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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 02 Mar 2015 (Monday) 16:28
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What do you do in post processing (and what tools would you need beyond freeware?)

 
Fast351
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Mar 02, 2015 16:28 |  #1

So I have been shooting for about a year and a half with my DSLR, and for the most part I use the JPGs SooC.

When I do post processing, it's usually to do the basics (crop, fine rotation, resize, occasional brightness correction).

For most of the processing I use IrfanView which does a good job for those basic functions.

It feels like sometimes I'm leaving some things on the table. Especially when shooting outdoors with non-ideal light, it seems like the color saturation could be better to really make images pop.

So my question is really pretty basic. What do you do, besides the things I mentioned above, to make your images be all they can be, and what tools do you use, and why?

I am trying to figure out what I need before spending a bunch of money on it. I do have a PC with a decent monitor on it (HP zr2440w IPS monitor) that I use for photo editing.


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jc1350
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Post edited over 4 years ago by jc1350.
     
Mar 02, 2015 16:44 |  #2

Way back when I used Picasa (the app, not the site) and Raw Shooter Premium. Adobe bought the engine in Raw Shooter Premium and to help us who bought the program with a "forever" upgrade license, Adobe gave us Lightroom 1.0 for free. So I switched to that for a few years and when I switched to Mac OS, I also switched to Aperture. Now I'm back to Lightroom through Adobe's $10/month software rental scheme.

As for what I do, sharpening, clarity, noise reduction all get some action. It really depends on the photo itself and it's purpose (snapshot vs something I consider a "photograph").


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PhotosGuy
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Mar 02, 2015 22:58 |  #3

I'd hate to have to PP without Layer Masks which allow making changes to only targeted areas of a image.
Three pages on Layer Masks (external link)


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Marshmellow
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Mar 02, 2015 23:10 |  #4

I use paid Lightroom presets and Photoshop actions for color effects and other tasks you can't do. Some of the free ones are good but most of them are not worth testing IMO.

I find that plugins slow my workflow because they require so many clicks to do something simple. With presets and actions, only one click and it's done with less loading time.




  
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Colorblinded
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Colorblinded. (2 edits in all)
     
Mar 02, 2015 23:16 |  #5

I used to use Capture One and Photoshop for everything.

In many ways I still vastly prefer Capture One but I don't like some things they've done with the software in recent versions, and Lightroom is very nice to use in other ways.

Lightroom's localized edits have been a big part of what got me to switch to using it the majority of the time now, and I still use Photoshop as needed, although that's less often.

I have the Nik collection as well as OnOne perfect effects 8 & 9. I don't use Nik a lot and I'm not sure I've used Perfect Effects other than checking it out a couple times, but since they were free I'm not complaining.

A lot of what you describe, particularly when dealing with non-ideal light and having trouble getting things to "pop" likely has to do with your use of JPG SooC (although seeing specific example would help). If you want to get the best results in my opinion you really need to shoot and learn to process RAW. Shooting JPG is like shooting film and letting the lab develop & print it however they wish, you lose a lot of control over the final product.


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Archibald
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Mar 02, 2015 23:58 |  #6

Fast351 wrote in post #17457314 (external link)
So I have been shooting for about a year and a half with my DSLR, and for the most part I use the JPGs SooC.

When I do post processing, it's usually to do the basics (crop, fine rotation, resize, occasional brightness correction).

For most of the processing I use IrfanView which does a good job for those basic functions.

It feels like sometimes I'm leaving some things on the table. Especially when shooting outdoors with non-ideal light, it seems like the color saturation could be better to really make images pop.

So my question is really pretty basic. What do you do, besides the things I mentioned above, to make your images be all they can be, and what tools do you use, and why?

I am trying to figure out what I need before spending a bunch of money on it. I do have a PC with a decent monitor on it (HP zr2440w IPS monitor) that I use for photo editing.

I started out like you, mostly shooting JPGs. I had heard about shooting raw and using those files for fixing white balance and recovering highlights, but didn't know how to go about doing that.

Then I moved to Lightroom, found out that all these things are real easy to do in that program, and switched to shooting raw only.

JPGs are poor to work with, both because they are lossy and because there is limited dynamic range. Fixing brightness in Irfanview is okay if it is just a small adjustment, but anything bigger causes contrast problems. Any large changes in color balance look weird when done in Irfanview. I still use Irfanview as a small-footprint viewer, but practically never to edit pics.

The transition to Lightroom was not an easy one. I find it a breeze to work now, but in the early days, I remember it was a struggle. But persistance pays off big. With LR you can do all the things we used to do in the darkroom like cropping, rotating, fixing color and density, dodging and burning and so on. But you can go beyond the traditional darkroom tools and do stuff like modify contrast and saturation, and optimize sharpness and noise. I rarely have to go outside of LR for additional editing.

LR also does sophisticated cataloging, but I don't use it for that.

Lightroom is cheap and worth a try.


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Mar 03, 2015 00:41 |  #7

Fast351 wrote in post #17457314 (external link)
So my question is really pretty basic. What do you do, besides the things I mentioned above, to make your images be all they can be, and what tools do you use, and why?

Your asking the wrong question. Telling you what I do and what software I use is meaningless, unless your aims for your photos are exactly the same as mine - which I doubt, because I focus almost exclusively on black and white these days (www.danmarchant.com (external link)).

What you really need to do is post some examples of the type of images you take and what you want to achieve with your PP. Then others can offer advise based on what you want, rather than what they want.

PhotosGuy wrote in post #17457876 (external link)
I'd hate to have to PP without Layer Masks which allow making changes to only targeted areas of a image.
Three pages on Layer Masks (external link)

+1 to this, except that I use Lightroom's (local) adjustment brush. Would hate to have to PP without the ability to target specific adjustments to specific parts of the image.


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patrick ­ j
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Mar 03, 2015 01:17 |  #8

I bought Lightroom a few months ago, but still use DPP more often than LR. Mostly I tweak the shadow slider, and sometimes white balance. Don't mess around with saturation or contrast too much, although I shoot with a user defined setting where those two are up a notch. Shadow does some of what contrast does, and I usually push it to the minus side.


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darkamble
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Post edited over 4 years ago by darkamble.
     
Mar 03, 2015 01:41 |  #9

i would recommend that you get to grips with raw especially as you mention shooting outdoors with non ideal light as this will give you more control of your images as the Jpgs sooc are partially processed so you are throwing away dynamic range with the lossy format and your WB is fixed and there is less leeway with exposure . i found myself fiddling far more with JPGs in PP when i was not entirely happy with an image than i do now with raw , BUT its still all about getting it right in camera to the best of our abilities and having full control of the image instead of relying solely on the cameras evaluation, as you have found that is not always to your satisfaction.
before jumping on the adobe band wagon try out the open source alternative to lightroom http://www.lightzonepr​oject.org/ (external link) and compare against the LR trail before splashing the cash




  
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Edsport
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Mar 03, 2015 06:24 |  #10

Photoshop CS2 is free now in case you're interested...


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john5189
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Mar 03, 2015 07:10 |  #11

Shoot in RAW because there is more information for a program to work with.
Use Lightroom for tweaking, because it is good, quick(ish) processing speed and easy to use.

DPP that is supplied by Canon does lots of things but it is not as easy to use as LR. So you could experiment with RAW files to see how much more sdjustable they are.


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DGStinner
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Mar 03, 2015 07:44 |  #12

I shoot in raw and use Lightroom to post-process my images.
I use it for exposure correction, bring down highlights, open up shadows, set white and black points, level the image, lens correction, and cropping (if needed).


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Mar 03, 2015 08:14 |  #13

I'm another that shoots only in RAW, and uses LR to both manage my images and process the RAW files. LR is pretty good at doing all the things you would have done in the both the Black & White and Colour darkroom. I also use Photoshop CS5 for those occasions where I need to edit pixels, using layers and layer masks etc.

I'll also add to those that are suggesting PSCS2 as a really good free option. Adobe are quite happy to point users who are limited by older systems, to use the program for free, even if they did not previously have a licence for the program. I guess they hope to get you hooked on PS so that you buy the subscription service when you finally upgrade your computer etc. Just like they do with the generous educational discounts. At least this way you are not using a pirate copy of the latest version.

Alan


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nathancarter
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Mar 03, 2015 09:00 |  #14

I do the vast majority of my work in Lightroom - not only as a raw processor and editor, but as an organizer and publisher. It's nice to be able to do just about everything in one program, especially batch editing a lot of images, then publishing them to several different locations with only a few clicks.

I've gotten reasonably proficient with Lightroom's implementation of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), including using local adjustments for portrait retouching.


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Fast351
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Mar 03, 2015 11:05 |  #15

Can LR do layers with masks on certain portions of the image? That's something I've always found frustrating is doing things like making the subject of the picture brighter without washing out the background.

Also, does the older version of PS have the ability to work with current Canon Raw formats? (I'm shooting in RAW+JPG now, knowing that eventually I will probably want to go back and play with my favorite images someday).


Mike
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What do you do in post processing (and what tools would you need beyond freeware?)
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