Image Processing Workflow

February 22, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

This is the second to last post providing an overview of the equipment I use and the way I work. Many of the topics covered in these first overview blogs will be revisited in future blogs when discussing actual shoots and images.

In this post I will briefly discuss the workflow I adopt to post process images.

I shoot exclusively in RAW. This provides me with a file that has increased processing flexibility, minimising the risk of destructive processing. Below is the typical post processing workflow I adopt with most my work.

lightroom 4

Selecting and Preparing Images

1. I start with importing images into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.

2. Images are assigned metadata to assist with the file management.

3. I make a first selection of images by colour coding them yellow.

4. I generally follow this up with a prioritising images for processing using a star rating. 5 stars being “must do” images. 1 is if time permits.

5. All prioritised images are corrected for (a) camera profile (updated with the profile obtained using the X-Rite ColourChecker Passport), and (b) lens correction.

6. For each series of images, with the same light set-up (I would have used the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport to take a light reading during the shoot), I correct the white balance (WB) using the eyedropper tool.

photoshop CS6

 

Individual Image Processing

7. Once the images have been prepared, I commence with processing individual images. This starts with RAW sharpening. As I do no in camera editing, including sharpening, I apply an initial RAW file sharpening.

8. In Lightroom 4 I typically do a first pass adjustment for (a) contrast and (b) saturation. (More on this when discussing images in future posts.)

9. From this point onwards, files are processed in Adode Photoshop CS6 and rendered back in Lightroom as TIFF files.

10. While in Photoshop, a host of appropriate editing techniques are employed. (More on this when discussing images in future posts.)

11. Final images are colour coded blue.

 

Image Output

12. Images for use on monitors are simply exported directly from Lightroom 4 as sRGB at 72dpi.

13. Images that are to be printed are prepared in Photoshop CS6. This starts with adjusting the image to the desired sharpness.

14. This is followed my selecting the correct printer profile and soft proofing the image. This may require tweaking of the contract and/or saturation.

15. The final step is to export the image with the imbedded printer profile at 300dpi as a .jpg or .TIFF file.

 

When working in Photoshop I find it much simpler to perform editing work using the Wacom Intuos 5 tablet.

The next post will close the series of providing you high level overview of my working approach, and I will share my thoughts on planning a shoot.


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