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Thread: Question re: workflow

  1. Question re: workflow

    Hi All...
    I am wondering what process you photoshop users follow after you download your photos to your computer. Curves, levels, sharpen, unsharpen....I get so confused. I would just love to have some steps to follow. Then I could concentrate on digi scrapping them.
    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Great question! Mine goes something like this:

    1. If I haven't used RAW mode when shooting, I begin by resizing to 300 dpi (my Rebel shoots at 180 dpi.)

    2. I always "defog" my photo right away...a trick my buddy Rhonda Stark taught me. This is accomplished by running the Unsharp filter with settings of Amount: 20%, Radius: 60 pixels, Threshold: 0 In fact, I have created an action that does this step for me quickly!

    3. My preference for color correction is to add a Curves adjustment layer. (That way if I'm not happy with the results I can just delete the adjustment layer and start back at square one.)

    I usually look for a portion of the photo that I know should be a medium shade of grey and click the middle eyedropper from the Curves dialog on that area. Then I click the black eyedropper on the darkest portion of the photo and look for an area that should be white...clicking the white eyedropper there. Then I pull the middle point on the curve up a titch to brighten the photo.

    I like my colors to "pop" a bit and I make frequent use of Jinky's Itty Bitty actions to jazz things up after I've got the basic tones set with Curves.

    My final step is to run the Smart Sharpen filter...but I usually bump it down from the default to about 50%.

    I'm eager to hear what everyone else has in their bag of tricks....GREAT question!

    Software: Photoshop CS5 - Photoshop Elements 10 - Adobe Lightroom 3

    Gear: Canon30D with 50mm 1.4 and IS 28-135mm lenses - Canon Digital Elph DD1000

    Visit My Gallery -- My Blog

  3. #3
    I shoot in RAW, so I'll do any adjustments in the Bridge RAW editor.
    After that, I really just do a defog and crop to size.

    Depending on mood or what I'm using it for... I'll run various actions (color pop, b&w, acid wash, etc).

  4. The one thing that I almost always do is to bump the exposure up and then resharpen. DSLR's tend to underexpose and It's really easy to fix using photoshop. Many times that all I end up doing to the photos

  5. #5
    I adjust colors by using the eyedropper {white and black} in 'level'. I usually add a slight 's' curve to let the color pop, then fade as needed. For scenic/sturctures/animals...etc , I often adjust saturation (+5 to +20). I also almost always run USM filter {depends on photos, but usually I add a slight sharpening at about 30, 3.0, 0 {although usually more on photographs with no human subject} <---LOL! that sounds funny

    oh...and I usually just play with the photos for colors and such. Thanks for to read everyone's interesting techniques
    big girl toys: PS CS2 * xt * 40d
    10-22; 18-55; 50 1.8; 70-200 4L; Tamron 28-75


  6. #6
    Great question! I always learn so much when I read how others do things. I just started shooting in RAW after I got my WhiBal card last week so I am not good at adjusting anything other than white balance in bridge yet (but I plan to work on that - I might make that a new thread). Anyway, in PS I sharpen the image as Patti described to "defog". Then I adjust the levels, curves, and finally the brightness/contrast. I'll typically dodge my catchlights slightly and that's about it unless I need to run Neat Image to lessen any grain. I usually fade that filter though - don't want it to look fake and a little grain is OK with me - I kind of like it actually. Thanks for asking!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Tampa Bay, Florida
    my workflow is almost identical to pattie's but i use michelle pearson's actions. what a difference a little color pop makes!

  8. Thank you ladies for sharing your knowledge. I have always simply used one step photo fix in Paint shop Pro. But now I've been experimenting with some of the steps you use and I am amazed at how much better some of my pictures are turning out! The other day I shot some photos outside that were terribly underexposed because I didn't know how to adjust the exposure on my Rebel XT (figured it out when I got home). I was so sad. But then I played around with them using your advice and quite honestly, they are some of my favorite pictures I have ever taken. Thank you!

    DD Gallery

    Software: Photoshop Elements 6
    Camera: Canon Rebel XT
    Lenses: 50 mm 1.8, 18-55 mm, 75-300

  9. #9
    I do the defog thing first and for color, I actually auto color correct, duplicate my image twice, set one to soft light and the other to screen, adjust the opacity levels, adjust curves/contrast if needed and then I unsharp mask.


  10. I defog, adjust color (or contrast and tones if it's a bw photo) using curves and levels adjustment layers. If I run an action, I usually tweak it to my preferences with the above steps. Then I sharpen using the lab sharpen method.

  11. #11
    I use scott kelby's lab sharpening technique and then play with levels.

    I just tried Lynne's method with screen and soft light and got some cool-looking results!

    thanks for asking this question!!!

  12. I've been having lots of luck with unsharp mask, levels, curves, and noiseware as the finishing touch. It's been pretty quick and easy lately which is good.

    My Gallery

    Heidi Knight Photography
    Camera: Nikon D800
    Lenses: 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-35 f/2.8, 28-300, 24-70mm f/2.8
    Extras: Speedlight SB-700, Alien Bee 800
    Software: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4

  13. #13
    I think I'm the only one here using PS elements, so my way is alittle different, but hey, it might help you/someone
    I usually create a adjustment layer- levels, and tweak them up a little, this gives them a fabulous 'from inside' kind of light. then I make this layer 'screen' (yes I know its just 'white out-ed' your picture...bear with me!) adjust this downabit to say 70&#37; -50% depending on picture, merge this layer down. select adjust lighting, dip your brightness slightly (to bring back your darker colours) and always slide your contrast up some to make those colours pop! hope thats of some help to someone !



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