To LR or not to LR (again)

So my PP is mostly done on PS, even small adjustments are made in Camera Raw and then exported thru PS, i like the smart linking to the RAW file and usually use a layer to scribble somethings on the image as if it was a contact sheet (see image below), i used to do this on paper and it helps me a lot to organize my PP, LR could use some kind of similar tool.

Also my workflow envolves saving the .psd master file on a “master file” folder, so i have all the image i processed on the same directory and then linked files of PS to corrected versions for printing (etc) so if i change something (maybe clone a rock per example) on the master file, all derivates will get that change too.
Using this workflow, LR becomes more of a problem, not a solution, at least i find more intuitive to use Bridge as it automatically links to PS and Camera Raw. And the size of that catalog file also gives me the creeps. :grin:

So i was wondering if anyone as some kind of workflow tips that involve LR as organizer and using PS as post processer. LR is an amazing tool and a photographer best friend when organizing and maybe I’m missing some functions or practices on LR. Or maybe I’m just overcomplicating things with my workflow, and of course, this is more of personal taste then anything else and this can be me rambling due to be locked down for a few weeks now without shooting :laughing: , but i would like to “read” some opinions.

Thank you for your time.

Lr has been my only file management tool since 2009. Only since late last year have I begun to add Ps to my processing. Currently I only use Ps for things Lr cannot do or things Ps does better. Images are sent to Ps for processing and I save them to make the round trip back to the catalog as separate files (same file number with different extensions for the different file types). In terms of the catalog here’s my method -

First my folder structure looks like this -
Year - 2021
Month - 3 Mar
Session - Place/Event name

Second I use tags, title & captions to further identify pictures with text and also to attach as part of the data on export so when I post them on hosting sites that info goes with.

Third I use ratings, flags and color labels for different purposes. Flags for shots I will consider for processing, ratings for how good they are and color labels for what stage of processing they’re in (purple = published to web, blue = needs keywording, green = exported to hard drive, yellow = ready for Photoshop, red = unused). I’m thinking about using red for PSD files as they are returned from Ps back into the catalog. So far I haven’t found another way to identify them quickly.

The combination of these assigned attributes means if I’ve done my job, I can find pretty much any image in just a few seconds.

I apply location information, tags and the folder name on import. I also add a copyright line and change it yearly. Any jpeg files from the camera come with the raw and sit next to them. I don’t usually apply any presets on import. I do change file names to include my name and the date it was taken. I apply a camera matching profile on import instead of Adobe standard.

Phew. I don’t know if this answers your question, but it’s how I do things. I have no experience with Bridge or any other asset management tool so I can’t speak to differences.

Now I see your mock up, I wish Lr did something like that. I have an idea to investigate a place where I can write what I plan to do with processing either in Lr or in Ps. I think there’s a comments section that might work for this. Can’t literally mark up an image the way you did, but that might be a useful tool if there could be a way to do it in Lr. Will have to do some tinkering.

Hi @Kris_Smith.

That colour rating scheme is something very interesting, I’ll have to try it out. Maybe there’s a way to add the colour flag automatically based with file extension, that would be perfect.
I use a similar folder hierarchy but I don’t use mounth, instead I use quadrants.

If you want a mock-up software for notes I use Onenote from office for my daily job. Basically it’s my daily notebook. You can draw insert links, videos, images even voice notes. It’s a great tool for general organisation.

I think I used OneNote when I had my last job. It was easier given the conditions I used to have to take notes in (just basically walking around hospitals, schools & long-term care facilities). I thought you might have mocked up a layer in Ps with ideas and things to do with the image. Hm.

Upon investigation, the comments section under the metadata panel in Lr is not for our use, but there is a User Comments section in the EXIF dropdown menu in the metadata section. I’m not sure how convenient that is though.

I like the color labels for easy sorting - to make sure I finished with a particular batch of photos or if I still have some that needs work or exporting etc. I’ll see if there are any settings associated with returning a file back to Lr from Ps where a color label could be applied. Sometimes there are easy fixes in preferences that I overlook.

I do have a layer in PS, i expressed my self wrongly :smile: I have an action in PS that adds a transparent layer, calls it Prova (Proof) and defines the colour swatchs to green and red.
I just talked about Onenote as a alternative as i use it for my daily job.

Ah, gotcha. If I tried to express myself in Portuguese I’d be unintelligible! I spent a week there in 2019 and thought it was wonderful. Would go back to Sintra in a heartbeat.

Glad you enjoyed my little country, i think it has a lot more to offer then it looks from outside, and if your enjoyed Sintra (which is beautiful, no doubt) you will love Gerês National Park. :wink:

Olá João

Do you mind clarified how do you use those notes as a layer in PS?
It will be very useful

Olá @joaoquintela,

Not a problem at all, it’s a very simple process.

All i do is add a transparent layer on top of the image and then use the brush with bright colours to make notes, i use green to scribble the “good” things as composition or geometric shapes and red to “bad” things such as things to correct or remove.

I did a action to make this faster, but it’s just some 5 or 6 clicks actually.
Here’s what the action does:
This one is tied to @Tony_Kuyper Panel (a lifesaver by the way).

Then when saving the file i make this layer invisible so it does not show on the thumbnail, the same applies when exporting.

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