Copyright: Preparing your images

Because many of my images are 6-8 minutes long, I don’t shoot a huge volume of photos every year. In 2006 I shot about 6000 digital images. Last year I also started converting my RAW files to DNG. In addition to the huge benefit of accurate previews, the DNG workflow can also save time when preparing images for copyright registration.

A DNG file contains a large JPEG preview that reflects your RAW adjustments and is fast to extract

I register images as 400×600 jpegs. With a RAW workflow in Photoshop, this would mean using the Image Processor to resize each RAW file into a web sized JPEG. This takes about 8 seconds per file. Let’s say I register my images quarterly, and I have 1,500 images to send in. At 8 seconds per file, that’s 200 minutes (3 1/2 hours) of jpeg conversions in Photoshop. Ouch. That’s a deterrent to registering your work.

Using the Convert Image command in iView Media Pro to extract web sized jpegs is incredibly fast compared to Photoshop. With the DNG workflow, I can use iView Media Pro to extract the embedded jpeg inside the DNG in under 1 second per file — about 10 times faster than Photoshop — 20 minutes.

I made an interesting discovery yesterday when preparing my final 2006 registration. Running iView’s Convert Image on Canon CR2 files is way faster than on DNGs — a folder of 150 CR2s takes about 15 seconds total to churn through on my Mac. Let’s review: 8 seconds per file with CR2s in Photoshop, 0.8 seconds per file with DNGs in iView, or 0.1 seconds per file with CR2s in iView.

By using Convert Image on CR2s, I could convert the 1500 images for the registration in a few minutes, fill out the registration form, and prepare my Fedex envelope — all in under one hour. Once you’ve got the registration form setup as a PDF template and the US Copyright Office’s address in your Fedex settings, this could be done in half an hour.

Here’s another important discovery I made yesterday for iView users converting CR2 files on a Mac:

When using Convert Image on a Mac, iView uses Quicktime to make the conversion. Depending on what version of iView you’re using, you may get an error when trying to convert. If you uncheck the Preserve EXIF box it will work fine. According to iView, this is a Quicktime bug.

I am considering adding a step to my workflow where CR2 files are converted into a copyright folder on a shoot by shoot basis — it only takes a few seconds.

I hope this information is helpful. More information about copyright coming up later this week. Stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “Copyright: Preparing your images”

  1. I agree iView is the way to go but 200 hours in photoshop?

    8s x 1500 frames = 12000 seconds
    ÷ 60 = 200 minutes
    ÷ 60 = 3.33 hours per 1500 images per quarter year

  2. Hi Ian -

    That’s what happens when I do math first and coffee second. :)
    I’ve updated the article to reflect the correct processing time.



  3. Hello Joe

    I have the same problem with trying to think before coffee, but as I am about 9 hours ahead of you in time zones. I had an advantage today. :)

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