So, after reading several pieces by Thom Hogan I decided to go back to the drawing board. First, I bought his Complete Guide to the Nikon D700. I read all 800+ pages of it. Then I ordered the 2nd edition and need to go through all of that as well. I suspect that I will read that one through twice. Since capture by your camera is the very first step in any workflow scheme, get to know it really well.
After evaluating various transfer software packages, I settled on Adobe Bridge which includes Adobe Photo Downloader. I then read that manual from cover to cover – three times so far. I discovered that I could do an awful lot in Bridge that I was previously doing in Lightroom.
The next step was to look at RAW converters. Thom no longer recommends Nikon’s Capture NX2 and I already own Photoshop and Lightroom which are very good. Insofar as RAW conversion tools are concerned, Camera RAW and Lightroom are identical. Only the interface is different. I know this because I read both manuals twice. Are you sensing a trend here?
I haven’t made a final decision, but I am leaning toward using Camera RAW exclusively. Since post-processing is done in Photoshop anyway, that seems to make the most sense. Since I print out of Photoshop too, Lightroom is starting to look like an unnecessary investment.
In the meantime, I am also looking at various Photoshop plug-ins. I used to use Neat Image to reduce noise, but Topaz DeNoise 5 is wonderful and a lot of people have moved to that. Indeed, the entire Topaz package is great and they keep the free updates coming.
Finally, did I mention that I am documenting all of this extensively? I have every manual in either PDF or Word as well as a step-by-step description of the entre workflow plus rules to remember and tips. This whole project has been and will continue to be a lot of work (pun intended). However, I am hopeful that, if I get it right this time, it will make me a much better photographer. I’ll keep you all posted.