Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Stuggling with Editing...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,651
    Real Name
    Shane

    Stuggling with Editing...

    I am currently on a heavy learning curve with editing in Photoshop CS5 and am very overwhelmed by my editing options. I have learned a ton of great tools here at CIC and have been experimenting a lot on my images. What I am finding is that I am getting a bit paralyzed by the various options and find myself creating a number of versions of the same shot and then not being able to choose the 'best' one.

    I know that editing is very subjective and have read that you should know how you want an image to look when you press the shutter but I guess I am not quite there yet.

    Has anyone else experienced the same issue(s) and how did you break through.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    31,091
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    All the time, dodging and burning never seems to work for me. The best solutions are to use as many tutorials as possible. I use Elements so I don't follow Photoshop exclusively but most the tools are the same. Adobe should have links to various tutorials for your particular windmill. Good luck, post a few of your images which are causing you concern.

  3. #3
    arslanturegun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Izmir - Turkey
    Posts
    52
    Real Name
    Arslan Türegün

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    I love playing around with my photos in CS6 and for me each image I have created is "the best" because each image is different than the other.
    Even though the software producers' websites have tutorials on various things, I find youtube a lot more helpful because most of the users show THEIR ways to achieve the result. For example I have watched 4 different "Dragan" tutorials and all of them gave different but nice results.
    Cheers,

  4. #4
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,992
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    II am getting a bit paralyzed by the various options and find myself creating a number of versions of the same shot and then not being able to choose the 'best' one.

    I know that editing is very subjective and have read that you should know how you want an image to look when you press the shutter but I guess I am not quite there yet.,
    I had a bit of the same reaction when I started with digital, because the range of processing options is so large. The fact that Photoshop in particular has many different ways to accomplish similar things can make that feeling worse. I found myself constantly second-guessing myself, asking myself questions like "should I have used high-pass sharpening instead of USM" or whatever. What helped me was training myself to stop thinking about "the best" and to stop worrying about all the alternative approaches I did not use. Rather, at each stage of editing, sit back, stare at the image for a while, and ask yourself: what does and does not satisfy me about this image? Then pick a technique that will address one of the things you don't like. If you are really uncertain, you can easily try several and compare--e.g., create three sharpening layers, using different techniques, and then turn them on one at a time. If you can't see a big difference, don't worry. If you prefer one, use that one. And if you like the result, be content.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,342
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    If you want consistent results, you have to have a consistent workflow.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lake Ambulalakaw, Mt. Pulag, Benguet
    Posts
    1,026
    Real Name
    Victor Nimitz

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    I had a bit of the same reaction when I started with digital, because the range of processing options is so large. The fact that Photoshop in particular has many different ways to accomplish similar things can make that feeling worse. I found myself constantly second-guessing myself, asking myself questions like "should I have used high-pass sharpening instead of USM" or whatever. What helped me was training myself to stop thinking about "the best" and to stop worrying about all the alternative approaches I did not use. Rather, at each stage of editing, sit back, stare at the image for a while, and ask yourself: what does and does not satisfy me about this image? .......you prefer one, use that one. And if you like the result, be content.
    Yep, as long as you feel good about the result, do it.

    Most people I know took up photography as a nice hobby. No need to make it stressful.

    Life's too short. Just have fun.............

  7. #7
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,979
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    If you want consistent results, you have to have a consistent workflow.
    Not really, but that is a bit of a broad statement. I have different workflows for different types of images, so I am consistent by type of image in the order I tend to do things within those groups. I may or may not use the same tools to accomplish a specific end; there are times that the spot healing tool is appropriate, other times the healing brush, other times the patch tool, other times the clone tool, and sometimes I might cut out a selection and transplant it. So while I am following a consistent workflow, at a high level, the tools I use will be the appropriate ones (translation, I'll use the technique that works best in each and every situation. What is probably consistent here is that I will try the easiest and fastest technique first and will then move on and try something that is more work, if the simple technique did not give me the results I am looking for.

    I have a consistent workflow, but that also means variable elements within the workflow. Some of the basics will be consistent, especially if I am doing a series of images all taken under similar conditions. On the other hand, my workflow will be different for different image. Portraits will be treated differently than a landscape, architectural shot or wildlife shot. Even within a group, the workflow will differ. I will spend a lot more time doing detailed retouching of the face in a head shot, yet might only do something very minor in a ¾ portrait.

    What is consistent in my workflow is that I tend to work non-destructively and use lots of layers, layer masks and blending modes. I know others that consistently make changes and merge layers at every opportunity..

    Bottom line, whatever works for you will be fine. Photoshop has countless ways of getting to the same (similar?) result.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,783

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    All the time, dodging and burning never seems to work for me. The best solutions are to use as many tutorials as possible. I use Elements so I don't follow Photoshop exclusively but most the tools are the same. Adobe should have links to various tutorials for your particular windmill. Good luck, post a few of your images which are causing you concern.
    Yes, I never found the basic dodge/burn tools worked well for me.

    But using adjustment layers and editing a mask can be dodging and burning but with more sophisticated tools which are selectively applied. A technique which usually requires a little bit of experience to achieve the maximum benefit; but not that difficult.

    And there are a few other options for better results than basic dodge/burn.

    I know that editing is very subjective and have read that you should know how you want an image to look when you press the shutter but I guess I am not quite there yet.

    Not necessarily, Shane. Sometimes it is simply a case of 'I think this might work' then shooting a number of variations in the hope that one will work better than the rest. Then, when editing the best option from those 'hopeful shots', it can be a case of attempting a couple of quick edit alternatives before finally deciding on which to use.

    I don't really have a fixed workflow. More a case of knowing which techniques have worked well for me in the past when doing similar edits and using that as a rough starting point.

    Do you have any books for your software? I found Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers by Martin Evening worked for me. But there are a number of other excellent publications about using CS5.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,637
    Real Name
    Greg

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Has anyone else experienced the same issue(s) and how did you break through.
    Sure have... same problems and same doubts. My solution (just recently) was to sign up to Kelby.com ( http://kelbytraining.com ). I know some of those videos are on Youtube, but they are better organised and easier to find on the kelby site.

    The reason I decided to subscribe is because Scott, at least, generally works through image processing in the same way. ie there is consistency to what he is doing. For example, I found his portrait processing video particularly useful, even though I am not particularly interested in portrait work, because he takes you through the whole process from the shoot, to downloading, to converting images, to retouching, and finally how to print.

    As others have noted, there are many different ways of achieving the same thing in Photoshop, but as a beginner I don't want to be confused by myriad different ways. So, for now I am happy to learn the kelby approach.

  10. #10
    Shadowman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    31,091
    Real Name
    John

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    After I purchased Elements I spent a lot of time at the public library looking for self help texts. I figured I might as well buy one so went to the local book store and the clerk recommended Kelby's "the Photoshop Elements Book for Digital Photography". The clerk said that this edition was not designed to teach you photography but to teach you how to use the software and it was exactly what I needed. Still can't master the dodging and burning though.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Shane,

    I don't use Photoshop, but I imagine the basic workflow -- "basic" is the operative word! -- applies to image editing regardless of the program or combination of programs being used. I do believe that consistently using the same basic workflow will yield the best results the most often in the shortest amount of time.

    My basic workflow that applies only to the master color file (does not include the workflow applicable to making smaller image files or prints):

    Global Adjustments
    1) Correct issues pertaining to the lens, such as barrel distortion, pincushion distortion and color aberration
    2) Adjust exposure (as needed and if possible)
    3) Adjust (global) saturation
    4) Adjust Levels & the Curve in that order

    Selective Adjustments
    5) Apply noise reduction as needed
    6) Apply blur as needed
    7) (Selectively) adjust saturation as needed
    8) Dodge and Burn (I'm not referring to a Dodge or Burn tool; instead, I'm referring to the results using whatever methods you find the most successful)
    9) Selectively adjust contrast as needed

    Sharpening
    10) Apply Local Contrast Enhancement as needed, whether selectively or globally
    11) Apply sharpening as need, whether selectively or globally
    12) In the case of animals and people, adjust brightness, contrast and sharpening of eyes

    Final Touches
    13) Correct distortion, such as perspective distortion, as needed
    14) Crop as needed

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 5th March 2013 at 11:52 PM.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,342
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Not really, but that is a bit of a broad statement. I have different workflows for different types of images, so I am consistent by type of image in the order I tend to do things within those groups. I may or may not use the same tools to accomplish a specific end; there are times that the spot healing tool is appropriate, other times the healing brush, other times the patch tool, other times the clone tool, and sometimes I might cut out a selection and transplant it. So while I am following a consistent workflow, at a high level, the tools I use will be the appropriate ones (translation, I'll use the technique that works best in each and every situation. What is probably consistent here is that I will try the easiest and fastest technique first and will then move on and try something that is more work, if the simple technique did not give me the results I am looking for.

    I have a consistent workflow, but that also means variable elements within the workflow. Some of the basics will be consistent, especially if I am doing a series of images all taken under similar conditions. On the other hand, my workflow will be different for different image. Portraits will be treated differently than a landscape, architectural shot or wildlife shot. Even within a group, the workflow will differ. I will spend a lot more time doing detailed retouching of the face in a head shot, yet might only do something very minor in a ¾ portrait.

    What is consistent in my workflow is that I tend to work non-destructively and use lots of layers, layer masks and blending modes. I know others that consistently make changes and merge layers at every opportunity..

    Bottom line, whatever works for you will be fine. Photoshop has countless ways of getting to the same (similar?) result.


    It's not a broad statement. Almost every image i edit, is edited 'exactly the same.

    There are only a few things i edit differently............. The rest of my workflow is the same for almost every photo. ( i designed it that way on purpose. Most of my workflow is done with actions.)

  13. #13
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,992
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    It's not a broad statement. Almost every image i edit, is edited 'exactly the same.

    There are only a few things i edit differently............. The rest of my workflow is the same for almost every photo. ( i designed it that way on purpose. Most of my workflow is done with actions.)
    Well, to each her or his own. If it works for you, great. However, I don't think it is good advice for folks in general. Pre-processing, images vary on all sorts of dimensions, such as evenness of lighting, level of detail, amount of noise, dynamic range, etc., etc. These call for different processing. Likewise, one might want a crisp image for some things, and a painterly one for others. (Look at Weston's work, for example, or even some of Ansel Adam's early work.) E.g., for a lot of my macro work, I process to bring out fine detail--some clarity boost, a fair amount of sharpening, a modest boost to contrast, etc. This is definitely not the recipe to follow if you have taken candids of teenage kids.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,651
    Real Name
    Shane

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Thank you all! The fact that I am not alone in my struggles is comforting in an odd sort of way.

    John & Geoff, dodging & burning is something that I actually have figured out. I create a new layer, set it to overlay and check the fill with 50% gray box. The trick for me was to set the opacity and flow of my brush really low and the hardness set to 100% (no hard edges). I had read that 30% was good but I tend to start at 10 or 15% and use as big a brush as possible for the area that I want to work on.

    As far as books go, I too have been a bit of a hound at our local library and have purchased The Digital Negative by Jeff Schewe which I found to be very good. I have also watched my fair share of You Tube tutorials including some of Scott Kelby's.

    Mike, thank you for the detailed listing of your workflow. I have a handle on most of the basic editing items that you listed but have not developed an ordered approach like you listed (this list is headed for the printer tonight ). For example, I tend to deploy LCE earlier in the workflow but it makes sense to leave it towards the end.

    So, maybe it's not so much confusion and lack of skill as indecisiveness and a lack of confidence that is causing some of my paralysis.

    I thought I was missing out on some magic formula but as with anything worthwhile in life, practice and dedication makes 'perfect' or perfectly imperfect (wabi sabi if you followed my Shinto thread)...

    Many thanks again,

  15. #15
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    20,025
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    So, maybe it's not so much confusion and lack of skill as indecisiveness and a lack of confidence that is causing some of my paralysis.
    BULLSEYE!

    I can never remember the name, but there is a theory in terms of how we deal with crisis (death,etc) that shows the curved line along which we all travel. Some of go through the phases of that process more quickly than others. There is an exactly similar timeline in relation to the skills of photography, including post-processing. Some of our journey along this line can be helped by practice, practice, practice, learning and practice. But we must also accept and adapt to the fact that there will be times when we feel demoralised, that we'll never understand all this nonsense and that we'd be better taking up golf! And it's being able to ride through those phases and know that you will come out the other side, that's important. That, hopefully, is where CiC and the supportive people on here can come into play.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    I thought I was missing out on some magic formula but as with anything worthwhile in life, practice and dedication makes 'perfect'
    Double Bullseye!

    And, as you can see from the posts above, there are different ways in which you can approach the task, all of which are legitimate. You can find a workflow that works for you and the images you make and stick pretty rigidly to it, or you can take each image on its own and develop the processing steps that work for it.

    I have got to the stage where I have a pretty minimal post-processing workflow in terms of the steps/stages I go through. But I may spend a long time in one or more of those stages, just making minor 'tweaks' to achieve what I think I wanted for that particular image.
    Last edited by Donald; 6th March 2013 at 08:06 AM.

  16. #16
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,979
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    It's not a broad statement. Almost every image i edit, is edited 'exactly the same.

    There are only a few things i edit differently............. The rest of my workflow is the same for almost every photo. ( i designed it that way on purpose. Most of my workflow is done with actions.)
    Whatever works for you...

    Let me throw out an analogy. If you use exactly the same workflow for all of your editing, mostly accomplished using actions, it's a bit like being in the kitchen and using the same recipe for all dishes. Would you cook a hamburger, a steak, a chicken or a roast beef exactly the same way? I guess you could, but the results will be sub-optimal every time. Try to use the same recipe for a salad and desert, chances are it wouldn't work at all... While I do use actions, the ones I use tend to be limited in scope. Import sharpening, cropping and sizing for print is about as far as I use automation for. If I have a number of images shot under similar lighting conditions, I will also use automation for the basic adjustmenst; exposure, colour balance, curves, etc.

    That being said, PP work has a long learning curve, and a tool like Photoshop takes a very long time to learn. I've been using Photoshop since the original CS came out almost 10 years ago, so I'm not too bad at it. On the other hand, its complexity is the reason a lot of people stick with Elements or Lightroom; while they are a lot less talented, they are a lot easier to learn.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    I forgot to mention in my post about consistently using the same basic workflow that one of the benefits is that I tend to not to forget to attend to something. As an example, when I get to the part of the workflow that reminds me to selectively adjust the saturation, that in itself reminds me to look for potentially problematic saturation.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    northern Virginia suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    19,064

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    For example, I tend to deploy LCE earlier in the workflow but it makes sense to leave it towards the end.
    Despite that I use it toward the end, I'm not sure that it matters where in the workflow you use it. As mentioned in my previous post, I think the only thing that might matter is that you use it consistently at the same place in your workflow so you remember to question whether it is needed.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    New York, NY, USA
    Posts
    51

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    I think the use of the word "talented" needs some further explanation. Are you insulting the software or the person using it? The whole sense of this thread is there are many ways to achieve a satisfying result. To imply that not using the most difficult software means you get less than stellar results is a bit patronizing. I believe you can get great results with Lightroom and the NIK suite. I suspect this combination would be more than sufficient for 98 percent of photographers.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2,342
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Stuggling with Editing...

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Whatever works for you...

    Let me throw out an analogy. If you use exactly the same workflow for all of your editing, mostly accomplished using actions, it's a bit like being in the kitchen and using the same recipe for all dishes. Would you cook a hamburger, a steak, a chicken or a roast beef exactly the same way? I guess you could, but the results will be sub-optimal every time. Try to use the same recipe for a salad and desert, chances are it wouldn't work at all... While I do use actions, the ones I use tend to be limited in scope. Import sharpening, cropping and sizing for print is about as far as I use automation for. If I have a number of images shot under similar lighting conditions, I will also use automation for the basic adjustmenst; exposure, colour balance, curves, etc.

    That being said, PP work has a long learning curve, and a tool like Photoshop takes a very long time to learn. I've been using Photoshop since the original CS came out almost 10 years ago, so I'm not too bad at it. On the other hand, its complexity is the reason a lot of people stick with Elements or Lightroom; while they are a lot less talented, they are a lot easier to learn.



    I said my images are edited the same, not to the exact same amounts of everything. At the end of every action i created (I created, because i want my images to look the way I want, not like someone elses ), i have the option of adjusting the opacity of the action, to give the amount needed. (Same things done to each image (consistentcy) , but only the amount needed is applied (comon sense))


    All images need basic things done to them, which is the same for every image, just the amount needed is different. Make sense now?

    I have created a workflow that will give me " consistent " resluts with any image i edit. They will come out the end of the workflow looking the way i want a photo to look..........................Great clarity---Good clean colors----Sharp as a tac----Very contrasty---Subject popping from the background. Each image goes through the same process, only the amounts of the individual steps are changed to suit each image.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •