Want to Print Collection

Staying Organized in My Digital Workflow (Podcast 701)

A short discussion on keeping my workflow spinning over after some big trips and synching images between Capture One Pro catalogs.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Bryan
    Posted at 07:14h, 10 April Reply

    Thanks for sharing your process. I’m migrating to Capture One and this was super helpful and timely. What are the advantages of using a year-long catalog over individual sessions?

    Also, how do you determine what becomes final? Anything with 2 stars or higher?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 11:52h, 14 April Reply

      Hi Bryan,

      There are no clear-cut advantages as such, it’s more just a personal preference. I prefer to have all of my work from the year in one place, and then copy all of my finals to another catalog of my best work over the years. It allows me to quickly get to all images in either catalog as I work through the year and onwards.

      A session, usually one per shoot, is more of a closed box. Once you complete a session, you close it and move on to the next. To see images from a previous session, you have to go back through your sessions and open them up individually, and that is, in my opinion, a bit of a pain. You could, of course, continue to add to the same session, but they are not designed to be used like that. If you want more work in a single place, use a Catalog.

      Yes, anything with two stars or higher is a final. I use 3 stars to select anything that I think is worth working with, my keepers. Then as I work on images, very seldomly, I have to jump into Photoshop or Affinity Photo to work on an image, and when I do that, I store the saved TIFF or PSD in the same folder as my original and mark it with 3 stars or higher, and at that point, I mark the original as 2 stars, just to keep it in my final selection.

      4-star images are better than 3, and images that I will generally more proactively try to use and display, and anything that makes my portfolio becomes a 5-star image. I keep the 1-star rating for demotions, as in, when I am going through my initial selection of 3-star images, if I demote something, I give it 1 star, just to keep a record of what I once selected. Occasionally I go back through my 1-star images to find an alternative, say if I find that the image I decided on was a bit shaky or need to replace it for any reason. But, I don’t include these in my finals, as I rarely have to go back that far, and when I do, I can go to my original yearly catalog.

      I hope that helps.


      • Bryan
        Posted at 04:41h, 15 April Reply

        Thanks for the great writeup. I learned a lot.

        I found your site while googling for capture one workflows. Your photographs are truly wonderful and I look forward to more of your posts.

        Thanks again,

        • Martin Bailey
          Posted at 19:41h, 15 April Reply

          Thanks for the kind words Bryan. I’m pleased you found the post useful too.

          Please follow this link to see a list of other Capture One Pro related posts.



  • David Ramsey
    Posted at 09:53h, 13 April Reply

    Great post Martin. Thanks for providing this.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 11:53h, 14 April Reply

      You are very welcome Dave. Thanks for the comment. I hope you are well and staying safe.

  • Jens Hauser
    Posted at 18:18h, 20 April Reply

    Thank you for showing your process. I haven´t used Capture One. Do you use it for all of you b BW photos as well?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:29h, 22 April Reply

      Hi Jens,

      You’re very welcome. Yes, I use Capture One Pro for my black and white work too. I haven’t used a plugin or third-party tool for conversions since I switched in 2016. You can see some of the techniques in my previous posts here: https://mbp.ac/cotutorials


  • Louis Leon
    Posted at 03:25h, 13 June Reply

    With MacOS Catalina, I am finally moving from Aperture. So, I really want to be clear about this workflow, particularly which catalog you make what edits/adjustments. As I understand it, On your Traveler SSD, you mark your selects, so the ratings gets saved in the current year catalog. You have a smart album in Traveler’s current year catalog of images rated 2 stars and above. You export those, including the adjustments to the Finals SSD. On the Finals SSD, you have a Finals catalog, to which you import the export images along with the adjustments. When you get back to your workstation, you do a file system backup (synchronization) of both drives to your Drobo. On the Drobo you make final(?) adjustments and you house additional collections. So, when on the road, do you ever go back to earlier work and make edits on either the Traveler or Finals SSD. Do those edits get get picked up and moved to the Drobo catalogs via this process. Do you only work off the Drobo version of the Finals catalog for adjustments for printing? Basically, do yo restrict what kind of work you do from which catalog, or does this workflow allow you to do any type of work, independent of location, because it all makes its way to the Drobo? Do you ever make edits on the Drobo’s catalogs that you need to on have on your Finals SSD? If yes, is it simplistic to have the sync work backwards?

  • Martin Bailey
    Posted at 14:44h, 17 June Reply

    Hi Louis,

    Congratulations on jumping ship. You won’t regret it.

    On your steps, you have it almost as intended, with a few changes required.

    You have a smart album in Traveler’s current year catalog of images rated 2 stars and above.

    This doesn’t necessarily need to be a Smart Album. Generally after a trip or shoot, I do have a smart album, but say I just go for a walk and come back with some images I like, I will just filter out the 2 star and above and copy those to my Finals > Year folder. The result is the same; a new copy of my final select images in my Finals folder.

    When you get back to your workstation, you do a file system backup (synchronization) of both drives to your Drobo. On the Drobo you make final(?) adjustments and you house additional collections.

    Not quite. I do the synchronization when I get back, yes, but that is just so that the images start to get backed up into the cloud, because my Drobo backs-up automatically to Backblaze. Until the end of the year, all changes that I make are A) on the Traveler while I’m still working on the final selections, or B) in the Finals SSD once the shoot has been copied to it.

    Only after that year finishes and I wipe my Traveler clear does the Drobo folder for that year become my master copy, but I still generally do all of my editing on the Finals drive. If I was to go and get a new image from the Drobo I generally copy that to the appropriate year on my Finals drive and work on it there. The Drobo is just an archive with cloud backup.

    So, when on the road, do you ever go back to earlier work and make edits on either the Traveler or Finals SSD.

    Good point – Even the copy of my Finals on my Drobo is just for backup purposes. My Finals SSD drive is my main copy, so all edits are done there, not on the Drobo copy of the Finals drive/folder.

    I believe that pretty much answers your questions Louis, but let me know if anything is still unclear.


  • Vania Tegamelli
    Posted at 23:12h, 17 August Reply

    Hi Martin!
    Thank You for Your very detailed description. I am setting up/ modifying my workflow following your post but I am having a hard time finding the DROBO 5N2. Perhaps this specific model is outdated? Do You see advantages with this specific brand or would You recommend a (pair of) Synology units instead? Is there anything specific to look for in the NAS based on Your experience?
    Thank You!

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 15:59h, 21 August Reply

      Hi Vania,

      Sorry I missed your question for a few days.

      The Drobos that I use are Drobo 5D no 5N, which are networked. If your computer has Thunderbolt 3 then the 5D3 is the latest model that I would recommend. I definitely prefer Drobo over any other type of storage, simply because of its built-in redundancy and ability to gradually switch-out drives for larger ones. I have one of my 5 HDDs in my Drobo fail on average about once a year, and when they do, I put a larger drive in than the one that fails, and that gradually increases the overall volume of the Drobo, which I love! Whenever I replace a drive, I always buy a new one, so that I’ve got a spare waiting for the next failure.

      I honestly don’t know what features or redundancy other manufacturers’ drives have, so if you are happy with the spec of something else, it may well be fine, but I can only really recommend what I use and know.

      Good luck!


      • Martin Bailey
        Posted at 16:00h, 21 August Reply

        Also, regarding NAS based, if you absolutely need NAS, rather than a device wired to a computer then the Drobo NAS storage is fine, but keep in mind that cloud backups like Backblaze generally will not backup NAS drives. The drive has to be physically attached to the computer to be backed up into the cloud.

  • CW Daly
    Posted at 01:57h, 21 November Reply

    Great write.

    Which SSD are you currently using for moving between machines?

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