive as the main library and to the second as a redundant backup. The Lightroom catalog itself is maintained on the MacBook Pro but copied as backup to each of the LaCie drives as well.
After loading the images into the Lightroom catalog, we enter the metadata. Typically, that has always been the name of the church and its location as IPTC data, which supplements the EXIF data supplied by the camera. This year, however, we are working with the ArtStor digital library and they have a custom panel of NDIIPP metadata that we need to provide. This cannot, at this juncture, be done in Lightroom so we are adding a step to do so in Adobe Photoshop. ArtStor provides an installer for Photoshop, and we have created an action that automates the data entry part of the process for images with the same metadata.
NDIPP stands for National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, an initiative led by the Library of Congress, so it is by no means an insignificant contribution to digital asset management. Lightroom Development Team – please give us a way to embed these NDIIPP panels from within your magnificent application!
This entire process takes about an hour and a half each evening, after which we go to dinner. That leaves little time left for blogging, but we hope to be able to keep up something of an update. But as for dinner, this is, after all, France …