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Photoshop workflow


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8 replies to this topic

#1 DougB

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 17:19

I recently shot about 1,000 pics in RAW and am about to start in using Photoshop from CS4 to convert them.
I have played around in PS before (but not much) and usually shoot JPEGs but I spent 2 weeks in California and 3 days in Yosemite, so I decided to shoot RAW so that I wouldn't have to go back & do the trip over :biggrin:

I have "sort of" a workflow but given the vast experience here on NG, I would really appreciate any pointers you could offer. Some may not think that PS is the best software for the task but I already have it and don't plan on buying any other sw at the moment.

Thanks in advance

Here's my thoughts, so far:

  • open an adjustment layer
  • crop & straighten
  • correct WB
  • correct exposure using curves
  • use clarity slider
  • fill light ?
  • adjust contrast using curves
  • sharpen
  • save as PSD

Regards
Doug

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D700, D300; D200; F2, Lumix FZ30; and a bunch of Nikon MF & AF glass (& a Rokinon 85mm f1.4)

#2 RKPhotog

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 17:37

You don't need to open an adjustment layer first. You can crop now or later. Then you can open separate adjustment layers for curves, levels and Hue/Saturation. If you have local adjustments to make, you can do those on a duplicate layer (of the first layer). You can save the work at this point as Tiff or PSD preserving the layers ( a very big file) or flatten the image if you are satisfied with the adjustments. Then do a small amount of sharpening. Later if you need to resize the image for output, you can sharpen again as needed.
Bob
Bob

#3 Elsa Hoffmann

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 17:55

You need to use a viewer (lets assume Bridge) for viewing and sorting images
Rate/label images you want to keep and process
Open rated pics in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw which is the raw converter of PS)
If applicable:
Correct WB
correct Exposure
colour correct

Save finished images in your preferred format in a folder separate for the RAW images (I just think its confusing if they are all mixed up - your choice)

The saved images may then be opened in PS and further adjustments done as required - eg curves, levels etc on an adjustment layer.

Lastly crop if necessary

sharpen and save

This is just a quick suggestion - given that you are not very experienced with PS. There is a lot more you can do in ACR etc - so accept this just as a guideline if you like.
"I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for the money." Philippe Halsman

#4 Ann

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 17:58

Doug:

Try this instead:

Open Bridge and select a large bunch of images then Cmd R. (The quantity that you choose will depend on the speed, capacity and DRAM in your computer.)

That will open the whole batch directly into ACR.

Select an image which is typical of others in the loaded batch and apply corrections in ACR.

Then select any other similar ones simultaneously and hit the Synchronize button. Fine tune individually, add star ratings as desired as necessary and hit Done.

When you have collected a number of 5-star Keepers: re-select them as a batch in Bridge and hit Cmd R again.

In ACR, Check that you are in the working space that you require by clicking on the Blue Drop-down menu at the bottom of the page (I use ProPhoto RGB 16-bit);
and also check the option to "Open in Photoshop as Smart Objects".

Select All and click "Open Objects".

[I am now using a newer version than CS4 and you may have to to hold down the Alt or Option key while clicking "Open" in that version.]

All of the selected images will now open as Smart Objects in Photoshop for final finishing and will remain as SOs until the file is either flattened or rasterized.

Clicking on an SO will re-open it in ACR should you wish to make any changes to your previous Edits.

You will need a rasterized layer before you can use the Healing Brush and similar tools however.

I work this way and I find that I can zip through correcting and rating thousands of images in a few days with this method.

I often do a preliminary fly-through making quick corrections and adding capture sharpening and rating the photographs using the 100% view; and then return to the images when I want to actually use them to make final tweaks before opening them in Photoshop.

Hope that this helps ……

Edited by Ann, 29 October 2011 - 18:02 .


#5 black_bird_blue

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 19:33

Ann, that's really helpful, thanks. I know you've often said in the past you use Bridge for a workflow that I interpret as very similar to my workflow in Lightroom but I've never really understood what exactly you mean by that - now I know; it's a good reference and I finally understand!

Damian
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#6 DougB

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 14:18

I guess this could be a follow-up question :crazy:

I have edited numerous files in PS from the NEF files and saved them as PSD files. My thinking was that when done I can just move all of the PSD files to another folder & batch convert them to JPEG files to post. Would I be better to save them as DNG files or some other format, other than PSDs?? (HDD space is NOT an issue for me)

PS - I am now totally convinced about shooting RAW. The amount of processing you can do & the little time it takes to minimally process a file, beats trying to fix up a JPEG.

TIA

Yes, Ann - you may know say " I told you so" :laugh::laugh::laugh:
Regards
Doug

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D700, D300; D200; F2, Lumix FZ30; and a bunch of Nikon MF & AF glass (& a Rokinon 85mm f1.4)

#7 Ann

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 15:32

Doug:

Save your RAW NEFs because these are your originals and with each new version of ACR I find that I can get even better results than I did before so I frequently find myself wanting to make a new rendering for a particular purpose.

DNGs are supposed to encapsulate the RAW .nef in its entirety and encapsulate any ACR edits which you might have made but DNGs do take a little extra time to make.

DNGs may not include the Nikon Picture Controls (for which I have no use anyway!)

I move my PSDs to separate folders from my RAWs; and keep yet another folder for JPGs (which I have made from my PSDs by using the "Save for Web" module) for the Web.

Edited by Ann, 10 November 2011 - 15:32 .


#8 DougB

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 15:49

Yep - I am keeping my original RAW NEFs, as they were.
So it's OK to keep the processed files as PSDs & then batch process them to JPEGs?

Hmmm - I WAS correct!!

Ann - welcome back from the latest snow-storm. Any major damage at your place??
Regards
Doug

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D700, D300; D200; F2, Lumix FZ30; and a bunch of Nikon MF & AF glass (& a Rokinon 85mm f1.4)

#9 Ann

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 16:23

Doug:

Thank you for asking.

Horrible devastation all around!

We got nearly 10" of really wet heavy snow on trees still holding their full load of summer leaves and they simply couldn't take the load so the song of the season is now the perpetual drone of chain-saws as people attempt to clean-up all the downed trees and smashed shrubs. I had two wonderful guys do a major clean-up for me last Sunday and they are coming back next Sunday to do some more of it.

My venerable 70-year old cherry tree lost all of its spreading branches and is reduced to a leafless jagged pole but I am leaving it like that because I think that it will probably re-sprout over time. Luckily no trees came down on my house but my neighbour was not so lucky and has a lot of damage but fortunately no-one was hurt.

And yes keep your files as NEFs and as PSDs (backed-up!!) as well and make JPEGs as needed.




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