Nice idea flar. I'd like to hear about some other people's methods. I don't really know very many photographers personally so I don't get exposed to new ideas when it comes to work flow.
My software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 (editing) & Bridge CS5 (RAW viewer and file organizer). I work on windows 7, 4GB ram, quadcore chip @3.4GHz. The system still runs slow when I am editing .RAW files. I bought 4GB of extra ram but it crashes my system when I try and use it so I'm stuck at 4GB for now
- Shoot in RAW, almost always stopped down -1/3 to -1 EV
- Import images to PC, organized by location and then date
- Browse Bridge to select which images to edit
- Open image in Adobe Camera Raw (same functionality as Adobe Lightroom)
- Adjust light (exposure, brightness, fill light, recovery); geometry(lens correction [chromatic abberation], rotation vertical and/or horizontal perspective); and tone(white balance, vibrance and or saturation) all corrections at this point are applied to the entire image
- open adjusted image in Photoshop
- at this point many of the adjustments I perform are applied to selected areas of the image. I use Photoshop's pre-built Adjustments + Masks (brightness, levels, curves) or make my own adjustments (unsharp mask, blur, shadow/highlight) from duplicated layers and mask the areas I don't want to be affected. If needed I might dodge and burn and ever so rarely break out the heal or clone tool. Finally I crop the image. I try to edit non-destructively in case I want to go back and make changes. The RAW files can easily be reverted to their original state.
- I give the image a title and then save as a .tiff, finally moving on to the next image
- Once I get through several images I will batch convert the color profile and save them as jpegs. Then they get uploaded to flickr.
I think I can cut out the tiff stage and just save the images as jpegs. I'm not sure why I am still keeping tiff copies. I don't save my adjustment layers so they are really just non-compressed jpegs.
I don't always make panos...
but when I do I use Photoshop.
I actually use PS's image aligner to make DRI or composite images. When I travel I often don't have a tripod so many of my bracketed shots are handheld. PS does an amazing job aligning the layers.
That's the gist of my process. I know it takes away from the mystique of the photographer to show before and after images but I view post work as an integral part of photography. Here are two recent shots I edited, before and after for each. Keep in mind I shoot underexposed so the highlights don't get blown out. Thus the unprocessed images look really dark. It does take practice to know how dark you can shoot and still recover the shadows in post without revealing too much sensor noise.
Any Given Saturday
by Porter Yates
, on Flickr
by Porter Yates
, on Flickr