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The digital SLR workflow
So you've decided on the digital SLR to buy, you've gotten the lenses and accessories needed for the subject matter and you're raring to go out and take some pictures.
But wait, before you rush out and start snapping, consider this — do you have a proper workflow system set up for managing and handling your image files? The days of film, where the photo lab takes care of the processing and development, are over and now the onus is on the digital photographer to determine the way he or she shoots and prepares image files for output.
Having some sort of system set up is very important for proper handling of digital images, especially when they start accumulating in the hundreds or thousands. A well thought-out system will also help in making sure that the best results are obtained. Although this may sound a little complicated to get going, it will be worth it. A good digital workflow solution shouldn't hinder or slow down the photo taking process. In fact, proper workflow should complement your photo-taking skills, making it easier to get the results or effects you want.
Controlling your digital workflow
Digital imaging workflow isn't as daunting as it sounds. It is simply the way in which you treat and manage your image files from the moment they are taken with the camera all the way to output. The same system applies whether the image is stored in a computer or hard drive, printed out, projected onto a wall or posted on a Web site.
Technically, imaging workflow should be applicable to all digital cameras, but photo labs are increasingly offering basic digital printing services to consumers. While printing at a photo lab may be a bit easier, it gives you less control over the end result, and since many cameras use the PictBridge standard they are able to connect directly to the photo printer anyway.
dSLR owners, on the other hand, should spend some time getting familiar with the process and developing a fundamental understanding of what goes on, as it opens up a whole world of options and controls to them. This can mean the difference between average-looking photos and pictures that anyone would keep for years to come.