Post processing images a workflow

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Introduction

When it comes to post processing your photos there are several software packages that you can choose from. And, depending on your need and budget, you might choose one package over the others. However, I am a great advocate of using the principle of ‘best in breed’.

For example, I always process my files with DxO Photolab, why? Because there is no better RAW processor on the market!

I also have a workflow in mind, which starts when I am out shooting with my camera and ends with my final image.

Photography workflow

Capture:

Shoot RAW!

It’s important when shooting images to ensure that you set the best exposure for your scene. Often this will mean applying some form of exposure compensation and not just relying on your meter reading. Getting your exposure right in the camera gives you a balanced RAW file which needs less tweaking in your RAW editor.

No corrections

Refine:

Refine & prepare RAW file:

Keep in Mind, the key differences between shooting RAW and JPEG, a) JPEGs are compressed files, processing JPEGs happens at the time of shooting, using all your current camera settings and the results baked into the JPEG. RAW files are uncompressed, capturing the data from your camera sensor. That data need converting into an image using a RAW file convertor and then post processing. b) RAW files capture more data than a JPEG, capturing a wider dynamic range from the scene.

All RAW files need some form correction. DxO Photolab is my go-to RAW editor (it can do much more). Its strength is in applying automatic corrections to your RAW files based on the camera and lens that you are using. And, after that you can apply further settings if needed. Using DxO Photolab is a real time saver when processing your RAW files.

Your goal is to create a balanced RAW file, which can if needed, have further creative enhancements applied to it to give you a final image to output.

DxO photolab default corrections

Create:

Once you have tweaked all the data in your RAW file to produce a balanced image, you can then export your image as a TIFF or JPEG file and apply further creative edits and filters to achieve a desired look using one or more photo image editors.

Enhance & Create: Aurora HDR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Image:

Final image: Sky replacement 1 click Luminar 4

My simple image editing workflow:

Post process RAW file in DxO photolab.

Convert to TIFF.

·        Export to application of choice.

o   Retouch file and apply creative edits.

o   Export or save as TIFF to original image folder.

·        Convert to JPEG for use as required using DxO Photolab.

I have the following Image editors that I work with

·        DxO Photolab – Best RAW editor.

·        NiK Collection by DxO – Comes with several creative tools.

·        Aurora HDR from Skylum – HDR photography.

·        Luminar 4 from Skylum – Uses AI to help enhance photos.

·        Affinity Photo from Serif – Fine art and advanced image editing.

·        On1 Photo RAW – Image editor and photo library

·        Adobe bridge – Digital asset management links to Adobe Stock

I mostly work with DxO Photolab, Nik Collection, Aurora HDR and Luminar 4.

I use Adobe bridge for cataloguing my images and for sending to Adobe stock.

Each of these applications have their strengths and I tend to play to them when editing my images. My quick workflow is to use DxO photolab and then export my files to Aurora HDR even if I am not doing HDR photography. I do this as I personally find that Aurora HDR gives me a great final image with good saturated colours and the detail that I like. Both the applications provide an almost hands off approach to processing my images. After that, If I want to be more creative I turn to the Nik Collection, Luminar 4 (great for sky replacement and montages) or Affinity photo.

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