Since the Photoshop User magazine came out, I’ve had a number of emails asking about my own workflow for DNG files and backups, so let me run through it quickly. There is no right or wrong workflow – this is just what works well for me.
I want the best of both worlds – I want smaller file sizes, no sidecars and updated previews on my working drive so I use DNG for my main working files, but maybe one day I might want a proprietary raw file for something, so I keep one of my offline backups as a proprietary raw format. I want the files to have matching names and folder structure, so converting on import doesn’t work for me, so this is my current workflow:
- Import with backup turned on – this is a temporary backup, just in case something goes wrong before I finish sorting.
- Rename files – the proprietary raw files now have the new names
- Use the OS or File Sync software to copy the images to my offline backup structure. Export as Original format to the other drive would do the same. That drive is then disconnected again.
- Select all in Grid view and go to Library menu > Convert Photo to DNG with ‘delete originals after successful conversion’ turned on swaps my proprietary raw files in the catalog for new DNG files, and removes the proprietary files from the hard drive.
- That leaves me with DNG files in the catalog, complete with all of the settings that were previously attached to the proprietary raw files. The proprietary files are safely backed up on my offline drive, with matching file names and a matching folder structure, just in case I ever need one. Ok, I’ll admit, I’ve never been back to them yet, but you never know! 😉