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MrMitch
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Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:16 pm

Do You Have A Workflow?

Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:40 pm

Hi all, I was just wondering what you guys currently do in terms of a workflow once the image has been imported into your computer?

I'm looking to increase my acceptance rate here and I think a little help with what I should do with my editing in order to increase acceptance. At the moment I'll do a 40-50% sharpening (which might not be the right thing, eg - introducing more noise) , crop the image, then do an auto levels in Photoshop and export at 1200px.

Any help would be appreciated..

Mitch
 
dazbo5
Posts: 2719
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:05 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:10 pm

Quoting MrMitch (Thread starter):
Any help would be appreciated..

Sharpening should be the lest stage before saving. There's no need to sharpen before resizing. My workflow is as follows;

Level (horizon / verticals as needed)
Composition (crop any dead space, centre / final shot composition)
Contrast (if needed, check with levels)
Colour (if needed, reduce mid tones in the red channel to 0.95 on Canon DSLR)
Check for dust spots / blemishes
Check noise (reduce as needed)
Resize (1024 pixels)
Selectively sharpen (as needed)
Save (highest quality)

Post-processing shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes if you have a good original to work from.

Darren
 
viv
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:45 pm

Level if necessary
Crop if necessary
Eliminate dust spots if necessary
One pass of Smartsharpen at 100% O.3 radius
Resize
Save.
 
angad84
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:14 pm

I start with Lightroom 4 and this is how I go:

Level if needed
Crop if needed
Exposure/Contrast
Colour/White Balance
Sharpening/Noise Reduction

At this point, if I shot with the lens wide open (or within a stop thereof), I can skip the dust spot check and export to JPEG.

If I did shoot a narrow aperture (panning or rotor/prop blur) then I export to Photoshop, equalise to check for spots, and go back to Lightroom and edit the spots there. Why? because Lightroom edits non-destructively and that's how I like it.

With spots done, export to JPEG.

Cheers
Angad
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12663
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:39 pm

I have two slightly different workflows. Note that every step is "as necessary".

For low-noise shots:

RAW editing in Canon DPP:
1. adjust exposure/contrast.
2. adjust white balance/color (usually a bit of red reduction, like Darren noted)
3. a bit of color noise reduction.
4. export to JPEG.

For high-noise shots:

RAW editing in Adobe Camera Raw in PS5:
1. adjust exposure/contrast.
2. adjust white balance/color.
3. noise reduction and some sharpening, usually using one of the presets I've saved for different ISO settings.
4. export to JPEG.

Then all the shots go through the same JPEG editing in Photoshop:
5. level photo.
6. crop photo.
7. tweak exposure/contrast.
8. tweak color.
9. resize.
10. sharpen, using a duplicate layer and all that.
11. selective noise reduction (typically only for high-noise shots).

Seems like a lot of steps, but it's actually pretty quick for good originals. I don't particularly like Adobe Camera RAW, which is why I only use it for high-noise shots, because its noise reduction capabilities are far better than Canon DPP.
 
topgun3
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:27 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:44 am

I import all my RAW files into DxO Optics Pro 9 first.

1. Level
2. Crop
3. Sharpen
4. Export to 16bit TIFF

Open TIFF inside CS5
5. Adjust colour using NIK Color Efex Pro plugin
6. Adjust shadows/higlights in NIK Viveza plugin
7. Adjust saturation
8. Adjust contrast
9. Check for dust spots
10. Convert to 8-bit
11. Save full size version JPG
12. Resize to 1200x800
13. 4% Smart Sharpen
14. Save again for upload

My acceptance ratio is 80-90% most of the time. Even with some difficult shots like overcast shots and harsh midday lighting.
 
sovietjet
Posts: 2689
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2003 12:32 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:30 am

Pretty fast process here. This is JPEGs in Photoshop CS5. RAW files are similar except I do some exposure/contrast adjustments in the editor first then export to JPEG and do the same procedure:

1) Level
2) Crop
3) Contrast/Levels honestly if the conditions of the photo were decent I just hit the "auto contrast" button and it works fine 99% of the time
4) Color/white balance I don't do it for every photo. More often than not I don't touch this at all.
5) Hue/Saturation I usually raise a little
6) Noise reduction with Neat Image (if needed)
7) Resize
8) Sharpen usually 2-3 passes of USM with 0.2 and 200%. Erase jaggies if needed via duplicate layer.
9) Dust spots
10) Noise reduction (if needed, this may also be the second time I do it for high ISO shots)
11) Save

Quoting viv (Reply 2):
Level if necessary
Crop if necessary
Eliminate dust spots if necessary
One pass of Smartsharpen at 100% O.3 radius
Resize
Save.

As simple as that sounds I don't think it will work very well for a majority of photos...

Quoting topgun3 (Reply 5):
I import all my RAW files into DxO Optics Pro 9 first.

1. Level
2. Crop
3. Sharpen
4. Export to 16bit TIFF

Open TIFF inside CS5
5. Adjust colour using NIK Color Efex Pro plugin
6. Adjust shadows/higlights in NIK Viveza plugin
7. Adjust saturation
8. Adjust contrast
9. Check for dust spots
10. Convert to 8-bit
11. Save full size version JPG
12. Resize to 1200x800
13. 4% Smart Sharpen
14. Save again for upload

My acceptance ratio is 80-90% most of the time. Even with some difficult shots like overcast shots and harsh midday lighting.

Pretty interesting, have never seen some of these steps before. Why do you do TIFF?
 
henkita217
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:39 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:56 am

Interesting that most photographers level their photo quite early in the process. I do mine until I have corrected the exposure, colour etc. That way, had the level been off (needing rotation), I don't need to start from the start.

Cheers,
HB
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12663
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:33 am

Quoting henkita217 (Reply 7):
Interesting that most photographers level their photo quite early in the process.

Two main reasons for that for me:

1.) I upload full-size cropped/leveled photos to Smugmug, so I need to level before I resize.
2.) I've found that leveling (or re-cropping) an already sharpened photo can mess with the sharpening. So if I'm going to re-level or re-crop, I'd rather go through the later editing again anyway.
 
henkita217
Posts: 461
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:39 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:57 am

Vik,

I would normally level & composed the photo before sharpening and resizing, but after adjusting the exposure/color.

I've also learnt that had I levelled incorrectly, to rotate the photo, you can stuff up the sharpening. So if I had to go back to the drawing board to re level, I can go back to the middle of my workflow, rotate, resize and apply sharpening again.

Keep up the good work everyone.

HB
 
waketurbulence
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:33 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:47 pm

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 6):

I can't answer for topgun3 but ACR doesn't support my raw files in CS5. I have to export from LR5 into a format that CS5 can read, and TIFF retains the most quality.

While this looks like a lot, I have a few presets in LR and actions in PS that get it down to a few minutes a picture.

LR5
Level
Crop
Dust Spots
Exposure (if needed)
Shadows/Highlights (if needed)
White/Black point set (if needed)
Contrast (if needed)
Vibrance/Saturation (if needed)
Noise Reduction and Capture Sharpening (as needed)
Export as TIFF

CS5
Resize
Duplicate Layer
Quick select mask for sky or other areas not needing sharpening
Sharpen (start at 0.3 and 50%) add if needed
Erase jagged edges and flatten layer
Save As Jpeg

-Matt
 
topgun3
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:27 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:27 pm

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 6):
Pretty interesting, have never seen some of these steps before. Why do you do TIFF?

Like already mentioned....TIFF preserves the most quality in a photo compared to other formats. Also in DxO you just setup what your preference is and it does it automatically when you click export. To open a fixed photo you just right-click the photo and open it in Photoshop without any major effort.

I know lot of guys here talk about how fast they can fix a photo...but my main concern is achieving best quality I can get out of the original. If it taks 5 mins....fine. But if I take 30 mins to fix one photo and it turns out just as I wanted, it is worth it. In the past I have even scrapped my work when the result I wanted wasn't doable.

As far as leveling first.....it would bother me to have an un-leveled photo while I'm working on it....it would just feel like something is wrong....another reason is that if I level before I crop, this gives me a chance to use buildings and other lines to level before I crop them out.

[Edited 2014-01-19 08:28:30]
 
angad84
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:51 am

Quoting henkita217 (Reply 7):
That way, had the level been off (needing rotation), I don't need to start from the start.

That's the beauty of lightroom - non destructive editing!

I sound like a fanboy/salesman every time I talk about lightroom, but I really can't praise it enough. I only ever use photoshop for the equalise feature and now even that is available in LR5. I would switch to LR5 and kiss Photoshop goodbye with pleasure but LR5 won't play nice on either my Macbook or Hackintosh desktop, so I'm a bit stuck until I can figure out what's wrong.

Cheers
Angad
 
LH526
Posts: 1990
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2000 2:23 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:33 pm

First thing I do is correcting for lens distortion (lens profiles) removing, vignetting, chromatic aberration, etc ... after that it's mostly like every other workflow.
 
Chukcha
Posts: 2019
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:57 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:20 am

Quoting topgun3 (Reply 11):
If it taks 5 mins....fine. But if I take 30 mins to fix one photo and it turns out just as I wanted, it is worth it.

Absolutely!

Photos taken in fine weather usually need less time to fix, but if the photo was taken in overcast/cloudy conditions, early/late in the morning/evening, it will usually need more tweaking.
 
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MrMitch
Topic Author
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:16 pm

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:53 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys, sounds like you've got it all worked out very well!
 
haydenlamb21
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:30 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:31 am

My editing workflow is as followed...

In Adobe Camera Raw

-Lens Corrections
-Reduce sharpening from 25% to 0%

In photoshop (CS6) after opening from ACR

-level (if horizon is visible)
-crop at 2x3 (4x6)
-check for dust spots and other blemishes
-correct the black and white points
-adjust contrast/brightness (exposure if required)
-saturation
-flatten image
-resize(1200x800) and choose Bicubic (better for smooth gradients)
-reduce noise at strength 8, preserve details at 50% and 0 for colour noise and sharpen details
-unsharp mask at 200% 0.2 radius and 0 threshold and as many passes required and change percentage as required
-save for web at 100% maximum quality provided its less than 1mb file size and obviously save as a JPG.

Cheers, Hayden Lamb
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Do You Have A Workflow?

Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:45 am

Couple of points

Quoting waketurbulence (Reply 10):
ACR doesn't support my raw files in CS5.

But you could convert them to dng using the free Adobe utility. PS will read anything in dng - I've been converting all my files to dng for a number of years on the basis that it is the closest thing we have to a non-proprietary RAW format, so maybe just the little bit more future proof.



Quoting henkita217 (Reply 7):
Interesting that most photographers level their photo quite early in the process.

I do mine in ACR. In fact I do as much editing as possible in ACR (colour, contrast, curves, noise reduction, lens correction). My thinking is that any editing done in PS is essentially destructive - you are destroying or altering pixels, and the more you edit the more you destroy. (Yes, I know you can mitigate this by working in layers).

As I understand it, editing in ACR is a bit different. Essentially you are preparing a recipe which is then applied to the original RAW data when you open the file.

Editing in PS is essentially sequential - a change made in step one will affect what you have to work with in step 2. Editing in ACR is sort of parallel. All the changes in your recipe are applied at the same time to the file. Of course if you manage every editing step in PS as a separate layer, it should amount to the same thing, but can be more complex.

Unfortunately ACR doesn't have the subtly and complexity of PS, so some things I still do after conversion - minor tweaks to the tone curve, detail colour adjustments and sharpening (in that order) before final resize.

Cheers,

Colin

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