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I was asked in 2010 to explain my workflow in the hope it would help others with their workflow and to encourage others to post their workflow and tips for processing the images from the camera. This is my revised workflow, it’s not perfect and many will think it’s too much effort, but each to their own. It takes me less than 30 seconds to process for the web after I generated the action so I personally think it’s very little effort. If anyone has any suggestions for improving it or even totally changing it for the better, then please do so. I have started from the point where the images are downloaded from the camera.  So...........

Import images directly from the camera using Lightroom.  At the moment I’m using Lightroom CC 2015

I do this in preference to removing the card and placing the card in a card reader. Don’t see it makes a lot of difference.

As I shoot exclusively in RAW I import into a specific location using the following syntax

D:/MyPictures/2015/02 February/28 Fairburn Ings/28 Fairburn Ings_RAW

All My Documents are on a 4 TByte disk which is a separate disk to the SSD system disk. They are also backed up automatically to a 4 TByte network drive.

Once in Lightroom I then go through all images and tag them as rejected or picked. I don’t delete the rejected yet. All images are given keywords which are usually - birds, type of bird, where taken. These Tags can be used to generate different collections in Lightroom.

I also put the bird name into the Caption field as it is used on my web site.

Original, straight from the camera


I now work on individual images

1.Crop - I like to keep the same aspect ratio as comes out of the camera, namely 3x2. This is just a personal preference as I think 3X2 is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

2.Basic adjustments. - I try to get as much as possible out of the image, which is why I shoot RAW. I use the histogram and switch on the clipping indicators.  Start with the top slider and work down being careful to get the most detail and still keep it looking natural.

I don’t do any sharpening or noise reduction in LR.

I previously used Vibrance 32 and Saturation 1, or sometime Saturation 10, as there is nothing done in camera and depending on what I’d taken a picture of, but now I tend to just use a Saturation of 2-10.

 Lightroom Adjustments - for this image I used -26 Highlights, +26 Shadows and Saturation +5

All picked images are now exported as jpg into the folder above the RAW files. I don’t bother with tiff as I have the RAW files if needed.

So D:/MyPictures/2013/02 February/28 Fairburn Ings/28 Fairburn Ings_RAW

will be put into folder D:/MyPictures/2013/02 February/28 Fairburn Ings

These photos are there so my wife can look through them all on the netdrive otherwise she feels neglected.

Still in Lightroom I decide which shots I’m going to put on the web and from here I import them into Photoshop CC 2015 by right clicking the RAW file and selecting Edit In>Edit In Adobe Photoshop CC 2015… and do all of the following in an action for a 1000px image within Photoshop. This is one click and takes less than 30 seconds to run.

1.Run the image through Neat Image to remove the noise - I use profiles for my camera that I generated for each camera.  

These and other camera profiles are available at Neat Image-profiles

2.Add a curves adjustment layer and change the curve to an S shape. Set the blending mode to Luminosity

3. Add another curves adjustment layer and change the bottom of the curve to input 10 output 0 and top of the curve to input 245 output 255. Set the blending mode to Colour.

4. Flatten the image.

Neat Image and Enhance

5. Resize the image to 1667 pixels on the long side and restrained proportions

    Select Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen

6. Duplicate the layer and select the top layer

    Select Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen. The image will look completely wrong and very oversharpened but don’t worry.

7. Set the opacity of the top layer that has been sharpened twice to 60%

8. Resized the image to 1000 pixels on the long side and restrained proportions

9. Smart sharpen 80, 0.2, 0 remove gausian blur selected

10. Flatten image

Sharpened

11. I then run Image>Adjustments>Shadows/Highlights with settings of 5%/50%/30px for both Shadows and Highlights.

12. Run a levels adjustment to ensure the maximum amount of information is displayed without losing information at each end of the histogram.

13. Save As and change the quality so that the size is acceptable to your requirements.  I do it this way in preference to Save for Web because it keeps the exif information intact.

Now this may sound complicated but it really isn’t.  If anyone is interested I’ve done a Photoshop Action to do all of this for a selection of image sizes in Landscape and Portrait.

There are also actions just for parts 1-4 called Enhance and part 11 called 5%Shadows/Highlights.

Just email me and I’ll forward it with a small explanation.

A final pass of Neat Image but only on the selected background

Articles

Processing for the web including resizing, noise reduction, enhancing and sharpening