What’s your workflow?

Sitting on an image

Sometimes, I just sit on an image for days, like the one below. I like to take time to reflect and get a feel for the image before post processing.

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Camera: Lumix GX8 – Jardine de la Retraite. St Corentin Cathedral

The image looks dull and the lighting was not perfect, I still took the shot though as I wanted to use the garden as a feature for the spires of the Cathedral.

My workflow

I have two got to post processing applications I use for post processing my images, DXO Labs and On1 Photo RAW.

DXO Labs

I have been a long time user of DXO Labs and love the power of it’s RAW processing. Especially the smart auto corrections that can be applied when you first load an image. Of coure, you can make adjustments manually too. But the auto corrections a very good place to start.

On1 Photo RAW 2018

On1 Photo RAW is an end to end Image editor and RAW processor. with similar features to Lightroom and Photoshop combined. It is unique in that many of its features are build around constant feedback from the user community.

Using the software together

Generally, I use DXO Labs for my main RAW editing and On1 Photo RAW to apply effects and masking techniques.  On1 Photo RAW has a great set of tools for masking techniques and for removing unwanted objects from your images.

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Final Image – Post Processed in DXO Labs & On1 Photo RAW

Editing my images

My basic image editing process looks something like this.

In many of the tutorials I see, irrespective of the photo editing software being used,  that often people are advised to start with global adjustments to get a balanced histogram and image to work with.

I tend not to do that. I flip between local and global adjustments to get the image that I want. I do not apply too many global adjustments at the start of my image processing, I tend to use these more towards the end to balance out the effects that I have applied.

So here is what I do:

Keypoint: When taking images, I always look to get a balanced histogram in camera for the scene I am shooting. I want to get the best RAW file I can from my camera.

  1. Cull and sort my images for processing in On1 Photo RAW
  2. Send my image or Images to DXO Labs from within On1.
  3. Within DXO Labs
    1. Check that the smart auto corrections that are applied (DXO Labs has something called optic modules, these modules are specific to the camera and lens that you are using. The modules are used to optimise your RAW files which you can then work on)
    2. At this stage, I start applying local contrast, sharpening colour and luminosity adjustments to my image, using a combination of DXO Nik local adjustments and DXO global adjustments.
    3. Export my worked up image as 16bit TIFF file.
  4. Within On1 Photo RAW
    1. Open the TIFF file in On1 RAW effects
    2. Apply further effects locally or globally to my image
    3. Prepare the file for export, depending on use.

The main take away from this is that, the less experienced photographer my often use global adjustments to enhance their images, when local adjustments may provide better results. Global adjustments being used to balance out the overall effect of the local adjustments.

The image used here was developed using 80% local adjustments and 20% global adjustments.

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