System: My Photo Processing System

Date: 2021-04-01 | system | photography |

I've recently gotten back into photography. I've taken multiple approaches to the practice over the last several years but each has ended in disinterest. This time I'm trying a more value-based approach - focusing on the things I want to get out of the practice and methods that match the effort I'm willing to put in.

For me, I'm trying to capture the interesting mundanities of life - to me that's reality. I don't like editing. It's boring, so for process I really want to focus on the pictures I take and then limit the amount of effort between taking them to publishing them. That's it.



Obviously the first step to processing photos is to take photos. I chose the Fujifilm X-T4 for its good reviews and versatility. I shoot with a small pancake lens for ease of carrying around with me. I also shoot with Fujifilm's film simulation mode which helps me get the style I want with no post processing.

I won't go into all of my camera settings here but if you're interested let me know and I'll consider sharing my full configuration

  • Fujifilm X-T4
  • Pancake Lens (easy to carry, versatile lens width)
  • Fujifilm simulation


I don't edit my photos. So my only post processing is really to select the photos I want to share then share them.

I try to keep only the top 1% of my photos to keep quality high and to force myself to constantly think about what makes a photo better / worse.

I use Darktable for culling but you could use many different softwares for this purpose.

  • Filter to just photos that are not rejected
  • First pass to remove bad photos in Darktable Culling mode x4
  • Iterate to remove potential candidates in Darktable Culling mode x1 / 2 until down to top 1% of photos / feel good about the selection
  • Filter to all rejected photos and move them to trash for storage efficiency (and cause I'll likely never go back and look at my bad photos)


Once I've selected the photos I want I export them for publish. I generally have two different kinds of photos I select, with some overlap between them:

  • Photos for my photography Instagram - @hamy.see
  • Photos of friends

I export these to different folders for ease of publishing and finding in the future.

  • darktable_exported - this is where I put my personal photos. I continue exporting to jpg with decreasing quality til all photos are < 10MB to fit Buffer's image requirements
  • darktable_exported_friends - this is where I put photos of my friends. Quality doesn't really matter here since I usually upload to a shared Google album which does its own compression anyway


The last thing to do is share! I take a lot of photos and have many IGs so I use Buffer to handle a lot of my sharing logistics.

  • Foreach image in darktable_exported, upload to my Buffer Queue with a template description of PLACE - YEAR
  • Foreach image in darktable_exported_firends, upload to a shared Google photos album for the respective trip and share with the peeps


That's my system! It usually takes me < 30 mins to process the photos from a given outing and that's acceptable for me. Buffer takes the logistical overhead out of publishing so all I have to do is wait for a notification and post.

If you wanna check some of my images, give me a follow @hamy.see.

What's your process? See room for improvement? Let me know!

F edits.


Want more like this?

The best / easiest way to support my work is by subscribing for future updates and sharing with your network.