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03-28-2007, 09:07 AM   #16
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Hmmm.

The workflow outlined by WMBP/Will is the current 'party line'. A couple years ago-say 4-5 years-most photographers just lassoed what was on the card and did a drag and drop into a new folder in My Pictures or on the desktop; then they went about other chores while the OS did the transfer.

Today 'Ingestion' is all about renaming, converting, cataloging, generating metadata, archiving... Is this the information you are looking for? Because a couple years ago 'Workflow' was all about editing: color and contrast, spotting, cloning, healing, straightening and sharpening. Is this what you really had in mind?

Well, while you think about and answer those question let me make a suggestion. Learn exposure and white balance in an old-fashioned way. Shoot JPEG or RAW+JPEG and get some prints made in sizes you might use from the best images taken. This would greatly enhance several aspects of your abilities: getting it right in the camera-you would need to do the custom WB thing and make a good selection of exposure values. You would know how they actually look as prints and be able to compare those prints to what you see on the monitor. You would get some immediate gratification from the camera!

03-28-2007, 09:46 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
Hmmm.

The workflow outlined by WMBP/Will is the current 'party line'. A couple years ago-say 4-5 years-most photographers just lassoed what was on the card and did a drag and drop into a new folder in My Pictures or on the desktop; then they went about other chores while the OS did the transfer.

Today 'Ingestion' is all about renaming, converting, cataloging, generating metadata, archiving... Is this the information you are looking for? Because a couple years ago 'Workflow' was all about editing: color and contrast, spotting, cloning, healing, straightening and sharpening. Is this what you really had in mind?

Well, while you think about and answer those question let me make a suggestion. Learn exposure and white balance in an old-fashioned way. Shoot JPEG or RAW+JPEG and get some prints made in sizes you might use from the best images taken. This would greatly enhance several aspects of your abilities: getting it right in the camera-you would need to do the custom WB thing and make a good selection of exposure values. You would know how they actually look as prints and be able to compare those prints to what you see on the monitor. You would get some immediate gratification from the camera!
John, you make a very good point. Here is the way I envision it.
a) Take pic in RAW
b) Convert RAW to Jpeg
c) edit Jpeg, crop etc
d) print some nice ones to hang on the wall 8x10. I print a fair number of them to rotate my pictures and also burn the odd CD for relatives
The reason I want to take shots in RAW is so I can always go back and work with them as I learn a bit more. I want to learn to convert to b/w, maybe even try HDR or infrared. But I need to go step by step and get the basics down pat first.
03-28-2007, 10:40 AM   #18
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Will

You know Will, You are one of the kindest, sharing and compassionate humans I have ever encountered. You have the patience of a Buddha...I am sure that without you here, there would be a major void.

Ben
03-28-2007, 10:46 AM   #19
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If I May Add?

I have posted a more precise explanation of the workflow method I employ + USM in the Techique Section. But if anyone doesn't go there, here it is:

The workflow I employ that is intended for press or print. When shooting in RAW which is always the case, I open an image via Bridge in to PS3 which automatically opens in Adobe Camera Raw. As stated (Now this is an alternative method to the one given at "Pentax Life") I will sharpen the image at 25 to 35 percent in ACR, Luminance Smoothing "0" and Color Noise reduction at "50". I generally click OK at this stage, (unless I am way off in my exposure, which if I am, I have to seriously re-consider my chosen profession)

When open in PS3 in 16 bits, I create a Duplicate Layer. Now here is where you can go both ways. (sounds a bit suspect) Depending on what I wish to accomplish in terms of saturation, I will either De-Saturate the image or leave it as a color image. The two are radically different in there outcome. Once I have created the Duplicate Layer, I will go in to the Layers Menu "TAB" and click on Normal which will open a large choice of different options. I will "Click" on "Soft Light". When doing so and dependent on the contrast of the image, you will notice a radical increase in contrast and saturation if you left the original image in color. Generally with my stuff and I say generally as it totally depends on the lighting I have employed, I will set the "Opacity" and "Fill" sliders from 50 to 85 percent each. Once I am satisfied with the result, I will flatten the image, as it is not yet ready for re-touch, this is a pre-retouch manipulation that I do on every image in preparation for the Post Production retouch. Once in PS, I will in many cases use the Shadow Highlight tool at my Default setting being,

Shadows:
Amount 2%
Tonal Width 50%
Radius 30%

Highlights:
Amount 2%
Tonal Width 50%
Radius 30%

Color Correction +20 Mid-tone 0

It may change dependent on the conditions.

Now, if the "Duplicate Layer" I made used the "De-saturation" process, after I have flattened the layer, I might augment the overall Saturation by 10 to 20 %. If I wish to keep the image with "That" desaturated look I may do nothing. It depends on the effect I am looking for.

If I did not use the "De-saturation" process and left the "Layer" in color, I may "De-saturate' the overall image by 10 to 20%.

If I do not sharpen in PS ACR, I will do the following for a more "RADICAL" look. After I have imported in to PS from ACR, I will Unsharp Mask (Accentuate) from 120 to 330 percent at 0.3 pixels and I will Unsharp Mask again at 10 to 15% at 40 to 60 pixels to really "POP" the contrast. I will go to "Shadow Highlight" and do the required manipulations to compensate for a loss of shadow detail.

I am now ready for the "Retouch Artist"

When retouch is done and up-sized if necessary, I will sharpen again at 100 to 180 percent at 0.3 pixels.

That is my systematic "Workflow" method.

Ben


Last edited by benjikan; 04-28-2007 at 04:03 PM.
03-28-2007, 11:53 AM   #20
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Some starting points

QuoteOriginally posted by detlef Quote
a) Take pic in RAW
b) Convert RAW to Jpeg
c) edit Jpeg, crop etc
d) print some nice ones to hang on the wall 8x10. I print a fair number of them to rotate my pictures and also burn the odd CD for relatives
The reason I want to take shots in RAW is so I can always go back and work with them as I learn a bit more. I want to learn to convert to b/w, maybe even try HDR or infrared. But I need to go step by step and get the basics down pat first.
OK, seems you want the first part-the RAW part of the older workflow material. Great; I'm thinking that you have a folder of RAW files on your harddrive and you've done enough archiving type stuff to meet your needs.

Let me modify your vision a bit:
a) Take photos saving files in sRGB tagged RAW+JPEG,
a1) copy JPEGs to CD,
a2) have a commercial lab process these JPEGs to 4 by 6 inch prints,
b) Convert RAW to editor native RGB files,
c) Edit native RGB files; crop etc,
c1) save RGBs as good quality sRGB tagged JPEGs sized to 300ppi,
d) Have the nicer ones commercially printed at 8x10 to hang on the wall.

The most obvious change is the commercial printing. Color management is a very complicated affair; tagging, converting, pre-viewing, blah, blah , blah. Things that you should avoid until you get the basics firmly understood. You need the initial 4 by 6s to have a point of reference-a proof image.

RAW is also very complicated--more than can be done successfully in a forum environment. Google Bruce Fraser, CreativePro, and Out of Gamut. Bruce passed on a short while back, but he left a legacy of material that stands as the industry standard. You might want his book on RAW:Camera Raw. Don't worry about the industrial stuff in the title, it's written at an average user level. Might want to grab his book on sharpening too:Real World Sharpening; you will need it relatively soon!

There are three distinct methodologies when it come to digital processing:
1) get it right in camera and then group images by lighting conditions and batch process them via visual corrections.
2) get it right in camera and then group images by lighting conditions and batch process them via calibrated camera RAW.
3) shoot it, fix it in photoshop.

Scott Kelby champions the basic material for the first two methods; He's the NAPP President and his book:Amazon.com: The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter): Books: Scott Kelby is the reference.

Dan Margulis follows method 3 ( and his guiding intent is to produce images for reproduction in books magazines and newspapers). His book: Amazon.com: Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction (5th Edition): Books: Dan Margulis is the standard reference---very advanced!

You might also want to see the foundation document covering Photoshop workflow; it;s here: Primer, and here: PS workflow. This stuff is a little dated, biased toward photoshop and rather stuffy. There are newer emulations by other authors out on the web--Google "workflow". I've used the fundamental ideas in a number of programs: Photoshop, GIMP, PictureWindow Pro, Elements...

Try to remember that the saleman who sold you on digital as economical was a liar--Time-wise and dollar-wise it's very expensive!
03-28-2007, 02:27 PM   #21
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Thanks for all your help especially from John, Will and Ben. You have given me a lot of information that I need to digest but I got a clearer picture now of what I need to do to accomplish the outcome I desire.
Until then I guess I'll read some books and download some trial versions of software to see what suits me. I hope I can count on your support if I have any more questions.
Thanks again...
03-28-2007, 04:10 PM   #22
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I found the concepts of basic workflow as discussed in The DAM Book to be of benefit to me. I have not had the best organization of pictures in the past and have a large # of 'em on my hard drives. I know that the book is not geared for the budget minded hobbiest as it works with the premise of using iView Media Pro, Photoshop, ACR & Bridge. But the basic workflow & archiving process is quite in depth, it is not far from what has been suggested already, and it could easily work with different applications. There is a site for the book here or perhaps you could skim through some parts at a local bookstore or get a copy from the library. I am guessing at your Photoshop budget that this is a book I would not necessarily recommend as one for your own library, but if you can access it for a bit, it could prove valuable in further explaining a workflow through.
03-28-2007, 04:25 PM   #23
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Big Help

detlef
Thanks for getting this thread started. I just decided to start shooting in RAW with my K10D. I am in the same boat as you. I am wading through Pentax Photo Lab, interested in Lightroom, Bibble, etc. This has been a great help to me and will surely make this hobby more enjoyable. I will stay tuned.
Will, Ben and John, thanks a bunch.

Mike

03-30-2007, 11:57 AM   #24
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This thread has been really useful to me, as I am trying to get a workflow established. I did buy a copy of Lightroom, and am learning how to use it.

Will, if I can bother you with a question?

I got about 8000 JPGS from my P&S days. I'd like to bring them into the fold, assigning keywords, ratings, etc. Are you planning on doing this?

I'm wondering if I will have to export new JPGS, and if so, how do I keep the original quality.

Thanks,
-Larry
03-30-2007, 12:24 PM   #25
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I've been following this thread and haven't voiced anything because I was too busy taking notes. Thanks for starting this thread Detlef and thanks to everyone who contributed an answer - this is awesome!

(Now if we can get excerpts of this thread transferred into the FAQ section of the forums!)
03-30-2007, 12:25 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by spillway Quote
I did buy a copy of Lightroom, and am learning how to use it.

Will, if I can bother you with a question?

I got about 8000 JPGS from my P&S days. I'd like to bring them into the fold, assigning keywords, ratings, etc. Are you planning on doing this?

I'm wondering if I will have to export new JPGS, and if so, how do I keep the original quality.
Larry,

I did NOT import my tens of thousands of old JPEGs into Lightroom. I'm using Lightroom only for Raw files. All my legacy JPEGs from the last six or seven years stay in a separate folder hierarchy and are managed by Picasa. I don't personally see any reason to bring them into Lightroom. This is not to say anything at all about what you or anybody else should do; this is just what works for me.

For what it's worth, BOTH Picasa and Lightroom (and most of the other good programs on the market today) use non-destructive editing, and not just for Raw files. In other words, in Picasa, if I crop the picture, Picasa does the same thing that Lightroom does: It writes this info to a little file that says something like "crop from here to there..." Every time I view the image after this, Picasa reapplies the crop and any other instructions in that edits file and does it so quickly that I never ever notice. None of the edits get saved into the image in Picasa until I specifically save them - and then Picasa saves a backup of the files. Lightroom works a bit differently: It never writes changes to the original file. You don't get the changes actually saved in a file until you export (which is like using the traditional "save as..." command). I like Lightroom's approach better, but the bottom line is the same: you never have to worry about losing your original. I used to save my edits in Picasa; I don't bother now.

Will
03-30-2007, 01:56 PM   #27
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Will,

Have you completely switched to RAW/Lightroom? It seems like the logical choice--just wondering if it gives you any pause or raises any concerns.
03-30-2007, 03:54 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
Have you completely switched to RAW/Lightroom? It seems like the logical choice--just wondering if it gives you any pause or raises any concerns.
Well, I guess "switched" wouldn't be inappropriate - although it's more like I've ADDED Lightroom. Prior to Lightroom, I was (a) shooting only JPEG and (b) content to do nearly everything in Picasa. Now I am shooting Raw about 99% of the time, so everything goes into Lightroom first and I do nearly everything there - file management, metadata stuff, selecting/deleting, cropping and other image editing tasks. Picasa is used now only as a way of keeping track of my old JPEG library AND of helping me upload JPEGs to Picasa Web Albums.

Doesn't give me pause and I have no concerns. I like Lightroom pretty well - it's not perfect, but it really was designed with "workflow" in mind and it's a great app for sorting through hundreds of photos in a hurry.

Will
03-30-2007, 07:22 PM   #29
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RAW and JPEG differences

Hi,
I'm also a newbie in dSLR photography but have had the fortune of using Photoshop Camera Raw, since my wife is a graphic designer. I haven't compared it with the Pentax provided software, but I've been a little disappointed with the results saving the adjusted images to JPEGs. I think I must be missing something in Camera RAW, but comparing the converted JPEG images to those taken on the camera in JPEG, iPhoto seems to bring out more brilliance and contrast in those JPEGs.

Has anyone experienced this? I apologise in advance if this has been addressed before - just got on board last week.

Cheers,
Ash.
Brisbane, Australia.

Last edited by Ash; 02-14-2008 at 01:28 PM.
03-30-2007, 08:17 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Larry,

I did NOT import my tens of thousands of old JPEGs into Lightroom. I'm using Lightroom only for Raw files. All my legacy JPEGs from the last six or seven years stay in a separate folder hierarchy and are managed by Picasa. I don't personally see any reason to bring them into Lightroom. This is not to say anything at all about what you or anybody else should do; this is just what works for me.

For what it's worth, BOTH Picasa and Lightroom (and most of the other good programs on the market today) use non-destructive editing, and not just for Raw files. In other words, in Picasa, if I crop the picture, Picasa does the same thing that Lightroom does: It writes this info to a little file that says something like "crop from here to there..." Every time I view the image after this, Picasa reapplies the crop and any other instructions in that edits file and does it so quickly that I never ever notice. None of the edits get saved into the image in Picasa until I specifically save them - and then Picasa saves a backup of the files. Lightroom works a bit differently: It never writes changes to the original file. You don't get the changes actually saved in a file until you export (which is like using the traditional "save as..." command). I like Lightroom's approach better, but the bottom line is the same: you never have to worry about losing your original. I used to save my edits in Picasa; I don't bother now.

Will

Thanks Will,

I'm tempted to import my JEGS, for two reasons. One, I really like the way you can flag, rate, and keyword the pictures in LR.
It would give me reason to cull though all those 47 different shots of the flowers on the table while I learned how to handle different
lighting :^). Plus it would be good to keyword the pics with names of the family before the number of pics swells to (gulp) tens of thousands!

I keep copies of each picture in dated folders w/ event subcategories per my wifes request. It is a good way for her to find
the ones she wants quickly. So, I would probably have to export all my keepers so that they are in a convenient format
and show the post processing that I did.

Thanks for your perspective,
-Larry
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