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Thread: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

  1. #1
    New Member mario007's Avatar
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    my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-


    hello everyone!!!
    im new to this forums. I shot a valleyball practice session last weekend, i cmae home with 200+ images, all RAW
    Before I start to process them
    can you check my workflow?

    * means already done
    - plan to do

    *download the pics to PC and make a CD as backup
    *delete out the out of focus, motion blur, the bad ones
    -Using PhotoShop CS:
    -Process the RAW files (daylight color, even i used flash, sharpen, etc)
    -use 8bit
    -Press OK
    >NOw in PS<
    -Levels or curves as needed
    -use the crop tool using 4x6 in Aspect Ratio (see screen shot below)
    -save as JPG quality 10

    my final images should be around 1MB

    All these images will be given to the coach, he never specified he wanted them in 4x6, so i assumed.
    Should I crop them to make 4x6? what aspect ratio should be the ideal ?

    THanks Guys~
    Last edited by McQ; 14th February 2010 at 06:51 AM. Reason: removed broken link

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    Re: my first post - processing 200+ shots-

    Hello Mario. I'm new here myself.

    Everybody has different ways of doing things. This is how I differ from you, but other people will work in other ways:

    Delete as many 'no hopers' as possible in the camera - no point in wasting time downloading and converting complete failures.

    Convert RAW to 16 bit TIFF - I don't see the point in using RAW unless you get the maximum out of it. If I know the images are just for small scale use I prefer to shoot jpg to start with. Although RAW does give you a second bite at WB errors.

    Crop as soon as converted - no point in wasting time working on unwanted areas. Vary the aspect ratio to suit the subject. Unless they are required for a known purpose ie for use in a magazine/programme or to fit standard size frames. And think about portrait/landscape orientation to suit each scene. So do check the final size requirements before doing anything.

    Use Levels/Curves/Hue & Sat etc on Adjustment Layers - This allows you to go back and have a rethink. Some adjustments affect what you have done previously. Adjustment Layers aren't permanent until you save/export/print the image.

    Finally, a little sharpen preferably with Unsharp Mask - Most digital images straight from the camera are a bit soft. I don't like using the camera auto controls so I set everything to natural colours and unsharpened; then I am totally in charge of all editing.

    For most top quality images, I save as TIFF but this does take a lot more space so I am a bit variable here according to the final photo usage.

    ps. I don't use the same software as you, but I see that you have the resolution set to 72ppi. Always keep as high as possible for prints; but there is no point in going beyond 300ppi. The main risk here is that when resizing for printing you will end up with an image at, say, 6 x 4 inches by 72ppi which will not print well, especially if using glossy paper. You are starting out with plenty of pixels so don't throw them away. I reckon that 150ppi is the absolute minimum for prints while 300ppi is ideal.

  3. #3
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Re: my first post - processing 200+ shots-

    Hi Mario, welcome to the forum, I hope we can help each other!

    About sharpening, you should read a thread started by one of our most active, helpful and erudite member, whom wrote a good thread about the importance of sharpening.

    When/How to Best Sharpen a Digital Photograph

    Cheers,
    Daniel
    Last edited by Daniel Salazar; 27th January 2009 at 11:04 AM.

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    Re: my first post - processing 200+ shots-

    Hi Geoff,

    You've got a few things "creeping in" here that aren't quite what's considered "best practice" - I hope you won't take offence if I pass a few quick comments on some of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Delete as many 'no hopers' as possible in the camera - no point in wasting time downloading and converting complete failures.
    There's nothing wrong with people doing this if they wish of course, but when you've got several hundred to do it's actually much faster to pop the card into a card reader - copy & convert them onto your PC - and look at them on a much larger screen using something like Adobe Bridge. That way you can zap the obvious bloopers and ones that don't cut the mustard, but can't see on the camera's small screen, all at the push of a single button

    Convert RAW to 16 bit TIFF - I don't see the point in using RAW unless you get the maximum out of it. If I know the images are just for small scale use I prefer to shoot jpg to start with. Although RAW does give you a second bite at WB errors.
    You can convert to *.TIF, but if you use photoshops native format (*.PSD) then the images will be about 30% smaller, with no loss of quality. RAW conversion is something that requires careful attention though - not just for white-balance adjustment, but also for adjustments to exposure, black clipping point, brightness, saturation, contrast (and with later versions many other things like highlight recovery, fill light, vibrance, clarity). The advantage of doing these adjustments in the RAW conversion stage is that in many cases the "adjustments" are relatively lossless because they taylor the conversion rather than adjust the image (subtle but important difference, especially if the image isn't idea to start with).

    Adjustment Layers aren't permanent until you save/export/print the image.
    Adjustment layers are permanent if you save in *.PSD format, or don't have the flatten image option set if saving *.TIF - however, the most common *.JPG formats don't support layers, and it's also necessary to convert the image (or preferably a copy of it) to 8 Bit prior to the save as *.JPG option being available.

    Finally, a little sharpen preferably with Unsharp Mask - Most digital images straight from the camera are a bit soft. I don't like using the camera auto controls so I set everything to natural colours and unsharpened; then I am totally in charge of all editing.
    Optimal sharpening is quite involved, but capture sharpening is best done as the first step following conversion - content/creative sharpening mid-workflow, and output sharpening only on a copy of the image that's been sized for printing, although if one is only interested in a "one size fits all" approach, say, to turn a couple of hundred shots into 6 x 4 prints then generally you can get away with batch processing with a single USM pass.

    I don't use the same software as you, but I see that you have the resolution set to 72ppi. Always keep as high as possible for prints; but there is no point in going beyond 300ppi. The main risk here is that when resizing for printing you will end up with an image at, say, 6 x 4 inches by 72ppi which will not print well, especially if using glossy paper. You are starting out with plenty of pixels so don't throw them away. I reckon that 150ppi is the absolute minimum for prints while 300ppi is ideal.
    The best option is usually to just uncheck the resample image option so that the image pixel dimensions remain the same no matter what DPI the image is printed at - if it happens to work out at 720 ppi then so be it (at regular viewing distances people will struggle to see the difference above 180 dpi) - that way all the original information is retained if you ever do want to print something larger. It's normally only necessary to down-res if image size makes the images too big to eMail or if it creates a storage issue.

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    Re: my first post - processing 200+ shots-

    Hi Mario007,

    Welcome to the CiC Forums - great to have you with us.

    To answer all of your questions fully, I'd have to write a book - so I'll just comment on a couple of quick things for now ...

    > Cropping

    Cropping is different to resizing an image - you'd normally only use the cropping tool to crop out portions of the image that you don't want. By all means pop in something like "6 in" and "4 in" so that what you're left with will have the right aspect ratio, but leave the resolution box blank on the crop toolbar.

    > Image Sizing

    This is an often misunderstood area. I'd strongly suggest changing the image to the size you want (they're only relevant when you print), but DON'T have the Resample Image box ticked - if you do then you'll be permanantly throwing away a lot of information in the image, making it impossible to recover later (unless you restore the image from a backup copy). The image doesn't have to be any particular resolution to print - if it's over about 180 ppi then you probably wouldn't be able to see any difference if it went any higher. If it happens to be 450 ppi or 800 ppi for printing then it doesn't do any harm.

    > Aspect Ratio

    You can make them anything you like, but if they're printed post-card size (6x4) then you're going to have blank areas on the top or side of the image if you crop to anything other than a 1 to 1.5 aspect ratio.

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    Re: my first post - processing 200+ shots-

    No problem, but if I may quickly explain my thinking here.

    Downloading a lot of RAW images is fine if you have sufficient computer power but it takes me at least 1 minute per image to download and another 2 mins to convert which I think works out at over 3 hours just to download 200. That is why I try to thin them out in the camera.

    I thought the OP was intending to convert RAW to 8 bit jpg which is why I suggested using 16bit images instead. I useTIFF as psd isn't available to me; but, yes psd is an excellent suggestion.

    Sharpening, as you say, is a bit of a minefield. I sometimes use a bit of initial sharpening but it depends on the image in question. Often, with wildlife photos for example, I want to keep the background as soft as possible.

    But as I said in the beginning, everyone does things differently and I think it's really just a case of finding out what works best for you. Having to use cheaper equipment means that I may do some things slightly differently to some others but the intention is the same.

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    Re: my first post - processing 200+ shots-

    Hi Geoff,

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Downloading a lot of RAW images is fine if you have sufficient computer power but it takes me at least 1 minute per image to download and another 2 mins to convert which I think works out at over 3 hours just to download 200. That is why I try to thin them out in the camera.
    I understand why you'd want to thin them out on the camera at 3 minutes total per download & conversion - what I don't understand is who it's taking so long on your PC? It doesn't sound right at all. I haven't a transfer take that long since I used a serial connection with my old PowerShot Pro 70. Can you not use a card reader?

    But as I said in the beginning, everyone does things differently and I think it's really just a case of finding out what works best for you. Having to use cheaper equipment means that I may do some things slightly differently to some others but the intention is the same.
    I'm curious to know what equipment you're having to use.

    All the best,

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    Re: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

    Hello again.

    I've had a quick check of my equipment - computer salvaged from a builder's skip a couple of year's ago. 500megahertz Pentium III, 512 ram, Windows XP (if only I could go back to 98). Have recently added USB 2.

    Download RAW files direct from camera and convert using Canon DPP. Also have ACDC 5 as a viewing aid. But they are both very slow when working with today's image sizes; but I want the best quality from what I do have.

    Originally started image editing with Micrographx 8 (which was an excellent programme in it's day). I never really got on well with the basic Photoshop Elements but found Serif Photoplus suited me and I'm now using version 12. (around 50)

    A newer computer is on my wish list but so is a bigger wildlife lens and I certainly can't afford around 1000 for the top end Photoshop software. As I have just taken early partial retirement (61 in a couple of months) I need to be a bit careful; but should be OK as long as I don't get led astray.

    Perhaps ERNIE will help out one day!

    Geoff.

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    Re: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Hello again.

    I've had a quick check of my equipment - computer salvaged from a builder's skip a couple of year's ago. 500megahertz Pentium III, 512 ram, Windows XP (if only I could go back to 98). Have recently added USB 2.

    Geoff.
    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for that. XP with 512MB RAM isn't too bad, although if you've got all of the service packs and updates applied then 1GB makes it perform a lot better. Windows 98 was a great games platform, but personally I wouldn't go anywhere near it for business work - the direct access to hardware that it allowed software meant that any malperforming app could (and often did) bring down the entire system.

    Not sure what kind of camera you use, but if it's one that takes any form of removable storage (CF / SD / SDHC Card) then (in conjunction with USB2) you should see a MASSIVE decrease in transfer speeds if you transferred your images via a card reader. Also, 2 minutes per photo on a Pentium III via DPP seems like waaaaaay too long - I'm wondering if that's tied up with the slow transfers in some way.

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    Re: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

    I'm curently using a 40D so a card reader may speed up downloads a bit and possibly a different conversion programme might help. I have checked that the anti virus isn't running on these images; I know all too well how that can cause things to grind to a halt.

    I keep looking around for some wealthy friends to throw away a much better computer because it won't play the latest games, but sooner or later I expect that I will have to grit my teeth and get something better for around 500. It will also speed things up when I'm using multiple layers on these bigger files.

    But, have you seen how camera equipment is 'zooming' in price lately due to the dropping pound. If I don't move quickly on a new lens it may be too late.

    Geoff.

    ps. We haven't heard anything else from Mario.

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    Re: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

    Geoff,

    a card reader WILL speed up things pretty good...especially over USB2....
    I think the card type will matter as well although to some point, the USB interface will limit you....

    use the Zoombrowser utility to get automatic upload to your pc...works great...
    typically on a rebel XT, raw transfer probably takes about 5-6 seconds per...1 minute per image is ridiculous (sounds almost like it's running USB1....)

    and USB card readers are dirt cheap...

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    Re: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

    Quote Originally Posted by atvinnys View Post
    a card reader WILL speed up things pretty good...especially over USB2....
    I think the card type will matter as well although to some point, the USB interface will limit you....
    Not really - USB II is good for 480mb/s (mega-bit per sec) - which is around 60 mega-bytes per second - most hard drives will struggle to keep up with that.

    For sure though, card readers are the only way to go :-)

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    Re: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post

    ps. We haven't heard anything else from Mario.
    Unfortunately, we often don't have the pleasure of feedback from original posters - I think that often people will post in a number of places and simply "move on" when they get the answer they need from any of them. Others probably don't realise that we're pretty quick off the mark and are often surprised when they do pop back a week or so later.

    At the end of the day though, I really don't mind (funny as it may sound) because often the conversation drifts a bit - and we end up helping others along the way (perhaps a good case-in-point may be if we're able to help you get your images transferred a lot quicker).

    All the best,

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    Re: my first post - automated processing of 200+ shots-

    Quote Originally Posted by dasle View Post
    @ Geoff ... sorry to interrupt, however I think that is better not to buy a USB II reader as I think that your computer doesn't have a USB II port
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Have recently added USB 2.
    Cheers,

    Colin

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