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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Bradenton, FL USA

    Question Post Processing? Workflow?

    Hi Everyone,

    I haven't posted in here in a long time, all though I have been lurking quite a bit lately. I do have a couple of questions that I am sure you guys might be to help me with....I think I am kinda confused regarding some terms, and what all those term refer to.

    Lately I have made the switch to shooting RAW with my Canon 300D. I must admit that I really do like the results a heck of a lot better with RAW than I do with JPG. What I have found however is that I now spend a lot more time "post processing" my images. I don't only mean converting to JPG, but adjusting color temp, exposure, tint, sharpness, etc. Is this normal? If a wedding photographer shoots 200+ images at a wedding, does each one of those images get the same treatment (as far as post processing) or is there an easier way of going about this? I do think it's kinda fun right now adjusting my images to get the results I am looking for, but I could imagine that it can get quite time consuming with a large number of images.

    I have been doing a lot of reading in which the various articles have refered to "work flow". Is this that same as "post processing" or is this something different that is done with images prior to the processing part?

    How do you guys "post process" your images. Do you do it in a certain order? Is there any type of algorythm or protocol that should be followed, or do you just "play" with the image until you get the effect / look your looking for?

    Sorry for the long post...I really do appreciate any information that you guys / girls might be willing to share. Thanks.


  2. #2
    has-been... another view's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Rockford, IL

    Re: Post Processing? Workflow?

    It takes awhile to get used to a RAW workflow. I didn't start using it until I got Photoshop CS because of the effeciency. Before that, I had to use Fuji's RAW converter and save the image as a TIFF file. Then, go into PS and do what I need from there - it was just too time consuming although I didn't give it much of a chance. With CS (or the current CS2), I can open a RAW file in PS and do everything right then.

    Wedding photographers might shoot several hundred images at a wedding. The thought of doing all of that in RAW gives me a headache... I think you'll find a lot of pros - at the least the ones under deadlines - shoot mostly jpeg. With RAW, you can "batch process" where you set the white balance for a group of shots which will save a lot of time. You might have the same WB for all the formals, another for all the indoor reception shots, another for all the shots from during the service, etc. There might be slight differences within the group but it should get you very close.

    Since I shoot for a hobby (jobs weren't my thing ;) ) I shoot mainly RAW these days. I'm usually pretty picky about the images that I spend the time on, and a lot of them get deleted in order to get the one shot I want. Typically, I'll take several shots of something. I'll pick the one I want to work with by opening them up in PS and making the choice. Then I'll pick a white balance and maybe adjust exposure a little if necessary (always best to get this right in camera, of course). That's usually all I'll do in the RAW converter. Then I'll adjust levels, saturation, spot out dust, etc. Next step is to bring the image to the file size I want for printing or whatever the use is. Finally, apply unsharp mask, convert to 8-bit and save as a jpeg. I don't see a need to keep these finished files as a TIFF unless there are layers that I want to preserve for tweaking them later - but usually this isn't an issue.

    This is just my take on things, not absolute rules. I'm sure others do things differently and it will be interesting to see how we all do things!

  3. #3
    is back jar_e's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Calgary, Alberta

    Re: Post Processing? Workflow?

    I post process as little as possible. I really want to have that "au natural" look. I do on almost all my images however do levels and colors regardless.

    And unfortunately, that's about as much as my post processing skill goes

  4. #4
    Sports photo junkie jorgemonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    San Jose, CA

    Re: Post Processing? Workflow?

    I've kinda gone back & forth shooting RAW & JPG. I've pretty much settled into I shoot my own stuff RAW, shoot sports jpg, and when I'm at work (I do product photography for an online store) I shoot jpg so I can work faster.

    My workflow (When shooting RAW) is after downloading everything to my computer, I'll use ACDSee 8 to go through and delete the OOF shots, or shots that just don't look good. Then I use Nikon Capture to batch rename the files, then catalog them back into ACDSee 8. Once all that is done, I'll go through and pick the ones I want to work on. Those I'll open individually in PS CS2 and adjust everything. Then I'll do whatever editing my heart desires on it.
    Nikon Samurai #21


    Nikon 35mm F1.8, 35 F2, 50mm F1.8, 70-200 F2.8 VR
    Sigma 150mm F2.8 Macro
    Tokina 12-24 F4
    SB900 & SB800 flashes

  5. #5
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Re: Post Processing? Workflow?

    My workflow is inefficient at the moment.
    Shoot RAW
    Load onto Laptop
    Bulk convert each folder CR2 to JPG
    - no adjustments here just do it with default parameters.
    Bulk set IPTC keywords, location, copyright etc.
    Bulk resize each JPG folder to 640xwhatever (with USM)
    Inspect resizes for obvious duds and keepers.
    List them, and go back to full size jpegs to check.
    Copy keeper JPGs to distribution folders.
    Resize from distribution folders for submission.
    Email out from resize distribution folders.
    ... all done from the media centre at the track, or from home that night.

    Printing is a whole different can of worms that I avoid at present. Particularly since Pixaco was bought out by HP, incorporateed into SnapFish and more than doubled their prices in the process.

    Now doing that manually for hundreds of images a day is pretty time consuming. Shoot for 8-12 hours and post process for another 6. What's sleep?

    I'm using two main tools at the moment.
    Canon Digital Photo Professional - CR2 to JPEG conversion
    Cerious Thumbs Plus - organisation, sizing, thumbnails, galleries.
    Adobe PhotoShop Creative Suite 2 (PS CS2) for serious editing/manipulation.
    Sequoia View - disk space management

    I need some tools that will:
    Convert from raw to jpeg (or other formats) without messing with everything the way Adobe does - the default is to automatically adjust everything and make all my photos look the same.
    At the press of a button automatically produce 640 longest edge images automatically (through scripting is fine) in a subfolder, ready for upload here.
    Catalogue my images on hard disk, CD and DVD. Ideally with cross-indexing in galleries and by keyword. Catalogue offline media (CD, DVD, HD) and track when connected.
    Search catalogues by keyword etc for online and offline media.
    Efficient bulk editing of IPTC information in the images, and individual file edits too.
    Finally editing, not that I do much of that yet.

    I suspect I'll end up with more than one tool, rather than all my eggs in one basket.
    I'm not totally happy with what I have now ...

    Digital Photo Profressional - thumbs down
    What else can I say other than Canon - stick to making cameras and lenses, not software.
    The latest "upgrade" ruined my workflow. It's slow. It's stupid about directories, doesn't understand relative paths. Colours are really messed up (ever seen a cerise Ferrari?).

    Zoombrowser - thumbs down
    A nice concept, flawed in execution - runs like a snail.
    Forget it on a 250G drive with multiple subfolders - go and have a meal while it loads.
    Fine for those with tiny hard drives and not many images.

    Thumbs Plus - thumbs up (pardon the joke)
    This does exactly what I want, loads and displays images fast, histogram, basic processing, filters, maintains catalogue, maintains galleries, runs stored image processing sets at the press of the F12 key.
    But is really slow editing IPTC information.
    Has a small bug on loading CR2 files that it shows at half resolution so 1:1 is actually 50%. Also a bug on hot-plugging of USB drives while it's running, it re-catalogs the drive
    But I forgive that, it's fast and I love it.

    PS CS2 - (probably) thumbs up
    A completely WTFDIDN interface.
    Probably very powerful but totally overloaded complex and almost impenetrable.
    I can just about use it, but in no way effectively ...
    Unlike any other software I've got this absolutely requires books or training to make it work effectively, I'm sure.

    Sequoia View - thumbs up
    A tool from the University of Eindhoven which is totally amazing at showing you just what directories where are using up your disk space.
    Cool name too, your disk has big trees of folders on it, so use a big tree viewer !

    Other tools I just can't find:
    Marking the full size and raw in their catalogues with the same rating as set when viewing the sized jpeg, or vice versa if viewing the full size.
    Tracking duplicate files, not by filename but by checksum, and flagging them.
    Renaming files off camera to new unique names. Tracking names from camera by inserting in the new file. This avoids the "which IMG0001.jpg file am I looking at" problem particularly when using multiple bodies with overlapping image sequence numbers.

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Bradenton, FL USA

    Re: Post Processing? Workflow?

    Thanks guys for all the great info so far. It is really interesting to see how other people work on their images....

    SmartWombat: I about rolled out of my chair LMAO when I figured out what WTFDIDN means . That is too funny and I know how you feel. Can you tell me where I might be able to find the Thumbs Up and Sequoia View software. Those sound like programs I would definately like to check out.

    Thanks again everyone...Keep the repsonses coming.

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