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Thread: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

  1. #1
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    Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    There's now a new tutorial available on Digital Photo Editing Workflow. It focuses on the most common photo editing stages, and gives a generalized overview of each along with links to further reading on each topic. It's currently not yet accessible via links on the main site, but as usual I'm sharing it here first.

    Whenever a new tutorial is posted, normally this thread is dedicated to receiving feedback/corrections/critiques about the article. Of course this is still welcome, but this time I also want to try something different.

    Since one's editing workflow is often highly variable and depends on many factors, it would be interesting to hear what everyone else's favorite steps include. For example, do you prefer performing some of these steps in a different order than mentioned in the tutorial? Do you often include something not mentioned? Is there a particular filter that you always apply?

    I hope this provides some helpful tips for everyone...

  2. #2

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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    OK I am still very much a novice but I tend to do any straightening and cropping fairly early in my workflow so that I can get rid of "stuff" I do not want or need which obviously reduces the size of what I need to "work on"

    David

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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    Thanks for sharing your process, David. I agree -- I often find it helpful to do my editing on an image that is as representative of the final composition as possible. If a lot of cropping is needed, it can even influence the white balance and exposure compensation settings I end up using, for example.

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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    This is, as always Sean, spot on. I'm on the same page as Colin when it comes to PP. Everything you can do in raw, should be done in raw. Although I don't think he sharpens at that stage.

    Then it's into Photoshop for a few tweaks. Spot removal, dust and that sort of thing. Then it's resize for output. Then it's sharpening, (always through a mask, i.e. the Bruce Fraser technique) and I then sometimes use Noise Ninja (again through a mask) with their own free downloadable profiles, but that is rarely needed.

  5. #5
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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    I use Adobe Raw converter bridge and CS4, I tend to adopt much of the workflow recommended in this website. I have recently begun to appreciate the potential of the Raw Converter and I am gradually realising just how much potential there is for image optimisation. I have to plead complete ignorance until very recently over just how much is possible using the Adjustment Brush (K) and the gradient Filter. I am new to the forum/website so I would be very pleased to read about any techniques that are tried and tested... and indeed if they are recommended as opposed to going into Photoshop.
    Incidentally I have used Sharpening in Raw and find it good for prints but for web sized images I prefer to use Smart Sharpen on the subject and Photoshop Noise reduction on the background. If I use noise reduction on the whole image or I am in need of especial noise reduction I use Topaz Denoise 5

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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    An excellent tutorial, as always, Sean. It's perfect, with links to more details as needed, and ties together the overall process.

    I use CS5, and I have a standard process that looks like this:

    1. In ACR, first adjust white balance.
    2. Still in ACR, adjust exposure, contrast, black, and fill for exposure and density if that needs touching up.
    3. Now in CS5, run NeatImage to reduce noise.
    4. Use USM for capture sharpening.
    5. Do a rough crop. I only do a rough crop here, because I may want to blend across the edges or clone when fixing blemishes.
    6. Do any fixup of blemishes and problems. This can include spot healing, clone stamp, adding layers to reduce highlights, anything.
    7. Do the real crop.
    8. Add adjustment layers. I have a prerecorded action that creates 3 layers: a vibrance layer with +10 vibrance set, a curves layer set for "Increase Contrast" and 33% opacity, and a levels layer. I delete what I don't need, and adjust what I want.
    9. Save as PSD.

    Now I can resize and resharpen, add a frame, and save as JPG for the web. Or resize and resharpen for printing.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    I read the tutorial carefully and I find some difference with mine.
    First of all: steps from 1 to 5 seems to belong to the RAW developer software... how can I be sure that my RAW developer follow these order?

    I followed some Photoshop workshop (BTW I use GIMP... but I have "translated" all the concepts in GIMP slang) and the proposed workflow - starting from the RAW - is the following:

    1) Set all the RAW developer software (was CameraRAW) parameters to zero;
    2) Set White balance and import to Photoshop;
    3) Set contrast (black point, white point, levels, curves)
    4) Color adjustments (global first, local last)
    5) Editing (clone, straighten, crop, etc.)
    6) Noise reduction
    7) Resizing
    8) Sharpening

    Sean, have to say that after reading your workflow I was a bit confused. I usually find a logic to increase the dynamic first and after going to rebuild pixels... it was clear to me that more dynamics means more precision when rotate/lens-correct the photo (<- that's what I mean with "rebuilding pixels").

    I'm sure your workflow have a meaning... but while the order of some steps is clear for me, there's something I didn't get. Compared to my workflow, is it possible to say if I make some mistakes and if it's better to follow your one?

    Thanks.

    Bye
    Jenner

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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    Quote Originally Posted by ntx View Post
    First of all: steps from 1 to 5 seems to belong to the RAW developer software... how can I be sure that my RAW developer follow these order?
    Hi Jenner, thanks for sharing your workflow. Ideally as many steps as possible will be applied during RAW development. Don't worry about the order of the steps within your specific RAW software menus; all these will effectively be applied as a single step when the file is converted into a TIFF or JPEG.

    In your case, the only steps you might want to apply later would be resizing and sharpening, since these will vary depending on how large and where you want to display your print. Many RAW development software will even let you set these for simplicity, but these aren't as critical to apply during RAW development as all your other steps.

  9. #9
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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    The work flow I have just started to use is as follows:

    1. Images copied from camera to USB Hard Drive with a directory structure detailing date, place etc.
    2. Lightroom opened catalogs updated and is then opened keywords etc added as are scores/ratings
    3. Collection created for keepers and further work.
    4. With my HDR work flow I then export the keepers to a work directory on my hard drive as tiffs after making any adjustments.
    5. The original raw files are left on the USB Drive.
    6. I then process as HDR Images or Stand alone Images. in Lightroom or CS5 etc
    7. Once the final images have been finished I save as tiffs and save back to the USB Drive as completed works of art under the original folder.
    8. I then reimport the completed images to lightroom for printing/resizing/web etc.

      At stage 8 I change the image title to one other than the images file name and append the images file name at the end.

      ST_Pauls_489_490_491.tif where st_pauls is what the image is and the 489, 490, 491 are the raw file names.
    9. Workfiles then deleted. I have no further use for them.


    Regards

    David
    Last edited by McQ; 13th May 2011 at 07:20 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Share Your Digital Photo Editing Workflow

    I published a complete guide to the PhotoShop image editing workflow that I use on my website:
    http://www.gnomeplanet.com/tutorial/...e_workflow.php
    I hope others find some useful information in it.

    Important points: Do as much in the RAW processor as possible. Always use adjustment layers. Always read other people's tutorials to learn new techniques. Here's one I found VERY useful recently on Luminosity Masking - don't miss the Action download:
    http://www.confessionsofaphotoshopne...ity-masks.html

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