7-Step Digital Photography Workflow

7-Step Digital Photography Workflow

Digital photography is a form of photography that uses an array of light sensitive sensors to capture the image focused by the lens, as opposed to an exposure on light sensitive film. The captured image is then stored as a digital file ready for digital processing (colour correction, sizing, cropping, etc.), viewing or printing.

During the first few weeks of class, we will be learning about the Digital Photographic Workflow that includes these three sections:

[message_box title=”3-Part Workflow” color=”blue”]

  1. Image Capture
  2. Image Editing
  3. Image Output


We will also learn about pixels, our medium in digital photography. Just as painters use paint and brushes, digital photographers use pixels to present their art. Pixels are captured with a digital camera by light entering through the lens and hitting the digital image sensor at the back of the camera housing. Then we take it into Photoshop and “process” the photo and make adjustments where necessary. This is the “Pushing Pixels” or editing portion of the workflow. Then we have to output the final pixels to either screen (web graphic) or print (photograph). So, essentially, our workflow can be listed like this:

[message_box title=”3-Part Workflow-Another Look” color=”blue”]

  1. Pixel Capture
  2. Pixel Editing
  3. Pixel Output


Start Seeing

We will start looking at the photographer’s canvas, the viewfinder. Everything, yes EVERYTHING that you see within the viewfinder (or LCD Screen) you will be commiting to your photo as soon as you press the button on your camera. That is why we need to look not only at our subject (the positive space), but at the background (or negative space) within the frame that we see in our viewfinder. Backgrounds can deter or distract from the essential subject of the photo. When composing a photograph, ALWAYS check your backgrounds to ensure that it is helping, not harming your photo. Think of the “whole image,” just as a painter does when creating art on a square piece of paper or canvas (the frame). After a few weeks, you will be closer to having a photographer’s eye and start seeing as an artist.

Capture as Many Pixels as You Can

For the most control over your image, you should shoot all your photos with the largest possible setting on your camera to get the most pixels in your “canvas.” There are 1,000,000 (one million) pixels in every megapixel, so if you shoot at 5MP instead of 10MP, you have essentially half the pixels to work with (that’s 5,000,000 pixels less) when you go into the editing stage. Also, with only half of the megapixels, your output capabilities will be less as well. The less megapixels you shoot, the more pixelated your image will be when enlarged.

Photo Challenges

For the Photo Challenge assignments, our target output is Screen Resolution (72ppi). We will talk about other outputs later in the semester (such as printing). For now, we will be learning and using this photographic workflow to do your weekly photo shoots. Each photo turned in on time will be qualified to be in the running for the “Photo of the Week” that will be displayed in class on the Photo of the Week board. You will be graded each week on how well you complete this task. It may be difficult at first, but will get easier and easier as we go along. There are 15 weekly themes to shoot for, so get ready!

The chart below breaks down the three workflow sections into 8 easy steps. Follow these instructions for the Weekly Photo assignments. Weekly photos are always due on Friday by 3:00PM. If you need extra time outside of class, you can use the photo lab during the hours listed by the door. Feel free to come see Mr. Trapane during lab time for help, tips or other needs.


 7-Step Digital Workflow Process in  3 Parts

For the Photo Challenges

Follow this chart as a reference to what you learned in class for the Photo Challenges. You should have already set up your network folder on the school network.



COMPOSE & SHOOT AT LEAST 20 photos for the Challenge

Set your camera to the highest resolution possible (8 Megapixels min) and do your photoshoot for the week following the Photo Challenge assignment sheet. Try using different angles, lighting, subjects, compositions, etc to get your 20 photos for the shoot.




In the Lab, use Photo Downloader in Adobe Bridge (click File: Get Photos from Camera from menu).

  1. Select the photos you want to download using the ADVANCED DIALOG (button on lower left).
  2. LOCATION: Select CHOOSE and create a NEW Challenge Folder in your Photo Challenges folder.
  3. Select NONE under Create Subfolders, and fill in Creator with your name and Copyright with the YEAR and your name.



CREATE A 4X5 CONTACT SHEET of your photoshoot

BEFORE EDITING YOUR PHOTOS, create a 4×5 Contact Sheet in the Output Module in Bridge. You should have already created your own Contact Sheet Template in class. Just select all photos and click SAVE.

Save it to the new Challenge Folder using the class naming format: PC#-your#-firstLastname.pdf (example: PC4-140-TonyStark.pdf). Then print it to the HP Color Laserjet printer to turn in with your Score Sheet.




Use Camera RAW to edit and adjust your photo. DO NOT GO OVERBOARD. Camera Raw can be accessed in Bridge by selecting a file then clicking on the “lens” button in the menu as shown –>



RESIZE YOUR EDITED PHOTO FOR THE INTERNETOpen your edited image in Photoshop (click the “Open Image” button in Camera RAW). Resize your image (see interpolate) for viewing on the Class Website (computer screen) by clicking on Image: Image Size on the menu:Set the RESOLUTION to 72 ppi FIRST as it affects the other settings.
Change the Pixel Dimensions to 1024px on its longest side (the larger of the two numbers).


SAVE YOUR PHOTO for the Internet

After resizing the image in Photoshop, render a new file by clicking on FILE: SAVE AS from the menu.

  1. FILENAME: Use the class naming format: PC#-your#-firstLastname (example: PC4-140-TonyStark.jpg)
  2. LOCATION: Save it to the new Challenge Folder.
  3. FORMAT: JPEG (IMPORTANT! Click and select this even though it already may say JPEG).

Then click Save, and select QUALITY: 7 in the dialog box that appears (see compression) and select OK.



UPLOAD YOUR PHOTO to the Class Website

Upload your file to the appropriate Challenge on the class website:

  1. Login to the website.
  2. Click on the appropriate Challenge Post in the right sidebar, then click on the Add Photo button in the post.
  3. Choose your file, give it a title in the TITLE field, then press SUBMIT.
  4. As soon as you see the thumbnail image, click DONE.
  5. Check that your image uploaded and get the image number for your scoresheet.

Turning it in

Fill out your Photo Challenge Score Sheet and staple your Contact Sheet to the back. Be sure to fill in all of your dates, times, journal and self score your image and turn it in no later than the due date for full credit.

Photo Challenge ASSIGNMENTS ARE ALWAYS DUE ON THURSDAY AT 3:30PM – NO EXCEPTIONS FOR PLANNED ABSENCES. You still need to turn in your assignment BEFORE the due date unless pre-arranged with Mr. Trapane.

LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED AT HALF CREDIT FOR ONLY ONE WEEK FOLLOWING DUE DATE UNLESS PRE-APPROVED BY MR. TRAPANE. If you have an unplanned excused absence, you can turn in your assignment during the next available Open Lab for full credit. If you miss In-Class Lab Time before the due date, you can still turn in your assignment on time by using the Open Lab hours. Feel free to see Mr. Trapane during Open Lab Hours for help, tips or other needs.