First TIPs for post processing your photos

August 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

A few starter tips and basic essentials when post processing your photos

Route 66 re-post processed from a raw file_MG_0651 Compare 1

Old image that I took years ago and re-processed from the RAW file.  I shoot much better now and have better equipment but these before/after shots gives you a reason to shoot in RAW now.  I'm sure I did back then.

 

  1. Shoot in RAW with your DSLR.  I usually do RAW + L .jpg that way I have ALL the data from the shot in raw form and also have a quick .jpg to view and share before any post processing.
  2. Invest in a monitor calibration tool and software such as X-Rite's i1 Display 2 or the X-Rite i1 Display Pro (either would work just fine).  X-Rite also has some other color checker equipment that works well.  This will calibrate at least one monitor so you know that what you are seeing is what you are going to get.  You will need to read all of the information and it's usually pretty easy to set up in a few minutes. 
  3. You can also "soft proof" your photos before sending them to your printer (print house/shop).  You will need to get with your printing shop to get their ICC Profiles that match their printers and paper types.  They have specific instructions on how to set that up with Photoshop or Lightroom software.  Don't embed that profile into your photos!  Use with the monitor that you calibrated to "soft proof" before sending for printing.
  4. If you can't or don't want to buy the calibration tools or want to wait on that investment then you can also order a few prints and then adjust your monitor to match those prints.  Make sure the print house does not adjust your image in any way.  You will want control over your final product and have it printed just as it appears on your screen.  When selecting photos to send in, choose a wide range of colors so that you can get your monitor setup with each color.  This way is a little harder to do but really worth it in the long run.  
  5. When you come up with a look that you like during post processing.  SAVE IT as a "preset"!  Use those presets again for the same set or even different ones.  You can always adjust, tweak, and fine tune every shot before saving as a .jpg and sending for printing.
  6. The post-processing software that I use are Adobe Lightroom 4 (or the new version that I'm not using yet is Lightroom 5), Adobe Photoshop CS6, and sometimes the Nik Collection add on or plug-in (now by) Google.  I also have Topaz Labs (but I rarely use it now only because I haven't had time to train on it).  If you can only afford one, use the new LR5.  It's much cheaper than Photoshop and more user friendly for users who want to learn plus it has some amazing new features that will help keep you out of Photoshop anyway - because you can now do it in Lightroom!  If you are a student or teacher (or faculty) then you may also qualify for a huge discount with their student and teacher editions.  Another good HDR merger would be Photomatix Pro 4 (but I just use my Nik Collection for now when I do HDR).  The last time I tried an HDR photo I wasn't impressed so I took that RAW file and tweaked it in LR4 and came out with an amazing image.

Route 66 re-post processed from a raw file_MG_4825 Compare

Old image that I took years ago and re-processed from the RAW file.

More to come.  Fellow photographers, you are welcomed to share your views and two or three cents, whatever the case may be.  lol  

  1. Keep it clean
  2. Promote Learning
  3. Be nice and constructive (especially in criticism)
  4. Post links to your own blogs or other learning videos or cheat sheets.
  5. Remember, I'm still learning and obviously not the authority on photography.  Each photographer has their own style and thoughts.
  6. ENJOY!

 

JC Kirk

 

Shell Knob, MO Bridge over Table Rock Lake re-post processed from a raw file07252007 361 Compare 1 Old image that I took years ago and re-processed from the RAW file.

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Iconic Kansas Barn_MG_7395_HDR_001_logo_Iconic_Kansas_Barn_large_rustic_blue_sky_red_barn_clouds


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