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  1. #1
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Question Procedure on post processing for an image..

    Hi there. Although, I've been using PS since version 4, I've never taken a class in it.

    Is there a general rule of thumb on what steps and in what order you should approach when improving an image?

    Here is a FAKE example...

    1. Resize to priting dimensions
    2. Sharpen
    3. Saturate
    4. Dodge and burn where needed
    5. Brightness contrast
    6. Color correct

    This would help me a lot and some others I suppose....

    If you can't share your technique....can you suggest a book?

    Thanks,

    Eric
    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyberlord's Avatar
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    Re: Procedure on post processing for an image..

    Here's what I do, usually in this order, but not always. Not saying this is the best way, but it works for me and has become second nature over the years.

    Edit:
    A. Pre process in RAW editor for overall exposure. Using histogram and the show white/black areas buttons helps alot to make sure you haven't over/under exposed.

    In Photoshop:

    I use adjustment layers so as not to adjust the actual image pixels. It's way easier to do some final tweaking on the adjustment layer than the over all image after you are finished.

    1. Make a copy of the background image. This layer is so I can sharpen and do stuff that has to be done on the actual image and still have the original image on it's own layer. You can mask this layer to let the original through in places if needed.

    2. Color balance. I try auto first, then do manual using levels if auto sucks and it usually does. But I still try it to see what Photoshop sees as the colors. I usually try all the auto settings, color, levels, and contrast just to see what the software sees. It's probably a time waster tho and I should quit.

    3. Curves to adjust overall brightness.

    4. Curves to adjust contrast. (S curve)

    5. Saturation to boost colors if needed.

    6. Unsharp mask.

    7. Crop.

    8. Final tweaks to any of the adjustment layers.

    9. I usually resize when I "Save For Web" keeping the original image at full (cropped) size. If I need to re-crop the original-original, I just open it and copy the adjustment layers over to it and get the exact same adjustments and then crop.

    Eazy Peazy.

    Tim.

    Edit: A book I highly recommend if all you want is photo adjustment techniques is, "the photoshop cs book for digital photographers" by Scott Kelby. Its not a 'what all photoshop can do' book, it just sticks to what's needed to post process photos. I know the title says CS, but 90% of the techniques work in my version 7.0, just the menus are different. For a newbie to an earlier version of PS it might be hard to follow along with the steps if you need step by step pictures to get through a procedure. If you are comfortable with an older version and know the menus then following the book should be no problem. Also, film photographers who digitize/scan film, this book applies. Should go without saying.
    Last edited by cyberlord; 05-29-2006 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Added RAW pre process to proceedure.
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  3. #3
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: Procedure on post processing for an image..

    Very cool. Thanks for taking the time to share your technique. I was doing about 75% of what you mentioned but without any logical order. This helps a lot and I'll look into that book as well.
    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Procedure on post processing for an image..

    The only thing I would add is that if you are doing global adjustments on the whole photo then you have to carefully balance the results in bright and dark areas and limit noise that can be made more obvious due to exposure, saturation or other adjustments.

    After any global adjustments are carefully done in RAW, it is always useful at the end to consider some selective adjustments to smaller areas in jpeg.

    Ronnoco

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyberlord's Avatar
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    Re: Procedure on post processing for an image..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnoco
    The only thing I would add is that if you are doing global adjustments on the whole photo then you have to carefully balance the results in bright and dark areas and limit noise that can be made more obvious due to exposure, saturation or other adjustments.

    After any global adjustments are carefully done in RAW, it is always useful at the end to consider some selective adjustments to smaller areas in jpeg.

    Ronnoco
    Totally agree. I do pre processing in my RAW editor. It's really easy and didn't come to mind because of that.

    Tim
    My blog - Photography Rulez


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    Slim of the Clan O'Canon - A1 w/ FD 28, 50, 70-210 & Sigma 500/1000 f8/f16

  6. #6
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: Procedure on post processing for an image..

    Haven't shot RAW in a while after realizing there was more to it than first expected. When I get my CF cards, I'll start practicing in RAW again. Thanks for the advice.
    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

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