This is my Workflow

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Boobie Joe, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. THis was posted a while ago somewhere else :evil:


    Since this forum is a tribune where we can share or thoughts and expertise, I decided to post what seems to be my Digital Darkroom Workflow.

    Many people are asking me this thru emails and everytime, I cut and paste it from my word document. So, here is a condensed of what I do to make an image ready to be either posted or printed.

    Of course, it all starts with a good set up in the camera that will (should) vary uppon the work you are shooting. Key element, good Exposure and White Balance. The rest is good composition (although fixable by cropping) and good focus (helped by good lenses and good camera handling).



    As a personnal choice, I prefer to shoot in NEF or RAW (with the other brand) most of the time (90/10). So here it goes ...

    I would open my image (NEF) in NC 4.2 after viewing it at 100%


    I usually upsize the image in NC 4.2 if it is a little noisier than usual otherwise I don't bother doing it. If not noisy, I will upsample it in PSCS after cropping and cleaning (further step in the process)

    I then procede with a curve adj. if it is necessary (mostly on portraits). Since I do not like magenta too much, I usually take a bit of the blue channel off. Not too much though.

    Once the curves have been visited, it is time to look for an Advanced RAW attempt by going from low contrast to low mid and normal (I never exceed this point). Next step, color mode (wich I rarely move from the original shoot) and then hue adj (usually +3 or +6, in cam setting is +3)

    If necessary I go see my White Balance and confirm selecting a grey point, I rarely touch this as I tend to adust this prior to the shooting session.

    I NEVER touch sharpening (USM) in NC, I feel it brings too much noise and distortion of pixels to the image (very personal).

    For landscapes, I sometimes play with the color booster slider pushing it between 5 and 15, sometimes 20. I usually don't touch it for portraits and products.

    Next step, I will save it over the NEF file (as it is non permanent).

    I then save it as Tif and reopen it in Photoshop CS (or wathever the version). If I am going to make a print, I save it in 16 bit otherwise 8 bit works for me.

    Clean the dust bunnies and crop if necessary (usually is for fitting the print format). Now here is the tricky part.

    If the image is noisy (too much), I will duplicate the layer and apply NR several times with a new layer every time too avoid the washed look of NR. I usually use a very low transparency level and play quite a bit with the eraser. Flatten all layers.

    Once to my taste, I do last check and adjustments for colors and contrast also by doing it in layers to minimise the effect of oversaturation.

    If it goes to printing I will do an upsample of the file thru PSCS using the images size and bring it up for 4X bicubic smoother with 3% increments at the time and the fift at 3 % but with biubic sharper until I reach the size of the print. One quick layer of Focal Blade sharpening at low settings I then save it up as Tiff and keep this as a final file.

    If it goes on the web, I do a resize to either 930 pixel wide

    (if necessary) I do a sharpening layer with Fred Miranda Nikon CS pro sharpener (I use very Low level as setting), readjust the layer to a 70% transparency and flatten the layer. IMPORTANT, I do a SAVE AS rather than using SAVE FOR WEB with destroys the image IMO and try to keep the image file size around 280kb (usually quality 10) in jpeg and voila ...



    Hope this helps answering a few questions you had ...Since this forum is a tribune where we can share or thoughts and expertise, I decided to post what seems to be my Digital Darkroom Workflow.

    Many people are asking me this thru emails and everytime, I cut and paste it from my word document. So, here is a condensed of what I do to make an image ready to be either posted or printed.

    Of course, it all starts with a good set up in the camera that will (should) vary uppon the work you are shooting. Key element, good Exposure and White Balance. The rest is good composition (although fixable by cropping) and good focus (helped by good lenses and good camera handling).



    As a personnal choice, I prefer to shoot in NEF or RAW (with the other brand) most of the time (90/10). So here it goes ...

    I would open my image (NEF) in NC 4.2 after viewing it at 100%


    I usually upsize the image in NC 4.2 if it is a little noisier than usual otherwise I don't bother doing it. If not noisy, I will upsample it in PSCS after cropping and cleaning (further step in the process)

    I then procede with a curve adj. if it is necessary (mostly on portraits). Since I do not like magenta too much, I usually take a bit of the blue channel off. Not too much though.

    Once the curves have been visited, it is time to look for an Advanced RAW attempt by going from low contrast to low mid and normal (I never exceed this point). Next step, color mode (wich I rarely move from the original shoot) and then hue adj (usually +3 or +6, in cam setting is +3)

    If necessary I go see my White Balance and confirm selecting a grey point, I rarely touch this as I tend to adust this prior to the shooting session.

    I NEVER touch sharpening (USM) in NC, I feel it brings too much noise and distortion of pixels to the image (very personal).

    For landscapes, I sometimes play with the color booster slider pushing it between 5 and 15, sometimes 20. I usually don't touch it for portraits and products.

    Next step, I will save it over the NEF file (as it is non permanent).

    I then save it as Tif and reopen it in Photoshop CS (or wathever the version). If I am going to make a print, I save it in 16 bit otherwise 8 bit works for me.

    Clean the dust bunnies and crop if necessary (usually is for fitting the print format). Now here is the tricky part.

    If the image is noisy (too much), I will duplicate the layer and apply NR several times with a new layer every time too avoid the washed look of NR. I usually use a very low transparency level and play quite a bit with the eraser. Flatten all layers.

    Once to my taste, I do last check and adjustments for colors and contrast also by doing it in layers to minimise the effect of oversaturation.

    If it goes to printing I will do an upsample of the file thru PSCS using the images size and bring it up for 4X bicubic smoother with 3% increments at the time and the fift at 3 % but with biubic sharper until I reach the size of the print. One quick layer of Focal Blade sharpening at low settings I then save it up as Tiff and keep this as a final file.

    If it goes on the web, I do a resize to either 930 pixel wide

    (if necessary) I do a sharpening layer with Fred Miranda Nikon CS pro sharpener (I use very Low level as setting), readjust the layer to a 70% transparency and flatten the layer. IMPORTANT, I do a SAVE AS rather than using SAVE FOR WEB with destroys the image IMO and try to keep the image file size around 280kb (usually quality 10) in jpeg and voila ...


    Hope this helps answering a few questions you had ...
     
  2. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Thanks Yves. It is nice to know that we can always come to the Cafe and review this whenever we need a refresher course in PP. :wink:

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  3. jfenton

    jfenton

    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    BJ

    Thanks kindly for this information.

    I'm going to give it a try and compare it to my typical workflow and see how they hold up as compared to one another.
     
  4. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  5. jgrove

    jgrove

    489
    Apr 13, 2005
    Halesowen,UK
    Thanks Yves!
     
  6. Yves, thanks for the work flow since I find your images very good but here are three things I need help with even though I know PS pretty good. Some of the terms I don't use so therefore I don't quite understand.

    The first one: What do you mean by using NR several times with a new layer? Are you talking about using a NR Plug in in PS such as Neat Image or other because I didn't know PSCS had a NR tool?

    If the image is noisy (too much), I will duplicate the layer and apply NR several times with a new layer every time too avoid the washed look of NR. I usually use a very low transparency level and play quite a bit with the eraser. Flatten all layers.

    Second one: How do you do an upsample in PS using the images size and what do you mean by 4x bicubic smoother? How is this done in PS? I have never done this technique before. I have Focalblade which I do know how to use.

    If it goes to printing I will do an upsample of the file thru PSCS using the images size and bring it up for 4X bicubic smoother with 3% increments at the time and the fift at 3 % but with biubic sharper until I reach the size of the print. One quick layer of Focal Blade sharpening at low settings I then save it up as Tiff and keep this as a final file.

    Last one: How do you readjust a layer to a 70 percent transparency? I never did this before either.

    (if necessary) I do a sharpening layer with Fred Miranda Nikon CS pro sharpener (I use very Low level as setting), readjust the layer to a 70% transparency and flatten the layer. IMPORTANT, I do a SAVE AS rather than using SAVE FOR WEB with destroys the image IMO and try to keep the image file size around 280kb (usually quality 10) in jpeg and voila ...

    I appreciate any help you can give me on this or if anyone here on this thread can help me out would be helpful as well.

    See I do a different work flow but am always open to what others do so I want to understand this so I can try it myself.

    Thanks a lot Yves.
     
  7. Yves, Is it REALLY necessary to do that meny sharpenings? I guess it's like brushing your teeth. Some people are very diligent, others aren't...but there doesn't seem to be much correlation between the quality of images and the specific sharpening techniques in the workflow. They all look great to me...I can't seem to discern the difference between the rigorousness of sharpening.

    Thanks, Rich
     
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