Well, I finally got a copy of Photoshop CS2, and it turns out that it includes a tool that does pretty much exactly what I want! The file browser dingus in "Adobe Bridge" gives you a bunch of different views for looking at, rating, and pruning thumbnails, and it approaches it as "visualizing the contents of a directory" (which I like) instead of "I've sucked all your photos into some scary proprietary database, and now I will show you search results" (what iPhoto does).
So I think that now the way I'll be doing it is:
- Copy photos off camera to a YYYY-MM-DD-title/RAW/ directory;
- Copy that to YYYY-MM-DD-title/EDIT/ directory;
- Edit those through Bridge and Photoshop;
- "Tools / Photoshop / Image Processor";
Output to a web directory;
Resize to fit 900 x 750.
The "Web Photo Gallery" command looks promising, but none of the templates generate pages that are very close to the layout that I use today, so I guess I'll just keep using my script to generate those. (Maybe someday I'll poke around and see if I can customize Photoshop to do it my way instead.)
It's been a long time since I've used Photoshop, and it really is an amazing program. It's no wonder that it has no competitors. The last time I used it seriously was, I think, Photoshop 3.5, which was the last version they released for Irix. Since then I've been using GIMP, which is a decent program (in that it's approximately equivalent to Photoshop 3.5) but man, the real thing is just leaps and bounds ahead. And so fast!
I am especially thrilled by "Image / Adjustments / Photo Filter" and "Image / Adjustments / Shadow/Highlight". Those two commands let me do in a couple of seconds what I'd spent ten minutes doing with "Levels" in GIMP!
I'm still not sure what the Right Thing to do is with respect to gamma. The default Mac gamma is brighter than the default Windows gamma, meaning that on a Mac, you see more detail in the dark areas. I guess my Linux box was calibrated in a Windows-like way, because when I look at my old galleries, a lot of the pictures look kind of washed out, and (even worse) I can see blocky JPEG artifacts in some spots that previously looked solid black.
So I guess the thing to do is leave my monitor set at "Mac" gamma, and when I'm editing pictures, err toward "too bright" instead of "too dark". That means that the failure mode might be that a picture looks too dark to some users, which I think is better than icky JPEG artifacts being visible to some other users.