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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing
Thread started 30 Aug 2005 (Tuesday) 23:26
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By popular request....workflow tutorial.

 
schmoelzel
Lord of the Holy Trinity
1,889 posts
Joined Aug 2001
London (Canada)
Aug 30, 2005 23:26 |  #1

Hello to all!! While I do not consider myself an expert with PSCS or photography in general, I have been asked many times (since I began posting pictures of my daughter Julia) if I could describe my workflow. I don't think I do anything extreme or different than many of you but I know from my own learning experience that one can often glean a small trick or step that maybe was overlooked or forgotten. Here is a step-by-step explanation as to how I processed the following shot and made it ready for the web. Hope this helps and if you have any questions or see that I have omitted something, just let me know!! Thanks for looking........and reading!

The shot.

I use either BreezeBrowser or PhotoMechanic to sort through my images. I constantly switch back and forth between the two programs. Presently I am back to using BreezeBrowser. I liked this shot of Julia because she came ever-so-close to grabbing the lens and it was one of the few that turned out. The slant was total coincidence and was not done by design..........The shot was taken with my Canon 1D and a Sigma 15f.28 Fisheye lens.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Shutter speed: 1/1500 sec
Aperture: 2.8
Exposure mode: Manual
Flash: Off
Metering mode: Spot
Drive mode: Single frame shooting
ISO: 250
Lens: 15.0 mm
Focal length: 15.0mm

The Conversion.

I shoot everything in RAW. I am so used to it now that JPEG seems almost 'boring'!! I actually have my 1D set to record RAW+smJPEG......that way BreezeBrowser has a JPEG to display. The downside to this is that I still have to look at the 100% version in the PSCS converter to make sure that the shot is acceptable as far as focus and sharpness. Once I have decided on the shot, I click on EDIT and PSCS boots up and I see this:

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


As you can tell, I didn't have my white balance set correctly. Not a problem since I shot in RAW. You can also see that Julia was standing in the shade so a quick click and voila........WB is correct and already makes the shot look more natural. Here are the details to what I did within the PSCS RAW converter:
There are 4 tabs where you can make changes.

ADJUST

white balance: Shade
exposure: 0
Shadows: 5
Brightness: 50
Contrast: +25
Saturation: 0

Detail

Sharp: 25
Lum. smoothing: 0
Color Noise reduc.: 25


Lens:

C/A r/c: 0
C/A b/y: 0
Vignetting Amt: +61
Vignetting Midpoint:+50


Calibrate

Shadow tint: 0
Red Hue: 0
Red saturation: +14
Green hue: 0
Green saturation: +21
Blue hue: -9
Blue saturation: +36


In addition, I also have the followings settings on the bottom-left:

Space: sRGBIEC69166-1
Depth: 16 Bits/Channel
Size: 2464 by 1648
Resolution: 240 pixels/inch

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Looking at the shot after these settings you can see that the blue-ish tone is gone and I have boosted some of the colours that I felt were there but needed a little life. I am happy at this point with how this shot looks...........I am going to use this shot for the web hence the use of the sRGB colour-space. If I knew I wanted to print this shot, I would probably use Adobe RGB colour-space. Native resolution from my 1D is 2464 X 1648.........I could upsize if I was going to go for a larger print. Resolution of 240 is plenty for a web-based shot.........I would probably use 300 pixels/inch if I were to print a hard-copy. Oh yes, I also rotate the shot so it is in a vertical position. Click OK and now I have TIFF file ready for a little more post-processing. I always save it at this point.

The Post Processing.

First thing I do is to check for focus by looking at the shot in 100% mode. I always try to focus on the eyes so this is where I want to make sure I have hit the focus. This shot looks good in that respect. Next step is to make a copy of the layer (in case something goes awry and I can always start from fresh!!). I notice in this shot that there is some shadow info that the shadow/highlight tool can probably fix. You have to tread lightly with this tool though since you can make humans look like aliens in short order!

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Go to IMAGE-ADJUSTMENTS-SHADOW/HIGHLIGHT... and you will be at this screen:
IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


The changes I made had to do with getting a little pop from the shadow detail of Julia's face. My settings were as follows:

Shadows:
Amount: 26%
Tonal width: 88%
Radius: 155px

Highlights:
Amount: 25%
Tonal width: 4%
Radius: 137px


Adjustments:
Colour Correction: +20
Midtone contrast: 0
Black clip: 0.01%
White clip: 0.01%


I boosted the shadows as you can tell; you really have to play around until you get something that is pleasing to your eye. I find this tool great but also very subjective. What works for me may be over-done and unnatural for you. Experimentation is the name of the game. I boosted the colour correction as well just to pop the red a touch more. Works for me!! Click ok and I'm ready to crop!

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


I generally like to use a 6 X 6 crop for portraits but in this case that would cut away Julia's arm (which I like in this shot!). What I find distracting is the telephone pole at the upper right. I will crop to get rid of this but retain the red hat against the blue sky which I feel is a real focus point. After the crop, here is what I have!

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


Ok.......liking this more and more!! Next, I zoom to 100% because now I will do the first USM or unsharp mask. For the web, I use Fred Miranda's Intellisharpen II plug-in. I won't go into the details of this because not everyone will have this or use it. I find it does a great job for web work. Here's the way the screen looks when you enable the plug-in:

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
Byte size: ZERO | Content warning: NOT AN IMAGE


I use an intellisharpen level of 75. That is generally my starting point. The nice thing about this plug-in is that you can undo if things seem to harsh. I press apply and let the plug-in do it's thing!
Now I better resize this for posting on the web. I take the longest side and reduce to 800 px. I constrain the proportions and the end result is a picture that is 631 Px wide and 800 Px high.


IMAGE: http://theteahaus.netf​irms.com/DRebelPix/nfp​icturepro/albums/userp​ics/10001/normal_Tut5.​jpg

One thing that you will notice by the screenshots is that the duplicate layer is gone. The intellisharpen plug-in will only work on a single layer, so it does warn you that it will be merging the layers. Remember to save before this if you ever want to go back a step or two. I like the shot and am ready to add the 2nd pass of USM. This time I use PSCS USM filter. Like this:


IMAGE: http://theteahaus.netf​irms.com/DRebelPix/nfp​icturepro/albums/userp​ics/10001/normal_Tut5a​.jpg

I normally am not too aggressive here and have used the following setting:
Amount: 150%
Radius: 0.3 pixels
Threshold 0

Now I save the shot as a Jpeg and carry it over to a stand alone program called Extensis Framemaker. I use a stock frame from within the program and end up with my final result, ready to post to the web.



IMAGE: http://theteahaus.netf​irms.com/DRebelPix/nfp​icturepro/albums/userp​ics/10001/Tut6.jpg

Well, that's it!! Of course every shot is different but this is essentially what I do with my pictures of Julia. I am sure there are many wasteful things I might be doing but this has become habit and since I do this as a hobby, I find it is efficient for me! Hope this answers a few questions which have come my way via email and PM. I am flattered that some of you think that highly of my photography. It is really a matter of pure enjoyment for me and being able to watch my daughter grow up and chronicle it through pictures.



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Nabil-A
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Joined Dec 2004
Melbourne, Australia
Aug 30, 2005 23:34 |  #2

In a nutshell..Thank you so much. I picked up a new thing... that is actually using the raw converter detail and colour sections... usually i just do the first tab adjustments ie sat, cont, exp... etc... but i think i might have my hand on raw adjustments to sharpness etc also.. makes sense to do in in raw and not to the imported file.

:)

HAHA Drisley, didnt even realise i did that ?!


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drisley
"What a Tool I am"
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8,860 posts
Joined Nov 2002
Aug 31, 2005 01:02 |  #3

Excellent post schmoelzel!!!!
Thanks for sharing. Many of the top photogs don't like sharing your secrets.
The before and after difference is amazing. And, when did you get the fisheye lens?

Thanks Nabil for removing the quote. Much better :)


1D Mark III - 5D Mark IV - 24-70/2.8L - 70-200/2.8L Mark II - Samyang 14/2.8

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ryno4youth
Senior Member
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734 posts
Joined Mar 2005
Lincoln, NE (Deep in Husker country)
Aug 31, 2005 01:17 |  #4

Great post. You should make a nice PDF for download. Great work and what a cute little girl.


Keep Lookin' Up!

20D (w/ Grip), DRebel (w/ Grip), Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, Canon 17-85mm IS USM, Canon 17-40 f4L, Sigma 28-105mm, Kit Lens, Nifty Fifty, Canon 75-300mm, 4GB Sandisk Ultra CF, 2GB Sandisk CF, 1GB Extreme CF, Hakuba HG-504MX Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slik Pistol Grip Head, Carbon Fiber Monopod, Sigma EF Super DG External Flash, Kata Backpack, POTN Neck Strap, etc.

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Prox
Member
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123 posts
Joined Jun 2005
Copenhagen, Denmark
Aug 31, 2005 06:27 |  #5

Excellent simply exellent!
Thanks you very much for sharing this with us, Im gonna save this for sure.


One photo out of focus is a mistake, ten photo out of focus are an experimentation, one hundred photo out of focus are a style. ~Author Unknown

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Blue ­ Deuce
"I don't say anything witty"
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3,751 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Cent. Fl.
Aug 31, 2005 06:39 as a reply to Prox's post |  #6

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.




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schmoelzel
THREAD ­ STARTER
Lord of the Holy Trinity
1,889 posts
Joined Aug 2001
London (Canada)
Aug 31, 2005 06:41 as a reply to ryno4youth's post |  #7

ryno4youth wrote:
Great post. You should make a nice PDF for download. Great work and what a cute little girl.

Yeah, that might be an idea!! Thanks for looking!




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schmoelzel
THREAD ­ STARTER
Lord of the Holy Trinity
1,889 posts
Joined Aug 2001
London (Canada)
Aug 31, 2005 06:45 as a reply to drisley's post |  #8

drisley wrote:
Excellent post schmoelzel!!!!
Thanks for sharing. Many of the top photogs don't like sharing your secrets.
The before and after difference is amazing. And, when did you get the fisheye lens?

Thanks Nabil for removing the quote. Much better :)

Thanks Drisley! Well, since I don't consider myself a 'top photog' :D , I don't mind sharing this since I don't think anything here qualifies as secret. The hardest part is getting shot in the first place!! I bought the Sigma Fisheye last week (used of course) and am initially impressed! I wanted something ultra-wide for my upcoming trip to Germany; many interesting streetshots are to be had in my wife's hometown of Lueneburg. Will have more to write about this little lens in a few weeks when I am back.




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schmoelzel
THREAD ­ STARTER
Lord of the Holy Trinity
1,889 posts
Joined Aug 2001
London (Canada)
Aug 31, 2005 06:46 as a reply to Nabil-A's post |  #9

Nabil-A wrote:
In a nutshell..Thank you so much. I picked up a new thing... that is actually using the raw converter detail and colour sections... usually i just do the first tab adjustments ie sat, cont, exp... etc... but i think i might have my hand on raw adjustments to sharpness etc also.. makes sense to do in in raw and not to the imported file.

:)

HAHA Drisley, didnt even realise i did that ?!

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post.......maybe I should include a 56K warning...........glad you got something out of it.




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schmoelzel
THREAD ­ STARTER
Lord of the Holy Trinity
1,889 posts
Joined Aug 2001
London (Canada)
Aug 31, 2005 06:46 as a reply to Prox's post |  #10

Prox wrote:
Excellent simply exellent!
Thanks you very much for sharing this with us, Im gonna save this for sure.

Thanks a lot!! Glad you found time to read it!! :)




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judyg
Member
164 posts
Joined May 2005
Aug 31, 2005 08:12 as a reply to schmoelzel's post |  #11

Thank you.




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HJMinard
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2,319 posts
Joined Jan 2004
Port Huron, Michigan, U.S.A.
Aug 31, 2005 08:57 |  #12

Wow ... the before/after comparison is incredible ... gives me hope for images that I thought were mediocre, but perhaps can be greatly improved. Mostly, I've learned that I need to learn much more about post processing. Thanks, Schmoelzel!


~ Jay ~
Canon EOS 20D ... lenses and stuff
Without the Way, there is no going; Without the Truth, there is no knowing; Without the Life, there is no living. <><
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martook
Senior Member
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396 posts
Joined May 2005
Sweden
Aug 31, 2005 09:11 |  #13

Wow, this guide is excellent! I can't believe the difference between the two shots, I really have to improve my Photoshop skills. Fortunatly, this will help a lot... Thanks!!!



./Martin

A 20D with katzeye screen, tons of lenses, a couple of
pods, a flash and some bags. Also some MF cameras,
like a RZ67, Moskva 5 and Agfa Isolette I, II, III :)

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Nightcrawler
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685 posts
Joined Jun 2004
Omaha, NE
Aug 31, 2005 10:28 |  #14

Thanks for the post. That was truly enjoyable to see your workflow. The end result is amazing. The thing that I picked up from this was your use of the shadow/highlight tool. I have never thought to use it on my portraits.



Jason - Gear - Siteexternal link

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BottomBracket
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Dec 2004
NYC
Aug 31, 2005 11:03 |  #15

Schmoelzel, Let me pipe in with my gratitude. Great work!


Pio
Veni, Vidi, Canoni - I Came, I Saw, I Took A Picture With My Canon
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I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.

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By popular request....workflow tutorial.
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