Top 5 tips for efficient post-processing
Post processing has become an essential part of the digital photographer’s workflow – whilst some prefer to keep the amount of editing they do to a minimum, every image requires a basic level of processing to look its very best
Post processing has become an essential part of the digital photographer’s workflow – whilst some prefer to keep the amount of editing they do to a minimum, every image requires a basic level of processing to look its very best. Here are 5 very quick tips for making your editing a streamlined, effective and stress-free process.
1- Construct a workflow
Every shot you take moves through a workflow of some sort – from the shooting stage, to importing into software and on to RAW processing, colour correction, lens correction and sharpening. It is important to arrange your workflow to avoid having to double-back on your editing to repair mistakes or make an adjustment you forgot to make in the first instance. Making edits out of sequence can have a detrimental effect on image quality, so it’s important to construct a logical order in which to apply manipulations. This may be a case of sitting down an making a checklist, but more useful is to start a comfortable procedure and stick to that for the majority of your images, so that it becomes familiar. Traditionally, we start with RAW processing, then move into Photoshop for lens corrections, spot removal and output sharpening.
2- Create actions
For regularly-applied edits, it is a great time-saver to save actions in Photoshop, which consist of a collection of steps that make up each procedure you want to apply. You can then run these automatically by playing the action, removing the need to go through every step for every image.
3- Calibrate your monitor
An essential step if you want to print your own images is to buy a colour calibrator for your computer monitor. This will ensure any colour drift is adjusted so that you can be confident that the colours you see on-screen are accurate and will translate appropriately in-print. Also consider downloading colour profiles for your printers and paper, to further maintain colour alignment.
4- Batch process
When outputting images, another way to save time is to batch process your shots. This is especially useful if you have many similar shots that you want to save to the same folder, such as a series of shots from a wedding or musical event. You can tell Photoshop to name the files sequentially so you can easily find and review images later. In Camera Raw or Lightroom, save a preset containing all of the editing settings and synchronise your settings for similar images, to apply changes to many files simultaneously.
5- Logical folder structure
Save original and edited files in adjacent folders or the same folder, so that you have both versions of each image to hand, in future. Also ensure you backup edited files to all of your used drives, so that you have access at any location in which you might find yourself editing images.
In issue 192 we have a in-depth 12 page guide to perfecting your post-processing, covering every major aspect of improving your images at the computer.
Buy Issue 192 now from here!