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The ideal workflow – Simplified.

Hey fellow photographers

Welcome to “The complete workflow for fellow photogs alike… We all want better pictures & we all want to manage our memories in a way we can retrieve it as fast as possible.  With that being said, I too am / was on the same boat until the Microsoft Surface, the Surface which plays an integral key component, which also integrates well for my needs whether work or play.  From a business aspect there are multiple factors involved, one key component is being able to integrate into existing systems without sacrificing function and if personal how can I utilize all of its functions to the fullest extent.  The following material will guide you through case scenarios on how you can efficiently fine tune your needs with Surface Pro or Surface Book with Windows 10 #DoGreatThings

The following is a base outline of requirements for an optimal experience.

1) Surface Pro 3,4, Pro / Surface Book or any Windows 7, 8.1, 10 machine – Preferably 10, with a minimum of 128GB Hard Drive & 8GB of Ram.

2) Camera – Tool of the trade {Lumia, iPhone, Android, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, etc.}

3) 2x 1TB Hard drives with dock that supports dual bay and or greater.

4) Your favorite photo editor {Adobe Photoshop / Lightroom, On1 Perfect Photosuite, Windows Live Photo ( Depreciated – Can be found via my personal OneDrive), etc.}

5) Additional Software / optional.  {WebMatrix / Web Installer}, {DAM -Digital Asset Management Software: Free & Open Source or Paid}, SyncToy {Sync folders via GUI}, Containers via Windows 10 with Hyper-V, Office 365, Azure
The Single User Home Experience:

Let’s say I am single photog and I need to organize and retrieve my photos ASAP.  How would I go about such a thing?  The following 5x requirements are mandatory except the DAM solution, get it! J😂
1)      Shoot / Get the shots. On location vs. wait till you get home or safe spot to do the task.  One of the key aspects of Surface is the ability to edit on-location, no more carrying your Laptop, Wacom tablet & Camera. #Nocompromise

2)      Before copying to storage, remember that 2x identical hard drives are a requirement as I had mentioned for stationary usage, it is very important that you set up a fail safe storage solution, cause a single backup can be a great solution for temporary usage, but what happens if the hard drive fails? you just lost most, if not all your pictures.  The picture below details how to setup a storage pool for redundancy.  This way you’ll feel safe about your data and if a drive fails just swap it out and your back up and running or you can even scale / make it bigger with bigger or faster drives.

3)      Copying to storage, don’t worry about naming the folder a, b, c or 1, 2, 3 we can still retrieve it all once imported with tag’s, but for best practices, it is recommended that we use the year, month, date and vice versa.  But while copying, why not take the task of copying and pasting by pressing “ctrl + c” & then “ctrl + v” when you can simply just click a button via Sync Toy.   The key significance of Sync Toy is that you can run multiple sync’s at once, no need to do 1×1, so if you have that Storage pool, but also have another storage backup space i.e. Your Home NAS, then Sync Toy can backup to both locations at once including OneDrive or any cloud storage provider.

The picture above is syncing a dual 3 Terabyte drive to a NAS (Network Area Storage), as labeled below the sync name, you can also sync all folder pairs.  The easy button!  If SyncToy is not your cup of tea, then we can also run a batch script via command prompt.  The following will allow to do the same, which then you can also set it as a scheduled task for a fully scheduled automation.

There are many benefits for scheduled task for example you need to copy a lot of data which will require for you to leave overnight, by scheduling a task you can run this same batch script and have your photos backed up every night and or when you need it (On-Demand).

Open Notepad via Windows Key + R, type notepad or found under Windows logo or start menu under apps Windows Accessories –>Notepad.  Type the following or copy and paste from below.

Note: Remember to use your own directory.

xcopy “C:\Users\username\Desktop\pictures\*.*” “C:\Users\username\OneDrive\Pictures\2016” /E /C /J /Y

xcopy “C:\Users\username\Desktop\pictures\*.*” “D:\Users\username\OneDrive\Pictures\2016” /E /C /J /Y

xcopy “C:\Users\username\Desktop\pictures\*.*” “Z:\\myservershare\Pictures\2016” /E /C /J /Y

Save as a .bat file and or ps1 (Powershell) file wha-la, you now have a batch script that you can use to sync those files to multiple storage pools.

But hey! what does the /E /C /J /Y stand for….look them up here. @ “Technet.microsoft.com”

4)      Import to application of choice, in this case Adobe Lightroom CC build 15.6.1 or any other photo app with database support

5)      As you can see in the picture above, my catalog is listed by Year & certain events.  But the most important part is tagging the folder for fast retrieval.  For example, I went on a trip Asia, but I was in different locations of Asia, I know the year, month and date, location, but I need to find all the pictures pertaining India.  The solution in this case is to tag the folder or pictures with India.  Once doing a quick search, by typing India all picture with the tag India will be filtered and you won’t have the dilemma of saying where the heck is that photo.

6)      The picture below details the filtered results. So as you can see if I was to filter all pictures with Sony in this case all Sony pictures would show up, same goes for Adobe Lightroom and or Capture One.

7)      That’s it, fast easy and very conveinent.

The Single User Home Experience Advanced:

1)      All above, but with a slight advanced setup, DAM.

2)      The next step is to scale with your photo library / catalog.  If in any event, we might want to be able to access these pictures while on the go and or have multiple devices amongst you and your loved ones or maybe your friends.  Utilizing a DAM solution can make this an easy task.

3)      DAM {Digital Asset Management} is the solution.

  • To build such a solution one must need a web server (IIS – Internet Information Services or Apache), there are many ways you can have an IIS server or an Apache server, but the most convenient way to setup and get going is via {WebMatrix / Web Installer} by Microsoft, then install your DAM solution as a site. The other method is utilizing containers in Windows 10 with Hyper-V.
  • How to setup Containers or Web Platform for your needs can be found by clicking the links.
  • The links provided in the beginning of the article gave a board selection of DAM solutions, which ever one you go with the same requirements are the same on how to go about using a naming convention & tagging the folder / directory.
  • If you plan on having your DAM solution accessible from the internet, please refer to your router manufacturer of your router and or ISP (internet service provider) for port access / port triggering. As Microsoft is not liable for any mishandling of internet traffic. based on your configuration, please consult with your ISP or a Microsoft MVP / Partner before proceeding.  If you’re not comfortable with setting this up at home, then maybe Microsoft Azure might just be the solution you’re looking for.


Till next time, now get out there and shoot.  #Shootforthememoriesandmakeityours  ~ Lamchopphotography