Benefits of a consistant workflow
We all have our preferred ways of working when processing our RAW files by developing a consistent and logical workflow you can,
- Speed up your processing.
- Exploit presets.
- Be consistent in how you process your RAW files.
- Develop your own style.
My preferred RAW file processor and photo editor is DxO Photolab, why? Because DxO’s main thrust is the development of RAW files and correcting lens defects found in specific lens/camera combinations. DxO Photolab optic corrections address; chromatic aberrations, distortion, vignetting, and lens softness!
I like to breakdown my processing workflow into the following;
- Camera and lens flaw corrections.
- RAW file processing.
- Creative enhancements, photo edits.
DxO Presets (step 1)
Presets simply allow you to apply a set of corrections to one or more images at the same time. DxO Photolab comes with a number of ready made presets to help you get started. When you first load your images into DxO Photolab uses a default preset that does the following;
- DxO Smart Lighting on Slight.
- Color rendering unchanged for JPEGs, camera default rendering for RAW files.
- Protection of saturated colors on Auto.
- Noise reduction on Auto.
- Distortion on Auto.
- Vignetting on Auto.
- Cromatic aberration on Auto (and lateral chromatic aberration correction activated).
- Lens softness activated, Global slider on 0, and both the Details and the Bokeh sliders set to 50 (or Sharpness Maskdefaultsettings, if a DxO Optics Module is not available).
But I have created my own preset that applies the following corrections;
This first preset takes care of camera / lens like; chromatic aberrations, distortion, vignetting, and lens softness!
RAW File Processing (step 2)
Once I have taken care of any camera / lens defects that might affect my image I then go onto processing my RAW file using a custom made Workspace in DxO Photolab that allows me to work with the following, and generally in the order you see.
The idea here is to create a balanced RAW file for either further editing or as a final image.
Below is a JPEG output from a non corrected RAW file that I will be working on using my default workspace.
Local and Global Adjustments
When assessing and processing my RAW files, I am always thinking in terms of local and global adjustments. I use global adjustments to even out or balance the image (see below).
Creative enhancements, photo edits (step 3)
And finally, for me, the secret sauce to any image processing is to apply local adjustments, in terms of colour, contrast, highlight, and shadow adjustments to enhance and bring the photo to life.
I think the final image is shows how by following a good workflow you can achieve excellent results when editing your images.