What is Your Post Production Workflow?

What is Your Post Production Workflow?

Post-Production-SoftwareOne of the questions I get asked a lot by readers is for a suggested workflow for the post processing of images in Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture (insert your favourite post production software here).

I thought it might make an interesting discussion to invite readers to describe their own workflow for processing images.

For some I suspect it’ll be pretty haphazard and quite different every time, others still will do very little post production while others will have a system that they follow with every image.

What about you – how do you approach post production of your images? What tools do you use and what order do you tackle different elements of your processing in?

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • David J December 23, 2012 09:09 am

    Lightroom and Photomatix then invariably off to Photoshop for a final tweak there or,for mono, off to Silver Efex Pro.
    All my files are downloaded to named folders in external hard drives and backed up to disc from there (Luddite that I am)
    As to a Workflow I can't claim to have any set methodoligy, I simply apply what I feel is right for a given image and save as a preset for use as a basic starting point for similar images. Works for me and that is what matters.
    I always shoot in Raw and use an Incident Light Meter 90% of the time, I honestly believe that this gives me an optimum "Start image" and therefor my workflow begins here.

  • Ernie Hatt August 22, 2011 12:23 pm

    Regardless of whether I am shooting Raw or jpg, I always open them first in Camera Raw, crop, adjust exposure contrast and colour in there. Then open as copy in Photoshop, then check levels ect, remove any blemishes and sharpen

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  • nadeem September 23, 2010 11:08 pm


  • Dimitri September 2, 2010 04:52 pm


    I've wrote down the entire process step-by-step on my blog, both in italian and english:

    I Hope it will be useful for you!

  • TheForestMan September 1, 2010 01:31 pm

    Bridge to download, Picasa to select (much faster than Bridge), sent to PS CS5, publish using Picasa.
    Lightroom used with limitation (I hate the interface :)

  • Doug August 28, 2010 04:16 am

    For NEFs:

    1. Transfer NX: Import, rename, and global meta data (creator, copyright, usage terms).
    2. View NX: Preview, identify keepers
    3. Capture NX: Post process, rate, create high-res JPG
    4. IDImager: Create Web version (low-res JPG); version all images (IDImager allows versions of the same image to be grouped); add keywords; geotag; transfer to digital frame, SmugMug, and Facebook as necessary

    Process for RAW files from my Panasonic GF-1 is similar, except I preview in IDImager and process in Photoshop. If I need to do anything beyond simple adjustments, I'll create a NEF and work on the image in Capture NX (which I know much better than Photoshop).

  • Piyush Garyali August 25, 2010 02:44 pm

    Well, I am a Linux user and hence don't have the luxury of Adobe products (as Adobe does not support Linux). I import picture using F-Spot, organize using Picasa 3 which I use for general touch up and uploading to the online Picasa albums. More advanced stuff in GIMP. I use Hugin for panaromic shots and Qtpfsgui for creating HDRs.

  • David MacKinnon August 18, 2010 06:57 am

    1) Import RAW images using Canon's photo management software.
    2) Perform a first pass review and delete images that cannot be used (blurred, etc.)
    3) Import RAW images into Aperture.
    4) Perform second pass, this time rating images and performing simple editing to test the feasibility of using the image.
    5) Identify images that need noise removal and process using NiK's DFine.
    6) Filter by rating and perform first pass editing. Raise or lower rating based on the editing results.
    7) Perform other post processing as needed (GIMP, Hydra, NiK filters, etc.) and adjust rating based on results
    8) Export images that exceed a minimum rating to JPG via watermarking software.

  • EEKaWILL August 17, 2010 10:26 am

    1. import
    2delete the worst shots
    3pick the shots/compositions worth saving
    4 choose the shots your going to post to flickr
    5 edit camera raw in bridge
    6 photoshop- mainly just levels hue/saturation and curves if that
    7 publish twitter/flickr/facebook

  • kate si August 16, 2010 01:39 am

    1. take pictures
    2. take more pictures
    3. take even more pictures
    4. 3+ days later put them on my computer and do the initial culling
    5. 5+ days after that, put them in lightroom, maybe work on them
    6. feel guilty that i have 3+ weeks backed up photos.
    7. feel guilty that i have 2+ months backed up photos
    8. do something in lightroom and export them
    9. another week at least after that, work on anything else in photoshop
    10. feel guilty that i have only five photos left undone in any given set and i haven't finished them in the month since i started them
    11. get around to it eventually...

    I have a very Catholic approach.

  • Tim August 14, 2010 11:56 pm

    I really want to use Lightroom, but unfortunately I've found it incredibly slow to use on my last 3 laptops and have switched back to Picasa every time, which is superfast. So:

    1. Import DNG files from memory card with Picasa into yyyy-mm-dd formatted folders.
    2. Quickly page through them in Picasa, deleting obvious failures (out of focus, etc) and starring promising ones.
    3. Switch to starred-only view and whittle down the selection further by unstarring.
    4. Open each in Photoshop, apply my standard camera raw settings, tweak exposure/contrast/etc.
    5. If it's any good, do the raw conversion into a 16-bit image, adobe RGB, then unsharp mask and smart sharpen, convert to 8-bit and save as JPG (if I've done more editing I'll save as a 16-bit PSD too, but that's rare; most of my correction happens in camera raw and those settings are saved in the DNG).
    6. When I've finished converting, go back to Picasa and filter on "jpg", then select all the converted files, stick then in an album and sync to web.

    I liken my process to peering at the negatives and just exposing a few in the darkroom, rather than printing the whole roll of film.

  • Sanddlife August 14, 2010 01:02 pm

    Lightroom 3 + Photoshop CS5

    1. Copy files from camera(7D) to 2 folders on disk all under 'Pictures' parent folder; using a variety of names.
    ex. Pictures/Clients/Smith Family/JPG - Pictures/Clients/Smith Family/RAW
    ((auto script then backs up to external(mirrored) NAS drive))
    2. Import using 'Add' to LR3. add keywords, etc during import
    3. Quickly browse for initial keepers 'P' are picks, 'X' are deletes; easily get rid of OOF pics, etc
    4. Identify best of set and adjust in LR using presets, manual adjustments, round trip through PS for retouching, layer manipulation, etc. If I want to save any prior to flattening the image, these get saved in a PSD folder. Pictures/Clients/Smith Family/PSD
    5. Create contact sheets if needed
    6. Export printable pics to Pictures/Clients/Smith Family/Print folder.
    7. Publish a few to facebook via the new LR3.2 facebook "feature"
    8. Upload printables to MPIX.com
    9. Create client CD of ALL remaining photos
    10. Enjoy what I do.

  • Chris August 14, 2010 11:44 am

    1) Import into Aperture 3 Copying files off Card to Hard Drive. I have a folder for each camera (ie. XTi Folder and 40D Folder) That folder is subdivided by Month Year. Do not delete images on Card until after viewing and everything looks good.
    Projects sorted by Month/Year (ie. Aug 10). If it is a wedding or special shoot I name the project so it reflects this. I do some general Keywords during import as well.

    2) View imported images, rate them and add any other keywords/tags that are missing. Adjust/Crop images that I would like to share on Flickr or on my Blog.

    3) Export final adjusted image to folder on my Desktop (Generally 35% of Original Size)

    4) Upload to flickr or Blog

    5) Back up Images on portable Hard Drive every month. Back up Aperture Vault Weekly.

  • Jason Collin Photography August 14, 2010 04:43 am

    1.) import RAW files into Aperture 3
    2.) make a few exposure adjustments using Aperture 3 sliders
    3.) Apply Nik Color Efex Pro 3 filters
    4.) export to PS CS5 for sharpening, blemish removal, cloning, other heavy lifting

  • Nigel Johnson August 14, 2010 03:08 am

    I have just updated to the latest version of lightroom and I love it. I still export to flickr and my portfolio website manually but I guess that will change at some point :) I haven't noticed any of the "better processing" tweaks in things like the noise reduction as it was pretty awesome before, but the best thing is the inclusion of proper watermarking saving me battling with other plugins.

    If you throw in photshop with bridge I have a really robust filter and processing set and it all works on my laptop pretty well.

  • Xavier August 14, 2010 12:03 am

    I use mainly LR2, but I'm thinking of moving to LR3. Anyway, my current workflow is :

    0) Shoot in RAW, or RAW+jpg if I want to be able to select pictures on any computer.

    1a) When I'm at home: import pictures from memory cards in LR and copy to backup HDD and laptop HDD.
    1b) When I'm on the field, copy memory card to PSD (Portable Storage Device), then to laptop HDD. Once done, import pictures in LR.
    I've set basics IPTC when importing pictures in both cases.

    2) Once imported, I rate pictures and rejected ones are deleted from my laptop HDD.

    3) After selection, I thouroughly fill the metadata (keywords, location, ...)

    4) I adjust level, exposure and WB for the best or needed pictures.

    5) Export jpg or tif depending on the final use of the pictures.

    6) If need be, post processing is done with dedicated software (pano, HDR).

  • Maxime Gousse August 13, 2010 11:52 pm

    1) Import from SD card or iPad
    2) Delete iPad pics or reformat SD card
    3) Rate 1-5 stars (delete "0 stars")
    4) Crop, adjust WB, saturation, etc...
    5) Tag names (faces in AP3)
    6) Post to FACEBOOK, private web site
    7) Tag locations
    8) Add keywords

  • Dr. Nicolas Rao August 13, 2010 11:36 pm

    I really liked reading the different views, yes people did give their work flows from camera to comp and the editor of their choice.
    I was wondering if some one could give how they actually start the PP for a photograph and submit some of their methods. I mean from RAW or even from JPEG. Do they do the color correction first or follow the flow practically laid out in software such as the RAW editor of Photoshop or Light room.
    Is there something that should be done first, and something done last before the photo is archived. This is my point of interest.
    I enjoyed this subject thoroughly and look forward to see how others work.
    Thank you,

  • MH Media August 13, 2010 06:53 pm

    I try to have as little post-processing as possible, but if I'm shooting large JPEGs I use Irfanview for Windows to adjust the contrast, gamma and saturation. If I'm shooting RAW (NEF) I use Showfoto in Ubunbtu to do pretty much the same thing. I then crop, but as little as possible.

    I always make on copy of my unprocessed images on 1 external hard drive, and put the post-processed ones on a separate external hard drive, both of which are kept off site. I never reformat the memory card(s) until I have made these copies..

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhmedia/4839915447/' title='DSC_6644' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4084/4839915447_3bf807e043.jpg']

  • katka August 13, 2010 06:37 pm

    Hello, any other Picassa users out there? :) Once i import the photos, I use Picassa to sort out the pics and crop and straighten them and those I really like go to PS for further processing. Am I the only one? :)

  • Jim Stearns August 13, 2010 05:32 pm

    Well... First I download the images I have captured to my hard drive, and two external drives and disconnect both of the external drives from the computer. I ignored this process in 2008 and it took $2100.00 plus the cost of replacing the power supply on the computer. I had left the external drive plugged into the computer.... not again. :)
    I work with LR-3 and PS CS5 as needs require.
    I use LR-3 for my primary reviewing of the photos I snap. By the way, I process in the dark on calibrated monitors.
    When I start reviewing, I back off from the monitor, + - a couple feet and Critique each image, depending on if I shot in an controlled lighting or just out snapping picks on the street, etc.
    In LR or PS Bridge, you can assign ratings to each.... I do this. Rating is between 1 to 5 stars.
    I than start with the five rating and start post production.
    Loving BW, I look at the "out of the camera", which is a statement that I dislike, IMHO out of the camera is antiquated-all images needs some post processing. I switch to BW to determine what "Pops" between color or BW or both. Although I do not delete any snaps until I've processed the top dog.... :) and I do several reviews of the remaining images before I delete them.
    Jim Stearns.

  • David P. August 13, 2010 04:50 pm

    Another Linux user here :)

    I am in the phase to start developing a good workflow. and it is changing a lot..

    I start with downloading the photo's using Rapid Photo Downloader.
    For organizing I want to relly mostly on the filesystem, usefull directory names and not dates, but I have still a long way to go here.
    At the moment I am trying Bibble for the real postprocessing. I tried RawTherapee, but I don't like it very much (perhaps I should try more, perhaps I should wait for a newer version with better interface). I tried RawStudio, but after a while it started crashing a lot. UFRaw seems nice, but misses a lot of features imo.
    Bibble is not free, but as far as I can tell now, it is worth the money.. (I still have some time to really decide :))
    Since most of the editing can be done by Bibble, I don't use the Gimp yet, if I need more than Bibble offers, I should learn the Gimp to do it for me...

    yea still a lot of learning to do, taking pictures is easy part I think ;)

  • Gene August 13, 2010 01:30 pm

    1. Download raw files to PC (Backblaze auto-backups to online storage)
    2. Find white balance and basic settings by groups of photos.
    3. Create proofs from which to cull.
    4. Move culled raw files to temp subfolder for later deletion (allows me to change my mind about deleting if I want).
    5. Fine tune settings and add any spot edits as needed (using Bibble layers).
    6.Create full-size jpgs in desired color space and review (for some, go back to step 2).
    7. Done -or- perform more edits if desired using Photoshop.

    These days I do 85% of all edits in Bibble. Only files needing special effects go to Photoshop.

  • Yoseph August 13, 2010 12:50 pm

    Using Photoscape for quick editing, and work in Photoshop for more serious editing.

  • Mike August 13, 2010 11:58 am

    1. Create a new folder for whatever event/album I'm creating (ie. So & So's Wedding - 2010.08.12)
    2. Import all my photos from that event into that folder
    3. Create lightroom catalog in that folder with the same name as the folder
    4. Import photos into the catalog
    5. View each photo one by one and decide which one's I like and will process and put them into a collection called "Developed"
    6. Go through and decide based on each photo which preset that I've created that I want to use and then tweak it once I've applied that preset.
    7. Once i'm done all the photos I export them to JPG (I always shoot in RAW)

    I find that this workflow works best for me...even though there is a little "double handling" of the photos!

  • ET August 13, 2010 11:26 am

    Import using Nikon Transfer and the all PP work done in Lightroom.

  • Aamir M August 13, 2010 09:36 am

    My comment did not show up. Submitting again...

    Download and view RAW images in Bridge
    Sort out keepers.
    Use Adobe Camera RAW for correcting Exposure, Fill light, White Balance
    Use Photoshop CS4 for noise reduction, curves, levels, cropping, sharpening, clone-outs etc
    If needed, use Nik ColorEfex or Topaz Labs for additional effects
    Save as 16 bit Tiff
    If targeted for web, Tiff gets converted to JPG using JAlbum
    If targeted for clients, Tiff files get uploaded to secure server for download or on a flash drive


  • johnp August 13, 2010 08:50 am

    I don't have a large workload so try to keep it simple -
    I open and process all files, including RAW, in Elements 8 which usually has more than enough tools for my needs.
    If I need more elaborate processing, say for wedding shots, I may also use Portrait Professional first and then maybe Tiffen for filter effects (it doesnt work in reverse order). I'll also sometimes use Photomatix but just for exposure blending.
    I only use Windows folders for my photo library (dont like Elements viewer) although I do copy to good quality CD's important files and I don't delete SD cards till I have a backup. I use a dual hard-drive setup as an extra precaution.

  • Perez Studios August 13, 2010 08:12 am

    I just switched from Lightroom 2 to Lightroom 3 and it is awesome! Makes life so much more easier. I dont know how I could have done it without it in the past.

  • Aamir M August 13, 2010 06:32 am

    Download and view RAW images in Bridge
    Sort out keepers.
    Use Adobe Camera RAW for correcting Exposure, Fill light, White Balance
    Use Photoshop CS4 for noise reduction, curves, levels, cropping, sharpening, clone-outs etc
    If needed, use Nik ColorEfex or Topaz Labs for additional effects
    Save as 16 bit Tiff
    If targeted for web, Tiff gets converted to JPG using JAlbum
    If targeted for clients, Tiff files get uploaded to secure server for download or on a flash drive


  • Marty August 13, 2010 06:07 am

    Great question, and one I have recently tackled - I formalized and actually documented my workflow (OK, I was an "OC" IT consultant in a previous life, and process documentation was one of the key work products that I always offered to my clients).

    The lack of a consistent, repeatable workflow was driving me nuts - I have a desktop that I use when shooting locally, and a laptop that I use on the road - and both had different ad hoc workflows, using a combo of Lightroom, Photoshop, Nikon Transfer, and a variety of other bits and pieces. I had copies of raw images and working copies scattered all over the place between the 2 machines with no uniformity of workflow or directory structure between the two systems. Luckily, I did have a fairly robust file naming convention that helped keep things straight, but more was needed. (It may be a shot in the dark, but I am willing to bet that what IO am describing above is probably not all that uncommon.)

    So, I took a couple of days to make this right. First, I set up the directories on both machines in exactly the same way (same names, same locations with respect to the root directory, etc.). Then, I documented a process that covers everything from importing to archiving/backing up, including setting up working directories and ultimately sharing everything through a Network Attached Storage device (8 TB of RAID drives) between the machines at home, whether on the patio or in my comfy office. The key is that the process is exactly the same on both machines.

    The process is also relatively open, in that it allows me to manage working files between the two machines. This allows me to take working on the road so I can work on them while away, and then move them back to ythe desktop so I can finish them up (I don't really like doing heavy-duty image editing work on the laptop (not the best screen in the world for this type of work), but it does allow me to play with concepts and techniques so I can do the final edits on the desktop).

    Anyway, basic workflow is to import/rename/add EXIF via LR, creating both a master directory and a backup directory (I use a different hard drive for each). I then use LR to copy the master to the RAID for creating a shared master source, and use a DVD burner to create 2 coies of the RAW images (one for a local archive and one for offsite archive).

    I then use LR to perform some basic non-destructive editing on images (straightening, white balance, cropping, noise reduction, sharpening, etc.) then edit in PS with both native PS tools as well as a variety of plug ins from Nik, Alien Skin, and onOne, as appropriate for what I amplanning for the image.

    My rationale for doing the heavy liting in PS is that I can use layers (the most awesome feature of PS) within a single image file to use multiple plug ins or native tools, rather than allowing LR to create multiple copies of the same file, one for each plug in or editing program that I invoke.

    Bottom line: investing the couple of days in seting up and documenting the process allows me to have a consistent process that is always the same, whether I am on the road or sitting in my comfy office.

    Rather long post, but I'd appreciate feedback on my approach - always open to suggestions to help me make things better.

  • Lewicka August 13, 2010 06:00 am

    I use aperture for editing pictures and very simple producing, then i use photoshop and nik software for advanced production.

  • Eric August 13, 2010 05:19 am


    Cntrl/Cmd Backspace will pull up a dialog box to delete all photos marked with an X flag in LR. You have the option to remove from catlog only or delete from hard disk, and I forget what the 3rd one. I always delete from disk.

  • Eric August 13, 2010 05:16 am

    I use LR2.

    I import using canon's software with a canon connection, as it seems to be downloaded faster. Wherever the pics go, I move them into a folder tree: 2010<08<2010-08-05, for example. After folders have been renamed and arranged this way, I then import into LR.

    1. All files have a red label when imported. As Alex mentioned, I make a quick pass and delete anything that's out of focus or I can quickly see that one out of three is better, for example. They're flagged to be deleted later, and the keepers are marked with yellow. I'll copy the original RAW files to an external, and convert to DNG here.

    2. Yellow flagged photos are keyworded. If anything else needs to be flagged to be deleted, it is done here. Then the photos are flagged green.

    3. Any green photos are then given any needed touch up work. This includes exposure, WB, fill light, highlight recovery, vibrance/saturation, and any brush work including eyes and teeth on portraits. When a photo is done, I remove color labels. (I have used blue for photos that were rushed and done being edited, but I skipped the keywording step and intend to come back to it later.)

    I've found this to be most efficient because I only spend extensive time on the best photos. Rejects are deleted from my hard disk. After all this, an upload to facebook is near painless because of Jfriedl's plugins. :)

  • Dromarakid August 13, 2010 04:58 am

    Having a Canon 7D I shoot in RAW, use the Canon supplied imaging tools and download straight from the camera using the EOS Utility, then open them in Digital Photo Professional and do most of my manipulation there before saving photos in jpeg. If any further alterations are necessary they are carried out in Photoshop CS3. The photos are stored on a loose hard drive and put under various folders but still kept in their date order. Used to be able to go straight to CS3 but the Canon 7D and the CS3 are not compatable and there is no patch that I am aware of.

  • dok August 13, 2010 04:35 am

    i'm a Linux only user (debian), and shoot in RAW only.

    1. manual transfer from Card to HDD to a manually created folder
    2. photos previewing (and deleting) in geeqie (allow very fast browsing even for RAW files)
    3. RAW treatment in Raw Therapee. Very happy with that software, way better than UFraw IMHO.
    4. If I need to convert all my RAWs to JPG, Raw Therapee or Geeqie can offer a conversion with the default settings (camera settings).
    5. I'd love to have a good photo manager but Shotwell is not mature enough for the moment and f-spot is full of bugs on my system :-/

  • Scott R. August 13, 2010 03:53 am

    RAW ->Photo Mechanic -> Lightroom -> CS3 -> Internet

    A brief description... I shoot in RAW so that I can balance exposure and white balance with all shots in the series --> Then I import the pictures into my folder system (which is a progression of a four digit number 0098- (then briefly describe what the event was) using Nikon Transfer --> Use Photo Mechanic to pick the keepers (the un-used ones either get deleted or moved into another folder depending on what the event was) --> the keepers get imported into Lightroom for leveling out exposure and white balancing --> exported as .jpg's --> then Photoshop to run my actions, panoramics, etc. -> save and publish to blog/facebook/client site/etc.

  • Jonathan Moeller August 13, 2010 03:32 am

    Import onto Hard drive. Picasa is THE BEST for viewing/ sorting/ rotating/ deleting photos. Then I import into ligtroom for the rest of my editing. very few get photoshopped

  • Sarah Fowler August 13, 2010 03:21 am

    I pull photos from my memory card and put them in a file on my hard drive (they'll fall into one of my categories). Then I delete some, and pull the best ones into a "Favorites" folder. I'll only bother to edit those, moving copies of them into an "Edited" folder and then (usually) uploading to Facebook. I usually only take one or two from each batch to put on Flickr, since few of my friends use it and the image size on Facebook has gotten bigger.

  • Michelle Armour August 13, 2010 03:16 am

    Bridge to import but that is all I use bridge for.
    Lightroom for a quick run through to usually make a quick selection which are then taken as far as possible in LR before exporting as jpeg. I tend to export all in colour before going back through and readjusting for preset effects etc for a second set of touched up images when I am working for clients.
    Anything special then goes to Photoshop CS5 or if a portrait that I feel will benefit, I run it through Portrait Professional 9 (carefully to ensure not too much) I batch process a lot in PS for watermarks or resizing and other actions I have made.
    Then I use CS3 to create a web album to upload using Adobe Dreamweaver (I don't use the bulk upload sites Flicker etc as I like to keep that control) then send the client the url so they can have a look.

  • Ken Schram August 13, 2010 03:05 am

    I leverage Lightroom 3 for as much as I can, Photomatix Pro for HDR processing and Photoshop for whatever is left. With a background in application development, I'll sing the praises of Lightroom all day long. Hands down it is one of the most powerful, well designed applications I've had the privilege of using.

  • Martin August 13, 2010 03:04 am

    I use EOS Utility for the download of the pictures from the camera to my PC. Then I sort them out and develop them using DPP. Finally the files are organized with IDimager, a very poweful software with excellent support!

  • ivan August 13, 2010 02:31 am

    I've just found this application called "darktable". It looks very similar to Lightroom, and seems to have alot of features. I'd like to know if any of you have used it, and what did you think about it if you did. It's made for Linux, and since I use Windows, I can't test it myself (well, I could...). Judging from 50 min screencast I wached on their site, it looks very interesting. Here's link to their webpage if someone is interested:

    And to answer the given question: I mostly use Lightroom, I rarely use anything else.

  • Mainer82 August 13, 2010 02:30 am

    My process is fairly simple:

    *Downoload photos using Canon EOS software
    *Screen photos in Canon DPP and mark the items I don't want for deletion
    *Edit RAW photos in Cannon DPP
    *Create new folder (Photos\20108 - August\12\) and convert RAW to JPG
    *Put RAW files in a sub-folder named RAW
    *Keyword and rate photos Adobe Photoshop Elements Viewer

  • Bruce August 13, 2010 02:24 am

    Seems to be a shortage of Linus users here ... !

    I shoot raw, upload into "Raw" directory tree. From there I convert to 16bit tiff through Nikon ViewNX running in a virtual machine under Linux -- unfortunately this is one step that the Linux tools are just quite not there yet.

    Select keepers with simple image viewer and move to "live" directory tree .

    Primary post-processing is then in Lightzone (http://www.lightcrafts.com/lightzone/) --I love this ... fast, flexible, and powerful.

    If specific manipulations are required, Gimp does this nicely.

    Final conversion to jpeg goes to a "Uploads" directory tree.

    All directory trees backed up with rsync onto an e-sata external RAID-5 system

  • Kushal August 13, 2010 02:23 am

    I have tried several post post production programs: Photoshop, Lightroom, ACDSee and the ones that come with the various cameras.

    But these days I am using open-source/free PAINT.NET software which comes with a bunch of plugins and as it is open source software i can develop the plugins myself as required. (I am a Software Engineer by profession - photography is my hobby)

  • Jacob Jolibois August 13, 2010 02:07 am

    I utilize Lightroom and Photoshop. I recently published my Lighroom Workflow on my blog - it can be found at the link below.

  • Jason Shaf August 13, 2010 01:33 am

    Wow - these are pretty extensive procedures.
    As a novice, I tend to do a lot fewer steps. As a learning progression, I am more towards the fact that I try to make the picture as perfect as possible such that it needs minimal post-processing. But I am long ways away from getting the right lighting and I have to saturate the colors almost every time.
    I download the pictures on my laptop and filter through which ones should be saved and delete the ones that cannot be improved.
    Then I take one by one and straighten it out, crop, color sharpen, lighting and sharpen - in that order.

    I will have to read all the above to get some insights, sounds like a great resource for learning.

  • Ron Stransky August 13, 2010 01:31 am

    I import with Picasa, then use DXO to process all my images. I am surprised that more people don't use the DXO product. It fixes all lens distortions, vignetting and lighting inconsistencies. I had no idea how much needed to be done until I saw the before and after photos. I still modify Color, exposure and white balance manually if necessary in lightroom 3. I am just starting to shoot raw+jpg. I am not sure how to handle all of the raw files, seems to me most people who are shooting raw are keeping their raw files. This takes a lot of disk space, but I guess that's pretty cheap nowadays. I look at each photo, delete out of focus or poor exposure. I use picasa to upload to Picasa online album and or facebook. I set my desktop background in win7 to change every 5 minutes, and each month I change the folder to "last months" folder, so I can view my prior months photos full screen. Let's me get to know my work better. I shoot one to two thousand shots a month, and it's pretty time consuming to look at them all, study the metadata to know what I did right or wrong, so viewing on screen in the following month helps with this. I am using a T2i and my two most used lenses are the 17-55 F2.8 and 55-250 F4. I love this forum, thank you all for writing and helping me learn!

  • Jim Carter August 13, 2010 01:28 am

    1. Import RAW photos into Lightroom 3
    2. "P"icks are kept as RAW "X" are deleted and all others will be kept as JPG only.
    3. Do some standard stuff in Lightroom, Exposure/recovery, vibrance and so on.
    4. Export everything into the same folder as the RAW photos (This creates the JPG copies)
    5. Delete all of the "Picks" from the catalog only (This keeps the RAW photos)
    6. Delete the rest from the catalog and hard drive (this keeps the JPG copies and deletes the RAW)
    7. I still like the Photoshop Elements Organizer so I then import and tag the photos here.
    8. Any other editing is done in Photoshop CS5.

    A lot of steps but I can find any photo in seconds. Also I run an Acronis full image backup weekly and use Carbonite for online backup.

  • REBEL STUDIO August 13, 2010 12:29 am

    I dont do much post-processing. First i import into lightroom 3 as DNG. Then I find the first shot with good focus and decent composition. Then I try auto white balance. Often lightroom will make it too cold, so i'll adjust manually. Then I try auto exposure. In this case sometimes lightroom makes the picture too dark. If so, I revert back. Usually it does a good job adjusting things like fill light and recovery. Then depending on the weather during the shot, I may have to increase saturation a bit. Then I'll do noise reduction of the ISO is high. Depending on the shot, I may do some touch up work (blemish removal, skin smoothing, eye brightening). Lightroom is really good for that. If something large needs to be removed, ill just right-click and click edit in photoshop, where I usually use the clone tool. This is my usual workflow.

  • IPBrian August 12, 2010 11:45 pm

    Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom has changed the way I look at my photos, but some things are just quicker and easier to do in photoshop.

  • Daniel Salter August 12, 2010 11:42 pm

    Has anyone used both Aperture and Lightroom? At the moment I have been mainly using Aperture 3 but something made me download the trial of Lightroom 3 and I am starting to really enjoy the way it works. If you have used both could you tell me which is the better to have and why.

  • Nathan August 12, 2010 11:04 pm

    I run linux pretty exclusively, so I have a bit of a different workflow....

    1 - I copy the raw files from the memory card to my hard drive in a folder labeled with the date and a descriptive title.
    2 - Run a script that converts them all to fairly small jpegs (about 1000px max in the longest direction). It basically just runs ufraw, but with a bunch of presets that I've tweaked so it matches what the in-camera jpeg converter would have output.
    3 - View in Picasa.
    4 - If the photo is fodder for my (not primarily photo) blog, then I'll do some basic editing in picasa and upload to picasaweb directly from there.
    5 - If it's getting framed or uploaded to a photo blog or I otherwise need more editing or a high res version, I'll open the raw file in gimp and edit.
    6 - I'll save an xcf (lossless) and high res jpeg of the editng pic in the same directory that it was initially in.
    7 - Every couple days a automated script backs up all my photo directory to 2 external drives(at 3 in the morning, which is *generally* a time that I'm not awake.....).

  • Lori August 12, 2010 10:46 pm

    Same first three steps as Dane Parkinson but then Flickr. Print 4x6 of the rare favorite.

  • Mike August 12, 2010 10:42 pm

    I used to use Lightroom but it went through a period when it wouldn't talk to Photoshop so I ditched it.
    I had used Photoshop for 15 years and felt quite acquanted with it, but added a couple of steps after reading Scott Kelby's 7 step book.

    1 Import from CF to disk
    2 Drag all the keepers into a subdirectory
    3 Since upgrading to Canon 7D, process all the CR2 files to DNG with Adobe's DNG converter
    4 Open the Raw in PS CS3, make all the tweaks needed to get best dynamic range with no burnouts
    5 Use shadow / hilight tool to bring in extra detail
    6 Add a curves adjustment layer to maximise contrast.
    7 Change mode to LAB and 'apply image' using 'soft light' to make colours more punchy
    8 Back to RGB and a light touch of Unsharp Mask filter.
    9 Save as filename_edit.jpg
    10 Resave for Facebook, using 720x480 canvas.

    Every stage needs eyes, so no time-saving actions. Long winded but happy with results.

  • D. Mike August 12, 2010 10:38 pm

    Aperture 3 on MacBook Pro
    1. Import Raw files into Aperture as referenced files on external HD, organized by project/event
    2. Select and rate by "keep, show, brag" rating scheme *, document keepers and delete discards
    3. Backup to second external HD and return card to camera for re-formating
    4. Enhance the show and brag images in Aperture
    5. Edit with Photoshop CS5, rarely, and only if needed (such as for stitching panoramas)
    6. Produce output to print, web, slideshows, books, etc. as appropriate

    * When I was shooting events and portraits, I had additional ratings that tagged customer selects.

  • Geoff August 12, 2010 10:38 pm

    I use Lightroom for logging, filing and simple adjustments with Photoshop for more detailed alterations. I cant get my head around Lightrooms watermarking system, it doesnt seem to like my pre-made logo watermark which I have always use so I run the images through my old copy off iView media pro when I need a batch process.

  • fotographx August 12, 2010 10:37 pm

    After shoot import RAW files to RAID using year,month day folder, make a back up copy of all those files onto a DVD or CD depending on how large the shoot was. I add a name to the end of the folder to help me remember what was shot. Add meta data to all RAW files. Use Lightroom to convert CR2 to DNG saving to a file of the same name with added DNG. Process files after review and add Rating additional editing done in CS4. In the end I'll have four file folders, CR2, DNG, JPEG and Picks. I save each of those files onto DVDs, I print a photo from the shoot for a Jewel case with the Folder name included and format. Maybe it is a bit of overkill but I remove all of the processed files from my RAID after I'm done with my post processing. I've had the nasty experience of losing many photos to a virus that crashed my computer. I'd rather have lots of boxes filled with discs than lose them to a virus again. I sort the discs by year, month day in boxes.

  • Zack Jones August 12, 2010 10:27 pm

    Mine is pretty long and uses a variety of different software applications but it goes like this:

    1 - Download images from cards using Downloader Pro from BreeseSys.
    2 - Browse through them with Canon's ZoomBrowser and delete obvious bad ones
    3 - GeoTag RAW Images with RoboGeo
    4 - Import into Lightroom which moves images from downloaded folder to Lightroom folder
    5 - Sync LightRoom image folders with external backup drive
    6 - Tweak in Lightroom
    7 - Upload to Flickr or export to folder for sync to iPod/iPad
    8 - In special cases tweak in Photoshop CS5.

    On Friday I bring home off site backup drive and over the weekend sync GPS track logs, Lightroom Catalogs and Images to it. On Monday I take it back off site.

  • David August 12, 2010 09:58 pm

    I haven't decided yet - I quite like Nikon Transfer for tranfer with back up switched on. I used to process in picture project but that I currently think is a bit clunky so I have been using Picasa 3 both on the laptop linux platform as well as PC & Windows. Any tuoch ups and resizing I do in Elements 4 which allows me to copyright in a trendy font!

    I tried Lightroom 3 beta but found it needed a bigger & wider screen than I have to fully make it worthwhile. I tried DXO also and liked that as much as Lightroom. I also liked Nikon Capture NX but since its not free as I thinnk it should have been have not persued that. Canon's stuff is OK but I am now more lileky to use Picasa for simple balance etc and not bother when I don't have to.

    With our latest pocket camera, the Lumix TZ10, apart from the odd crop (which we didn't get right in camera - thats what zoom lens are partially for folks!) the keepers don't need anything prior to, printing and that is what I expect and used to get from a decent film camera!

  • Kevin Ricks August 12, 2010 09:55 pm

    I have just moved to Capture One, I am very happy with it - i do occasionally do further corrective work in Photoshop. Canon software is good but i find it less intuitive. despite being familiar with the Adobe Print creative suites I didn't enjoy lightroom at all. Anyway typically.

    Open in Capture One, Mostly to sort out which shots i want to keep, sometimes minor adjustments (such as tweaking WB or a little exposure)
    Export as Jpg.
    Open in photoshop - sharpen (duplicate layer, hi-pass filter then overlay)
    File in subject folder and back up to HD

    Thats it.

  • Fabrício Barth August 12, 2010 09:30 pm

    I'm using digikam and gimp.

  • MH Media August 12, 2010 09:25 pm

    If I'm using Windows and shooting JPG then I use Irfanview, and start with auto-adjust colours, then just even up the gamma, contrast and saturation. If I'm shooting RAW (NEF), I use Ubuntu and ShowFoto to do the same.

    Quick, easy and very satisfying!

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/mhmedia/4839915447/' title='DSC_6644' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4084/4839915447_3bf807e043.jpg']

  • Shams Naved August 12, 2010 09:19 pm

    I don't stick to following workflow hard and fast, but this I found helps me a lot when I follow it

    1. Transfer the RAW/Jpeg from card to a folder
    2. In case of RAW, batch process all the images to convert them to JPEGs using Stepok's RAW importer and save the files in a temporary location.
    3. I use the JPEGs generated during above step to sort out the photos which look good in focus and framing (since I have the images also stored in RAW, ignore try to ignore the faulty exposures since I still have a chance to correct them using my RAW files).
    4. Get the file names of good photos from above step and use the file names to sort my RAW.
    5. Process the RAW files in GiMP plugin called UFRAW. Save in JPEG
    6. Retouch JPEG from above step in GiMP and save.
    7. Save a copy of the output from above step on desktop with a reduced resolution for upload.
    8. Upload!

  • Dave H August 12, 2010 09:16 pm

    Raw - Lightroom - any "major" flaws into CS4 - print..

  • Macpolski August 12, 2010 09:07 pm

    I import RAW into Aperture 3, and rate the photos; then crop/adjust. Anything extra in CS4.

  • Tyler August 12, 2010 08:55 pm

    I don't have Lightroom, so that isn't involved in my workflow. I generally go from my SD card to a folder on my desktop, then use Bridge to go through and pick out all the really bad photos (out of focus, horrible looking blur etc.) and just delete them, then I move that folder to another harddrive in my computer where I store the files I'm working on, then I go through and pick out the good photos in Bridge and put them into a Collection, then if there are two shots which are very similar then I will keep the best one and remove the other one from the Collection. Then with the shots I have left, if needed I will go ahead and work with the RAW files, and do other edits in Photoshop. Then I'll be done.

    After a while, I'll copy the files onto a external harddrive and my home servers harddrive and delete from the drive they were once on, to give room for more files. It's quite a long work flow, but I have a lot of spare time on my hands, I also follow a similar workflow for video, where I delete the awful clips, then from there I work in Premiere Pro.

  • Gaston August 12, 2010 08:38 pm

    I've been trying many things but the current workflow is an aggregation of different techniques/methodsother people is using. I tried to take the best out of other wokflow techniques and build my own. The current workflow is something like this:

    1- transfer files from camera to PC using the camera's built-in USB
    2- separate files into two folders: RAW (NEF) Files and JPG Files and organized them into folders to reflect the place where the photos were taken and the date (as a subfolder). For example, New York/2009-01-23
    3- import only RAW to LR and conver them to DNG (I'm using a trial version of LR v3. Hopefully I'll be able to get in a month or two).
    4- discard unwanted photos and tag/rate them
    5- rename files using YYYYMMDD-Sequence# format
    6- develop those I think need retouching
    7- export to TIFF (16bits, original size)
    8- use GIMP to generate JPEGs out of TIFF (after possibly adjusting the TIFF) for Web publishing (800x600 watermarked). Here I can apply NR and sharpening methods although I'm still trying to figure out what should be the steps here. Should I resize->nr->sharpen or, sharpen->nr->resize? If you have any suggestions I would appreciate it :-)

    That's it. I'm trying this now but I may have to adjust it.

  • Dennyboy August 12, 2010 08:22 pm

    Cavale reference deleting multiple images in LR

    go through images hit the x button on the rejects as you go, filter to show all rejected images on the filter bar using the \ key

    hit ctrl A to select All images and the delete button to get rid of them all at once

  • Richard August 12, 2010 08:08 pm

    I shoot Raw+jpeg normally and then copy to HDD in a dated folder,
    I do a quick check to delete obvious mistakes, move Raw files to a subfolder "Originals",
    if I have issues I open in RawStudioDaily, (tried RawTherepee and DarkRoom but realestate on Laptop Screen is an issue.) Any further work is done in Gimp for Printing, or Picasa for sharing. I then use XnView for my MetaData as it does groups of jpgs and not just one at a time. (I used to use Thumbs Plus Still do from time to time thru WINE)
    Linux is my main OS.

  • Ze Maria August 12, 2010 07:49 pm

    Shoot raw (nef files for Nikon)
    Copy to PC folder (named with the date yyyymmdd etc)
    Import photos to Lightroom
    Export them all to DNG files
    Remove the nef files from Lightroom and folder
    Import the DNG files to Microsoft Expression Media 2
    Add metadata
    Save the catalog
    Import all DNG again to Lightroom
    Develop and rate
    Export to jpg those that were chosen (through rating)
    Unsharp mask and some last touch on Photoshop
    Flickr Upload.[eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/zemaria/4883211287/' title='DSC_2824' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4114/4883211287_eb62a63cfd.jpg']

  • Mac August 12, 2010 07:25 pm

    Nautilus file manager to transfer from CF/SD to dated-named folder on RAID5 network drive. (This is backed up weekly to two USB drives, using Grandfather, Father, Son system.)
    Geeqie to view, and delete technically faulty shots
    Digikam to rename files with date-time-number names, and to add ratings and tags
    Selected 'work-on' images opened in UFraw to adjust (=develop) RAW files; transfer directly to...
    GIMP to clone very minor faults, adjust levels/curves if necessary, occasionally crop, high-pass filter to sharpen
    For best shots, use Digikam to upload to Flikr.

  • FredL August 12, 2010 06:53 pm

    I have developed a set of custom scripts to manage 2 hierarchies of files. The first one is for original photos and the second one is for derivative photos. I use sidecar xmp files for original photos to avoid modifying them. For derivative files, I merge the sidecar files into derivative jpeg.

    Here is the detailed workflow:

    Step one: Original files

    - download the file from the camera and rename them in a date folder with a unique name
    - create xmp files
    - inject default tags (copyright, author...)
    - remove bad photos with geeqie
    - inject gps coordinates
    - tag and rate photos in xmp files using geeqie

    Step two: Derivative files

    - create jpeg using ufraw
    - merge xmp data
    - edit with gimp if needed for color, cropping...
    - resize for the web if needed

  • David August 12, 2010 06:46 pm

    This is how I work almost all the time:
    1- I import to LightRoom 3. Automatic Metadata and rename changes are applied.
    2- Overall review while importing: I mark as rejected those photos with no focus, very over/under exposed, trepidated, or just a photo that I don't like.
    3- Assign keywords to the images.
    4- I usually create a smart collection to get fast to the photos, as I usually work on several projects at a time. Most of these collections (not the picts!) are deleted when work is finished.
    5- Second review. I select the candidate picts by flagging them.
    6- Third review: the best pictures are labeled in red (which I use for images to develop)
    7- Develop in LR. I almost never use presets. Once I have finished each photo I export it to a folder where they "wait" for later modifications if needed. In LR these images are labeled in yellow (Review later), just to go back to them 2 or 3 days later and decide if something can be improved. If everything is OK, Final (green) label is assigned.
    7- For almost every black and white photo (and color picts with special developing) I export it to CS4, because I like hard B&W's and LR still can't get what I need; also, I have more tone control in Photoshop. Back to LR and export and label as in [6]
    8- If the images are going to be given to a model/client they are moved to a folder until they are burned or compressed to share. If they are for personal purpose, I upload them to DeviantArt, ArtLimited and other web services as model webs.

    Well, that's how I work and it's a really good workflow for me.

  • Luca August 12, 2010 05:59 pm


  • Vincent Tassy August 12, 2010 05:51 pm

    I work on Linux so my workflow is the following:

    1. Download images from memory card to local SSD drive using card reader and Digikam
    2. Delete obviously bad pictures
    3. GeoTag pictures with GPS track using Digikam GPS correlator
    4. Tag pictures (location / people) and add descriptions eventually
    5. Use custom script to sort bracketed images
    6. Use custom script to create HDR image from bracketed images
    7. Develop RAW images with UFRAW
    8. Use Gimp to post process images
    9. Use custom Gimp script to generate lowres of selected images, add frame and signature
    10. Publish to Flickr using Digikam export tool
    11. Move images from local SSD to NAS storage

  • Kiran Rao August 12, 2010 05:50 pm

    My best practice is to to use Auto tone and then adjust the brightness if required on CS4.
    I do not like making too many changes during post process.
    I ams till a learner and learnign the art of clicking pictures which does not need alterations.

  • amin August 12, 2010 05:49 pm

    Gimp,Gthumb and Picasa , ... , sometime Adob cs2

  • Gil August 12, 2010 05:42 pm

    Rotate images(if needed) in camera as it's quicker
    Memory card into PC
    Picasa to download and store images in folder named 'yyyy-mm-dd event'
    Photoshop to edit, remove backscatter, colour correct etc. Save as .psd
    Crop and save a new .psd into a watched Picsa Web Album folder
    Picasa then handles the upload to Picasa Web Albums website
    An RSS feed then controls the display of the images from Picasa Web Albums on to my website

  • cavale August 12, 2010 05:06 pm

    in 2008 i just threw everything into iphoto and if i wanted a more extensive edit i'd take it into photoshop.

    in 2009 i used bridge pretty much exclusively and loaded the pictures into files separated by date since last upload. (for example a photo taken aug 8 might in the folder 2009->08->2-12, depending on when the last time i imported from was.)

    this year i'm using lightroom and throw everything into a file called 2010, with separate folders for each roll of film developed. then i poop my pants, and use lightroom to adjust most pictures, but occasionally there is a photo that deserves some photoshopping. usually i'll go back through and delete a bunch of duplicates a few months later, when i can look at them with a more discerning eye. i do wish there was an easier way to delete multiple photos at once in lightroom.

  • Mikel August 12, 2010 05:01 pm

    1. take the photos and download them to my computer
    2. view all the photos using geeqie
    3a. open the raw file by ufraw into gimp
    3b. [or] open the raw file in dpp mainly because I noticed that noisy photos look pretier converting with this software, the noise is still there but seems more film-noise. Then open the tif image in the gimp
    3c. [or] simply open the camera's JPG (I always shoot at RAW+JPG) in gimp if the exposure/WB/etc.. is ok.
    4. postprocess the photo in gimp

    and that's it!

  • Valentin August 12, 2010 04:38 pm

    I am more focused on shooting than editing/post processing right now as I am learning photography.

    Thus my simple edits occur in Picasa at the moment.

    You can find my results on my flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/poxd/

    I'd love to see your comments!

  • Dimitri August 12, 2010 04:32 pm

    Phase 1, the most bothering:
    - copy images from card to hard disk;
    - backup to external drive (a backup is never enough...);
    - rate & tag pictures with Windows 7 Explorer (extra-large icons mode);
    - overwrite images on external drive;

    Phase 2, creativity:
    - cherry-pick the best shots;
    - using CANON-provided Zoom Browser EX and Raw Image Task I do only absolutely necessary tweaks: white balance, exposure, sometimes also "picture style" adjustments;

    Only if I need advanced editing I use the glorious GIMP. Its user interface may not be as user friendly as the one of commercial counterparts, but if you know what you want to achieve you can do anything!

  • Alex August 12, 2010 04:17 pm

    Well, looks like I'm one of only a few who haven't made the jump to a full blown paid for suite. I use Picasa and occasionally photoscape which handle the basics - both are free and both handle cropping, saturation and contrast very well. If you're interested, my site shows the fruits of my freeware labour.

  • Rachel August 12, 2010 04:02 pm

    Export raw files from CF card.
    Open all files in Mac Preview (faster than Bridge), choose which shots to keep, trash the rest.
    Open keepers in Adobe Camera Raw, adjust as needed.
    Any extra "special stuff" done in Photoshop
    Save all in folder on external HD with date and persons/events name

  • Jocelyn August 12, 2010 03:11 pm

    I always shoot in RAW and I use Lightroom to import from the CF card, then make adjustments there. I am not a fan of post-processing, I mean I do not like to touch up, tweak and refine too much. I stick to adjusting exposure levels, contrast, a bit of vibrancy if needed, adjust the temperature if I didn't get the WB right the first time. Thank God for these WB disc caps that I got recently though - they are a lifesaver!

    If I shoot people, sometimes they ask me to remove a spot here or a blemish there, so I do that in Lightroom as well if I can. If not I export to Photoshop CS3 and use the healing brush to remove the blemishes.

    I have only just created a watermark for my photographs and usually put them on in Photoshop.

  • BK553 August 12, 2010 02:24 pm

    Copy RAW images from card to folder
    import into lightroom, rename/copy to second location
    create smart folder based on shoot name/date
    rate with stars
    mark OOFs for deletion
    backup everything to dropbox (Happens automatically)
    process any rated 4 stars or 5 stars either in lightroom or photoshop(rarely)
    upload to smugmug with jfreidl's plugin

  • Jesusisreal August 12, 2010 02:03 pm

    adjust exposure
    lens vignetting
    add black border
    sharpen using Hi pass filter

  • Michael August 12, 2010 01:47 pm

    1. Import from Card with Nikon Transfer. 1 copy to computer hard drive, second copy to NAS. Each has a folder with the date and brief description.
    2. import into Aperture, referenced from NAS
    3. cull bad photos, make initial adjustments
    4. Add faces
    5. Add places
    6. rate photos and make additional adjustments
    7. publish the best ones to the web
    8. automated backup of nas every morning to external drive in dock
    9. rotate backup drive every week (three total one hot, one on desk, one offsite)
    10. hourly/daily backup of aperture library with time machine to external hdd (this doesn't get offsite, need to look at this)

    Everything in Aperture. I have Photoshop on the old windoze machine if I need it but never seem to.

  • Brian August 12, 2010 01:40 pm

    Aperture to store
    Photomatix pro for hdr
    Photoshop for some touchups

  • J. R. Hudson August 12, 2010 01:29 pm

    I've been using PaintShop Pro now for 10 years. It is a product that has really matured and is now a Corel Products (Canada). It was developed by Jasc. I shoot Nikon digital equipment and usually shoot RAW (.NEF) images. PaintShop Pro X2 (version 12) handles this format, versions10 and lower did not. I will typically adjust curves and/or use some of the utilites to balance highs, mid-tones, and shadows. Often I will use a couple of other PaintShip Pro features that I find useful in balancing highs and darker areas: "backlighting" and "fill-flash". These features provide some tantelizing results, near-HDR in many cases along with improving color saturation in a better fashion than other "color-saturation" tools.These tools sample the natural colors in an image and enhance them. There are some variants to these tools as well on board. I will also use "noise-reduction" or alternatively "edge-preserve smoothing" minimally. Finally I will do some modest sharpening using the "unsharp mask". There is a tool that is tempting to use and thta is "clarify". I would caution all users of this tool, it is very obvious when this tool is overused. In my opion it is used abusively. When you can see light fringes around and overly-dark areas within the subject matter, it is a real turn-off. This is akin to excessive HDR, there's too much. If I use the clarify tool, it is to a scant level.

    Hope all this helps someone!
    See my work at http://pbase.com/jrhudson
    Sincerely, J. R. Hudson, Scenic Edge Photography

    [eimg url='http://ic2.pbase.com/g1/86/826086/3/110096879.nvmftJon.jpg' title='110096879.nvmftJon.jpg']

  • Jackie lamas August 12, 2010 01:08 pm

    download photos onto hard drive
    open in bridge and tag the good ones
    camera raw
    photoshop for more artsy stuff (textures, actions, etc)
    save as jpeg

  • Wolfy August 12, 2010 12:37 pm

    Aperture 3 on a mac makes my life so easy
    1. Shoot RAW
    2. Import into Aperture project by month (for artsy photos) or name of event
    3. Pick out my favorite photos, flag and rate those.
    4. Edit the good ones, delete the unsalvageable
    5. Edit with photoshop if needed (aka just to use the 'content aware' feature

    ...pretty much
    I just turned 18 so a real professional workflow isn't really something I've thought much about

  • Senthil August 12, 2010 12:37 pm


    I use Picasa 3.6 for post production, btw i m not professional photographer, just its an hobby for me take photos using Nokia Camera phones, On Nokia phone itself we do have some good editing options, apart from this i use Picasa for post production.

    Senthil S

  • Sarah Haddox August 12, 2010 12:31 pm

    Definitely lightroom 3 for importing and editing. I use totally rad presets, as well as some coffee shop b&w presets as well as my own tweaks. Right now I am trying to decide whether it is better to do eye retouching, etc. for portraits in lightroom or photoshop. I usually open those in photoshop for any retouching, etc...but it takes a lot of time! I am going to try out mpix to upload/sell my photos. I am relatively new to this!

  • gdwsr August 12, 2010 12:30 pm

    About the same as evelayn. But I just switched from PC to Mac and got Aperture for my birthday. Steep learning curve on both and am still figuring out a logical workflow. I also automatically back up on a external hard drive. If I am going to do more in depth processing or need layers I am trying to use Elements now.

    I am trying to wean off PhotoImpact on the Windows OS.

  • cel August 12, 2010 12:27 pm

    Photoshop. Boost and sharpen.

  • Alex August 12, 2010 12:02 pm

    RAW files are imported through Lightroom by date 2010>201008>20100812. Keywords that are applicable to all imported images are applied at import. Filenames are changed to my own system on import. Metadata and copyright info are applied on import. All imported images are colour coded as red indicating that these NEED REVIEWING. Images are then quickly reviewed. Anything out of focus is immediately rejected unless artistic merit exists. Non-rejects are quick collection. Quick collection is then reviewed and the keepers are rated by star. Once all images from import are reviewed, they get colour coded as purple indicating to me that they do not need further review.
    I delete NOTHING from either Lightroom or disk. For me, the whole point in the investment of time of selecting picks and colour coding and rating is to allow me to filter later and find the images I want.
    I keyword all my picks individually if there are other keywords that are required on a per image/sub group basis.
    Picks are developed. Once complete, I only export on a job-required basis. Exports go into a sub-folder of original import folder (not sure I'm happy with this).
    Lightroom catalogue is religiously backed up. Metadata is written to disk so can be reread with a new OS and Lightroom install.
    Entire image archive is backed up to an external hard drive.

  • Anna August 12, 2010 12:00 pm

    wow I see most people are using lightroom. My workflow is with Aperture
    1. Import into new project in Aperture as referenced files on an external drive
    2. Go through photos and add adjustments e.g. exposure, dodge/burn, some presets I like to use in Aperture
    3. If I require additional retouching then I do it in Photoshop
    4. Rate / flag the photos I want to upload to facebook
    5. After processing, Chronosync syncs my photo folder onto a backup drive, and Aperture lib. package is also synced onto the backup drive


  • evelayn August 12, 2010 11:49 am

    A very simple and straightforward workflow for me:
    1. Copy images from memory card into a folder on the hdd
    2. Rotate photos and delete undesired ones with windows picture viewer
    3. Drag and drop favourite shots into Photoshop
    4. Add adjustment layers > Sharpen edges > Curve > Exposure > Filter > Burn
    5. Add 'pseudo-vignette' layer if needed
    6. Images finally saved as PNG or JPG files
    7. Some are saved in PSD for future adjustments

    Not all the adjustment layers will be used for every photo. It really depends on what touch-ups that the images need. For most of the time, the better the lighting of the photographed scene was, the less processing I have to make for that image. Otherwise, the layer adjustments will also be added based on the 'mood' that I want to achieve in the image.

    It would be great to know the workflow of those who are using Lightroom. Thanks!

  • Dane Parkinson August 12, 2010 11:46 am

    Download the RAW images and sort through Bridge. Keep the keepers and delete the rubbish.

    Adobe Camera Raw through Photoshop for exposure, white balance, colour correction, cropping etc etc.

    Photoshop for all retouching work.

    Photomatix Pro (preferable) or Photoshop CS5 for all HDR work.

    Upload to website, Flickr and Facebook.

    Done and dusted.

  • VPF August 12, 2010 11:44 am

    Lightroom for 95% of my work, 5% of the rest is Photoshop for some more extensive retouch or photomanipulation. LR3 is just awesome program for photogs...

  • frank t August 12, 2010 11:34 am

    For me, everything through Lightroom.

    Talking w/ Zack Arias, he does his initial look/edit/choices in Photo Mechanics (because it is BLAZINGLY fast) - then the picks go in to Lightroom.

    If portraits for me, touch-up in PS, reimported into LR. Use LR to upload to SmugMug or Flickr.

  • Rabi August 12, 2010 11:32 am

    RAWs get converted to DNG in Lightroom and sorted into folders by year, month, and day (Ex. 2010 -> August 2010 -> 8/11/10). This is a little more manageable than just doing date folders. Once in LR, I go through and delete obvious trash from my disk - bad focus, bad composition, etc. With that as a base, I start tagging. Once that is done, I go through and pick the highlights of the shoot to do post work on, working in LR first and opening in Photoshop as needed. As for export, that is changing. Previously, I would export final images (sometimes watermarked, sometimes not) back to the original date folder in preparation to upload onto Flickr/Facebook/whatever. However, I am starting to sort finished images into a system similar to Andrew's, based on category rather than date.

  • Wendy Mayo August 12, 2010 11:32 am

    Everything goes through Lightroom. Basic exposure and white balance there, then export all the keepers. Those go through Photoshop for retouching, etc. Then everything gets uploaded to my SmugMug store online.

  • Andrew August 12, 2010 11:23 am

    JPGs and RAWs both go from the card into a folder with the date. Most of them never go anywhere else from there, but keepers from that shoot are imported to Lightroom, adjusted, then exported as TIFF into another folder. The contents of this folder are opened in Photoshop for touch ups (like cloning, etc.), final cropping, saving in a manual file system sorted by photographic categories (landscape, portrait, etc.). A watermark is added to a copy of the final image and a JPG is saved to the desktop for upload to Flickr.

  • Gelay August 12, 2010 11:22 am

    Lightroom all the way. Photoshop once in a while.

  • Kevin August 12, 2010 11:16 am

    I import the photos off of my cards into lightroom 3 and after that I choose the photos I want, edit them in lightroom and then export them to another location on my computer for posting online or printing.

  • Bill Vriesema August 12, 2010 11:12 am

    I have been pulling JPG images from my Olympus E30 into Bridge. I sort and tag there. I then open them into Elements 7. I adjust levels, color correct, and then sharpen as needed. If I need to remove excessive noise, I open up Picture Code's Noise Ninja. I have it as a plug-in in Elements. Any file I adjust in any substantial way is saved as a copy.

    I am happy with the results I am getting, but Bridge is too sluggish for sorting and viewing on my computer. I also want to move to a RAW workflow--and have kept from shooting in RAW extensively until I find a good workflow for it for my uses--SO, I am looking forward to what others have to say. I think what confuses me is what do I do in Camera Raw--what do I do in Elements... and, should I save all files as .psd files and use layers?

  • Blair August 12, 2010 11:08 am

    I usually start by rating photos in bridge. I start with the photos that I have rated 4 or above and work my way down through the ones I was less sure of. I like to start with details; wild hair, zits etc and then work on the overall look. After I edit all the photos I had chosen initially I go back through ALL the photos and make sure there is nothing I over looked. This seems to work well for me now, but it's an evolving process.

  • Gemma Carr August 12, 2010 11:02 am

    In my 10+ years of being a photographer, I have tried and tested numerous post production programs.
    I have used Capture One (fantastic) and Lightroom (all rounder great product) but I keep coming back to using Abobe Camera Raw. For me it's most intuitive.

  • Matt Jordan August 12, 2010 10:59 am

    Most of my post processing is done by Aperture 3, and then anything beyond that is covered by CS4.

  • James McQuiggan August 12, 2010 10:55 am

    Import into Lightroom for all general purpose developing (cropping, exposure, vibrance, touch ups) and then exporting to Flickr / Facebook
    I use CS5 for "special" edits - Panoramics, Unwanted object removal (Content Aware) and other "special effects"
    For HDR it's Photomatix!