The workflow ideally should be simple and stable, independent from various gear and software changes.
Let’s talk about step 3, Post-Production.
The digital camera always records the image in the RAW format, which is the Digital Negative analog of the film. Some cameras hide the RAW file and allow to get the processed JPG file instead.
My understanding is that the RAW file is what we are talking about here.
Task 3.1 Import Original Files
Usually people choose Adobe Lightroom Classic or Capture One software.
Adobe Lightroom Classic
Capture One offers Catalog or Sessions for the library function. I prefer Sessions. The copied files are saved in Capture folder.
Adobe Lightroom Classic offers Catalog only in the Library module.
Task 3.2 Backup Original Files
Making two backup copies in addition to the one that was imported.
Get Backup Pro
I use two G Drives 4 TB each, PROD and BACKUP 1
Task 3.3 Select Images to Process – Culling
Both applications offer Contact Sheet View, which is how the analog photography editors looked at the film to decide which image to choose.
Magnum Contact Sheets
Capture One in Sessions uses a special folder called Selects, and has menu items and a keyboard shortcut to move a file from Capture folder to Selects folder.
Lightroom has a special flag called Pick and a keyboard shortcut to mark the file as Selected.
Task 3.4 Process Selected Images
This step is the most complicated, and can be expanded to the infinity.
The main idea is that the photographer before taking a picture has a visualization of the end result in mind. The camera cannot capture it exactly, and therefore, the captured image needs adjustments to reflect the original visualization.
Usually a camera has a low dynamic range, problems with the white balance, gives flat looking images that need some crop.
The assumption is that all the things that can be done right in the camera itself are done in the camera. The post is not for making an image, just for the modest corrections.
Lightroom Classic has a whole marketplace of presets and plugins, Capture One not so much.
My favorite plugin is Nik Collection, which works with Lightroom and Capture One
One thing about Lightroom Classic – you do not need a subscription to process the image. The Library module still has access to the adjustment controls after the subscription is expired.
My preference is Capture One. It has that high end experience that Lightroom lacks.
Task 3.5 Export Processed Images
The export requirements are given by the client or publishing provider.
Instagram requirements – 1080 pixels
Capture Pro has a built in Instagram optimized export recipe (preset). The exported files are saved in a separate Output folder.
Lightroom has also some Export presets.
Task 3.6 Backup Processed and Exported Images
In this case not only files need to be copied, but also a Catalog backup needs to be done, because all the changes to the RAW file are preserved in the Catalog or Session file only.
Capture One Catalog allows to import Sessions, so all the adjustments can be saved as one backup. This is how the backup folder looks like after being created by Capture One or Lightroom Classic. Usually it takes less space than when you copy the entire catalog manually.
That’s the major steps that I would take for any film or digital photography. The mindset and concepts should be the same regardless of the gear or software. The idea of the workflow is to stop thinking about the post-production steps, but rather free yourself to focus on what matters – the image itself.