It seems that using Artificial Intelligence (AI)is the next big thing when processing and editing your images. Adobe, On1, Skylum, DxO, TOPAZ are all pushing AI.
And, there is also EyeQ, a photo editing software company that provides photo laboratories and other companies AI tools to enhance and correct photos, they also have a consumer product called Perfectly Clear Complete, and I have to say it is great at what it does.
Every vendor is trying to grab your attention and some are shouting louder than others.
However, before jumping on the AI train, remember no amount of AI can make up for a poorly captured image.
Also, when assessing your image processing needs keep in mind the difference between features and benefits. Photo Editing Software can be very specialised in its use (niche) or have broader general functionality. For instance, Skylum’s Aurora is primarily an HDR tool (niche). Where as On1’s product offers a whole host of features and functions.
When you invest in photo editing software, you want to be sure that the software provides you with the tools and functions that meet your needs (benefits) and not buy software with loads of functionality that you may or not use or need (features).
Personally, I have come to learn that no one piece of software meets all of my needs. The question I ask myself when looking at photo editing software is, how does this piece of software meet my needs in terms of benefits and how much of it is just functionality that I will not use?.
Of course budget is also a consideration when choosing software.
Processing and editing photos requires you to consider the following key steps.
- Fixing flaws and corrections in your cameras sensor and optics.
- Making RAW adjustments as needed.
- Exposure corrections
- Colour temperature settings
- Shadow and Highlight recovery
- Contrast (black and white points)
- Basic edits and enhancements.
- Creative editing.
- Creative Filters
- Dodging & Burning
- Object removal
- Object replacement (sky etc…)
You should always think in these terms when processing your images.
Above is my uncorrected RAW file exported as a JPEG.
Step 1 & 2 – DxO Photlab’s default preset has automatically taken care of basic adjustments, applying; smart lighting, cropping, colour rendering, chromatic aberration, vignetting, and distortion.
Step 3 – Using Perfectly Clear Complete and EyeQ’s AI technology the output TIFF file from DxO Photlab has been analysed and further corrections and enhancements applied by the AI on a pixel by pixel basis. This is already a great improvement from the original RAW file. If I did not want to do any further editing, the image could be considered finished.
However, we can push the image further and do some creative editing now.
Step 4 Creative Editing – Using Luminar 4, I have replaced the sky, which was a little dull, and applied some AI accent to further enhance the image, enriching the colours. I have also applied a subtle vignette to the image to create the final image seen above.
What is your work flow when processing your images?