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The Photo Editing Process - How Do You Do It?  
User currently offlineBrianhames From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 795 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5587 times:

I'm currious what steps everyone takes in Photoshop to perfect their photos. I typically just adjust the Levels, maybe to some sharpening, and resize to a smaller resolution.

So please feel free to share your steps and any tips you may have!


7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePepef From Finland, joined Oct 2002, 440 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5454 times:

Hello Brian,

I first adjust the curves. It leaves the blackest black and whitest white untouched.

Then I add a little bit of contrast and /or brightness.

I check if anything is too white or black, use the magic wand tool (or path tool) to make a selection and either lighten something (like the wheels which are mostly in shadow) or darken something ( the nose for example could be too light).

I might make a selection of the plane or sky and bring it out a bit by adding extra contrast or colour.

Crop. Unsharp mask, finished. Once you get used to this it only takes a couple of minutes per picture. If I find jaggies I use the unsharp mask feature BEFORE cropping.

Peter Fagerström

User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5437 times:

My 'basic' process (everything depends on how the actual image turns out after each step):

- crop the image (preferably 1.333 ratio)
- play around with the Levels
- see what the 'auto color balance' comes up with
- check for the 'auto saturation' feature
- sometimes I already apply a little bit of sharpening (USM) right now
- resize to 1024x768 (not always 768, depends on the noise on the original image)
- sharpen the image (USM)

So, this is just a basic workflow that doesn't work all the time, you know what I mean? It all depends on how the actual image you're working with turns out after each step. So, it's very well possible that I'll have to add the Levels one last time after the last step, e.g. when the image still appears to be too dark or has too much green, blue or red in it.

Oh yeah, I use Paint Shop Pro 7.


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5089 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5398 times:

Here is my process, and in this order, in photoshop 7.0:

open image, rotate if necessary for level horizon, then crop.
adjust levels or curves as necessary (just started working with curves)
adjust colors if needed
use edge sharpening Photoshop Action for a light sharpening of the edges using unsharp mask
resize down to as close to 1200x800 as possible.
Crop either length or width to equal 1200x800
Apply Unsharp mask to the new downsized image....amount varies...at radius of .4
adjust levels if needed.

It really depends on the image. You can't use a one step process on every image.

Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5386 times:

Yup, forgot to mention that I also check for level horizon. If not, to say it in aviation words: 'Rotate!' Big grin


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineThe Red Baron From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2002, 90 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5385 times:

Some interesting comments above......I do it as follows and it seems it might be doing it wrong !!!
Crop image
Resize to 1024x768 or similar
Alter levels, brightness, contrast if required
Unsharp mask on main subject only using lasso tool (by the way, what setting do people start at and which do you alter to increase/decrease sharpness ??)
Save as a new image to retain the original (just in case !!)
Should I be resizing first or last ???
Does the way I do it produce a poorer result?
Using Adobe PhotoShop 5.0LE on D60 digital images.

User currently offlineLjungdahl From Sweden, joined Apr 2002, 923 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5378 times:

I always resize after the use of USM in PhotoShop 5.0LE, as I can see a clear difference if done the other way around.

The images I have, are scans from my Minolta Dimage Scan Dual, but I really don't think that it matters if it's a scanner or a digital camera that have produced the image.

Johan  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5339 times:

I personally think it would be best to do most of the edit before resizing (except for the USM, unless there are too much jaggies, sharpening before resizing can lead to less jaggies sometimes it appears).


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
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