Cover image for The Digital Photography Workflow Handbook

Book description

The work that follows the capture of a photographic image - the workflow in the digital darkroom - has a significant effect on the quality of the final image. The Digital Photography Workflow Handbook will help you avoid crucial mistakes as you master the craft of photographic post-processing.

This book provides a step-by-step guide through the photographic workflow, from image capture, editing, and asset management, all the way to the perfect photographic print. The workflow presented in this book focuses on RAW images and is based on two of the most popular and powerful software tools: Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

The Digital Photography Workflow Handbook can be used as a reference or textbook by both aspiring amateur and professional photographers, as well as by students.

Table of Contents

  1. The Digital Photography Workflow Handbook: From Import to Output
    1. Foreword
      1. The Basic Tools
      2. Additional Books
      3. Conventions Used in this Book
      4. What We Expect from our Readers
      5. The Contents of this Book
      6. Thanks to ...
    2. 1. Introducing the Digital Photo Workflow
      1. The Basic Digital Photo Workflow
        1. The “What”: Basic Steps
        2. Important Image Processing Know-how
        3. Advanced Image Processing Techniques
      2. Computer Equipment
        1. PC or Mac?
      3. What are RAW Files?
        1. What are the Advantages of RAW Format?
        2. Digital Artifacts
        3. Color Anti-aliasing/Moiré Artifacts
      4. JPEG Instead of RAW?
      5. Camera Settings
        1. Using Histograms as an Exposure Aid
        2. Clipping in Individual Color Channels
        3. Using White Balance Settings to Produce Optimum Color Quality
        4. Objective and Subjective White Balance
        5. Choosing the Right ISO Sensitivity Setting
      6. From the Camera to the Computer
        1. Downloading and Organizing Your Images
          1. Our File and Folder Naming Conventions
        2. Renaming Your Files
        3. Backup
          1. Don’t Forget: Backup – Backup – Archive
        4. Handling Your Digital Originals
      7. The Digital Light Box
      8. Adobe Bridge
        1. The Bridge “Review” Mode
          1. RAW Preview Generation
      9. Metadata
        1. Writing and Saving Metadata
      10. Views
        1. Virtual Folders
        2. “Intelligent” Virtual Folders
      11. Buzzwords You Should Know
        1. Non-destructive Processing
        2. Non-modal Editing
        3. Selective Correction
        4. All-in-One Programs
        5. Image Attributes
    3. 2. The Basic Workflow
      1. The Five Phases of the Workflow
      2. Phase 1: Shooting
        1. Before Shooting
        2. For Every Shot
        3. During and After Shooting
        4. RAW, JPEG and TIFF Processing
      3. Phase 2: Image Transfer and Management
        1. Transferring Image Files from a Memory Card to a Computer
        2. Saving Your Image Files Safely
        3. Image Inspection
          1. Image Ratings and Other Flags
      4. Phase 3: Image File Conversion and Optimization
        1. Which Steps are Better Performed with a RAW Editor, and Which Using Photoshop?
          1. Processing RAW Image Data
          2. Processing JPEG Image Data
          3. Fine-Tuning an Image Using Photoshop
          4. Where the Philosophy Starts ...
      5. Phase 4: Output
      6. Phase 5: Digital Asset Management
      7. The Influence of Individual Tools on the Workflow
      8. Increasing Efficiency
        1. Keeping Your Workflow Consistent
      9. Develop Your Own Approach to the Workflow
    4. 3. Color Management Know-How
      1. Understanding Different Color Models
        1. The RGB Color Model
        2. The L*a*b* Color Model
        3. The CMYK Color Model
        4. Grayscale Mode
        5. HSB/HSL Color Model
        6. Color Spaces
      2. Understanding Color Management
        1. Why You Need to Understand Color Management
        2. ICC Profiles
        3. What is a Color Management System?
        4. Working Color Spaces
        5. Visualizing Color Spaces
      3. Mapping Color Spaces
        1. Assigning and Converting Color Profiles
      4. Creating Device Profiles
        1. Camera Profiles
        2. Printer Profiles
        3. Scanner Profiles
      5. Profiling Your Monitor
        1. Calibration by Eye
        2. Hardware-Based Calibration
          1. Calibration Settings
          2. Calibrating and Profiling Using Eye-One Display 2
      6. Photoshop Color Management Settings
        1. Working Spaces
        2. Color Management Policies
        3. Conversion Options
        4. Advanced Controls
        5. Setting your Monitor profile
      7. Printer Profiles
        1. Profiling Your Printer
      8. Installing and Uninstalling Profiles
      9. Soft-Proofing and Gamut Warning
        1. Gamut Warning
      10. Color Temperature and Hue
      11. Complementary Colors
      12. Working Spaces II
    5. 4. Image Processing Basics
      1. Don’t be Afraid of Photoshop
        1. Interface Differences between Photoshop CS3 and CS4
        2. Simple Image Rotation
        3. Image Inspection Using Photoshop
          1. Changing Magnification
          2. Screen Modes
      2. 8-bit or 16-bit Color Depth?
        1. Advantages of 16-bit Color Depth
      3. Image Size and Resolution
        1. Adjusting Image Size
        2. Scaling an Image
        3. Adjusting Image Resolution (ppi)
        4. Resampling Images
      4. Choosing a File Format
        1. Other Image File Formats
        2. Compatibility Settings
      5. File Information and Logs
        1. History Log
      6. Image Alignment
      7. Simple Corrections
        1. Basic Considerations
        2. Optimizing Tonal Range
          1. Clipping
        3. Flexibility through Curves
          1. Improving Contrast using the S-Curve
          2. Correcting Brightness
          3. Curves Gridlines
          4. Curves for Individual Color Channels
          5. Saving and Loading Curves
          6. Resetting Values
        4. The Shadows/Highlights Tool
          1. Correcting Shadows
          2. Highlight Settings
          3. Saving, Loading, and Save as Defaults
          4. Midtone Contrast
          5. Color Correction
      8. The Art of Sharpening
        1. The Three Most Common Types of Sharpening
        2. Unsharp Mask
        3. Unsharp Mask Filter (USM)
        4. Enhanced Sharpening Using Smart Sharpen
          1. Using Separate Layers for Sharpening
        5. Additional Sharpening Tools
      9. Color Corrections
        1. White Balance
        2. Correct White Balance
          1. Automatic White Balance
          2. White Balance using a Gray Image Element
        3. Making Corrections to Color Temperature
        4. Software Filters for Warmer or Cooler Colors
        5. Adjustments Using Hue/Saturation
          1. Understanding the HSB Color Model
          2. Color Corrections Using Hue/Saturation
        6. Color Adjustments Using Photo Filter
          1. Notes on Color Saturation in Digital Photos
      10. Selection Tools
        1. The Marquee Tools
          1. Making a Selection Larger or Smaller
        2. The Lasso Tools
        3. The Magic Wand
        4. The Quick Selection Tool
        5. Selection Using a Color Range
          1. Soft Selections
          2. Inverting a Selection
          3. Selecting Borders
        6. Saving and Loading Selections
      11. Retouching and Repairing Images
        1. Removing Dust Spots Using the Healing Brush
        2. Using the Patch Tool
        3. Combined Use of a Selection and the Clone Stamp
      12. Speed Up Your Workflow with Photoshop Actions
        1. Recording Your First Action
        2. Opening Dialogs in Actions
        3. Saving and Loading Action Sets
        4. Adding Steps to an Action
        5. Reorder or Delete Action Steps
        6. Changing Settings for Individual Action Steps
      13. Photoshop’s History Panel
        1. Snapshots
        2. Deleting Snapshots and the History Log
      14. Additional Information and Overviews
    6. 5. RAW Editing and Conversion
      1. Some Initial Thoughts
        1. How Much Editing in the RAW Converter?
        2. Integrating RAW Editors/Converters into the Workflow
        3. Choosing the Right RAW Converter
        4. RAW Conversion Workflow
      2. Important Aspects of RAW Processing
        1. Non-destructive Editing
        2. Which Processing Steps are Performed Where?
          1. Pure (Linear) RAW Conversion
        3. What to Look for When Choosing a RAW Converter
          1. Color Interpolation or Demosaicing the Bayer Pattern
          2. Camera Profiles and Tone Curves
          3. White Balance (WB)
          4. Exposure
          5. Histograms
          6. Noise Reduction
          7. Removing Moiré and Chromatic Aberration Effects
        4. Other Features of RAW Converters
          1. Graphical User Interface (GUI)
          2. Color Management
          3. RAW Browser
          4. Preview Image Size
          5. Saving and Applying Image Settings
          6. Selective Image Corrections
          7. Batch Processing
          8. Printing from a RAW Converter
          9. Integration in the Workflow
          10. Image Browser Integration
          11. Multi-Core Processing
          12. Arguments For and Against Auto Correction
        5. Other Useful Features
          1. RAW Conversion Workflow Sequence
      3. Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)
        1. ACR Preferences
        2. Workflow Options
        3. Sample of a Real World ACR Adjustments Workflow
          1. Initial White Balance Adjustments
        4. Synchronizing Image Adjustments
        5. Optimizing Dynamic Range
        6. Image Optimization Using Tone Curves
        7. Selective Tonal Corrections
        8. Saving and Discarding Changes
        9. An Overview of the ACR Interface
          1. Elements of the ACR 6.0 Program Window
            1. Toolbar
        10. ACR Image Adjustments Panel
          1. Settings in the Basic Tab
          2. Exposure, Recovery, Blacks, and Fill Light Sliders
          3. Saturation, Vibrance, and Clarity
          4. Detail Tab
          5. HSL/Grayscale Tab
          6. Split Toning Tab
          7. Lens Corrections
        11. Effects Tab
          1. Camera Calibration Tab
        12. ACR Presets
          1. Setting ACR Presets as Default
          2. Snapshots
          3. Settings Menu
          4. Saving Conversion Settings
        13. Batch Conversion
          1. Assigning Develop Presets in Bridge
      4. Other RAW Converters
        1. Capture One Pro
        2. DxO Optics Pro
        3. RAW Developer
        4. Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP)
          1. EOS Utility
        5. Nikon Capture NX (CNX)
        6. Silkypix Developer Studio (SDS)
        7. LightZone
      5. Even More RAW Converters
    7. 6. All-in-One Workflow Tools
      1. What We Expect of an All-in-One Tool
        1. When is the Best Time to Convert RAW Images?
      2. Apple Aperture
        1. Aperture’s Image Management Architecture
        2. Master Files are Never Modified
        3. The Aperture Workflow
        4. Editing Photos in Aperture
          1. Selective Adjustments
        5. Output
        6. Printing in Aperture
        7. Searching and Filtering
          1. Conclusions
      3. Adobe Lightroom
        1. The Lightroom Workflow
          1. Importing Images
          2. Browsing on the Light Table
        2. Correcting Images Using Lightroom
          1. Image Editing in Develop Mode
          2. Selective Image Corrections using Lightroom
          3. Lightroom’s Presets Panel
        3. Lightroom Output Modules
          1. Slideshow Module
          2. Print Module
          3. Lightroom’s Web Module
          4. Exporting Images from Lightroom
        4. Organizing Your Images Using Lightroom
          1. Search Filters
          2. Other Lightroom Functions
          3. Conclusions
      4. Bibble 5
        1. Conclusions
    8. 7. Photoshop Layers
      1. Layers Panel
        1. Elements and Buttons in the Layers Panel
        2. Buttons at the Bottom of the Layers Panel
        3. The Background Layer
      2. Your First Layer
        1. Changing Layer Opacity
        2. Blending Modes
      3. Using Adjustment Layers
        1. Switching Between Adjustment Layer Dialogs
      4. Making Selective Adjustments Using Layer Masks
        1. Understanding Layer Masks
          1. Blending Images
          2. Temporarily Deactivating a Mask
          3. Refining Masks
          4. CS5 Enhanced Refine Edge and Refine Mask Functionality
          5. Other Mask Options
          6. Masks Panel
          7. CS4 Color Range Enhancements
        2. Paths and Vector Masks
          1. Clipping Path
          2. Masking
      5. Flattening and Merging Layers
        1. Flattening Layers
        2. Merging Layers
      6. Smart Cropping
        1. Photoshop Crop Tool
      7. Removing Moiré Effects
      8. Auto Color Correction for Better Contrast
      9. Blending Layers Using Layer Styles
      10. Dodge and Burn Using Layers
      11. Loading Image Files into a Stack and Aligning Layers
      12. Smart Objects and Smart Filters
        1. Smart Objects
        2. Copying Smart Objects in Photoshop
        3. Editing the Contents of a Smart Object Layer
        4. Smart Filters
        5. Converting Smart Objects
      13. Organizing Layers
        1. Layers Panel Options
        2. Naming Layers
        3. Layer Groups
        4. Restricting Layer Effects to a Single Lower Layer
        5. Merging and Flattening Layers
      14. Other Aspects of Working with Layers
      15. Getting a “Layer Feeling” without Using Layers
      16. Selective Adjustment Using U Point Control Points
      17. More Tips for Working with Layers
        1. Layer Styles
        2. Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed up Your Work
    9. 8. Advanced Photoshop Techniques
      1. Correcting Saturation Selectively
      2. Some Tricks for Improving Saturation and Contrast
        1. Soft Light Blend Mode
      3. Correcting Perspective Distortion
        1. Simple Perspective Corrections
        2. Fine-Tuning Perspective Corrections
          1. A More Complex Example of Perspective Correction
      4. Correcting Lens Errors
        1. Correcting Distortion
        2. Correcting Lens Errors Using Photoshop
          1. Auto Lens Correction in CS5
      5. Correcting Color Casts in Shadows
        1. Using Photoshop Tools
        2. Color Correction Using Color Mechanic Pro
      6. Using Masks to Increase Luminance
        1. A Luminance Mask Example
      7. Correcting Images Using Brush Techniques
        1. Painting Using Layer Masks
      8. Advanced Sharpening Using Photoshop Layers
        1. Sharpening Using Enlarged Images
        2. Correcting Sharpening Halos
        3. Sharpening Edges
        4. Uwe’s DOP Sharpening Frame Action
        5. Sharpening and Defocusing Using the Same Filter
          1. Defocusing Using the Lens Blur Filter
      9. Adding Digital Sunshine to Your Photos
      10. Brush Off Noise
        1. Photoshop’s Reduce Noise Filter
      11. Enhancing Midtone Contrast
      12. Enhancing Local Contrast
        1. Sharpening Blurred Images
        2. Microcontrast Plug-ins
      13. Content-Aware Fill
      14. Fine-Tuning After Upsizing or Downsizing Images
    10. 9. Multishot Techniques
      1. Common Steps in a Multishot Workflow
        1. Shooting the Image Sequence
        2. Image Preprocessing
          1. Preprocessing Images for Merging
          2. Merging Your Images
          3. Post-Processing Your Merged Image
      2. Increase Your Angle of View Using Stitching Techniques
        1. Panorama Shooting Techniques
          1. Merging Techniques
        2. Merging Images Using the Photoshop Photomerge Command
        3. Stitching Using Autopano Pro 2
      3. Maximizing Depth of Field Using Focus Stacking
        1. Shooting for Focus Stacking Applications
        2. Preparing Your Images for Stacking
        3. Merging Images Using Helicon Focus
      4. Increasing Dynamic Range Using HDRI Techniques
        1. HDRI Shooting Techniques
        2. HDRI Image Preparation
          1. A Three-stage Process to Generate HDR Images
          2. Choosing an HDR Program
        3. Creating HDR Images Using Photoshop CS5
          1. HDRI File Formats
          2. Processing and Optimizing HDR Images
          3. Tone Mapping HDR Images in Photoshop CS5
        4. HDR Imaging Using Photomatix Pro
          1. Generating HDR Images Using Photomatix Pro
          2. Tone Mapping in Photomatix Pro
          3. Tone Mapping Using Details Enhancer
        5. Photomatix Pro “Exposure Fusion” Function
          1. Batch Processing with Photomatix Pro
    11. 10. Turning Color into Black-and-White
      1. From Color to Black-and-White
      2. Black-and-White Conversion Using the Channel Mixer
      3. Enhanced Black-and-White Conversion
      4. Black-and-White à la Russell Brown
      5. Black-and-White Conversion Using the Black & White Command
      6. Black-and-White Conversion Using Photoshop Plug-ins
        1. Black-and-White Conversions Using Silver Efex Pro
        2. Other Black-and-White Filters
      7. Black-and-White Conversion Using a RAW Editor
      8. Colorizing Images
    12. 11. Printing and Image Presentation
      1. Publishing Images and Image Data
      2. Printing Images on Paper
        1. The Journey from Pixel to Printed Dot
          1. How Image Pixels are Reproduced Using Printer Dots
          2. What are Lines Per Inch?
          3. How Many Pixels or DPI Do You Really Need?
      3. Printing on Photo Paper
        1. Consumer Print Services
        2. High-End Photographic Print Services
        3. Should I Make My Own Prints or Use a Service Provider?
      4. Printing Using Inkjet Printers
        1. Choosing a Fine Art Printer
          1. Printer Inks and Color Range
          2. Ink Types
          3. Manufacturer’s Own and Third-party Inks
          4. Printer Resolution
          5. Supported Paper Sizes
          6. Printer Ports
          7. Printer Speed
        2. Printing Strategies
        3. Printer Profiles
        4. Paper Types
          1. Paper Coatings
          2. Paper Surfaces
          3. Other Paper Characteristics
          4. Metamerism and Bronzing
      5. The Print Workflow
        1. Plan Your Prints
        2. Preparing Your Images for Printing
        3. Upsizing Images
        4. Paper Preparation
        5. Preparing Your Printer
          1. Allow Your Print to Dry
          2. Inspecting Your Print
          3. Archiving and Framing
      6. Printing Your Image
        1. Basic Print Settings
        2. Photoshop CS5 Print Dialog
        3. Printing Under Windows with the Epson R3880
          1. Printer Maintenance and Ink Levels
          2. Generic Epson Pro 3880 Color Profiles
        4. Color Printing with the Canon iPF6100 under Mac OS X
          1. Print Settings, Options, or Main Tab
          2. Printer Maintenance Tools
          3. Saving Print Presets
        5. Black-and-White Printing
          1. Black-and-White Printing Using an HP Designjet Z3200
        6. Finding a Printer’s Black and White Point
          1. Finding the Black and White Points for a Specific Printer/Paper Combination
          2. Limit the Tonal Range of Your Image
      7. Specialty Printing Software and RIPs
        1. Print Software
        2. RIPs (Raster Image Processors)
      8. Creating Contact Sheets
      9. Printed Frames
      10. Publishing Images on the Web
      11. Creating Digital Slideshows
      12. Other Ways to Present Your Images
        1. Self-print Photo Albums
        2. Digitally Printed Photo Albums and Books
    13. 12. Useful Photoshop Plug-ins
      1. Photoshop Extensions
        1. Filter Plug-ins
          1. A Potential Problem with Filter Plug-ins
        2. Automation Plug-ins
        3. Automation Scripts
        4. Installing Photoshop Plug-ins, Filters, and Scripts
      2. White Balance and Color Corrections
        1. Uwe’s Tuning Tools
      3. Reducing Noise Without Losing Detail
      4. Third-Party Sharpening Tools
      5. Correcting Perspective and Other Optical Anomalies
      6. Tone Mapping and HDR Images
      7. More Useful Tools
        1. Other Odds and Ends
        2. Notes
    14. 13. Data Management and Backup
      1. Managing Your Image Library
        1. Image Data Management Requirements
        2. Metadata is the Key to Image Management
          1. XMP
        3. Assigning Keywords and Other Attributes
          1. A Keywording Sub-Workflow
          2. Other Variable Metadata
          3. Performing Searches Based on Metadata
          4. Views
        4. Other Image Management Functionality
        5. Workflow Control
        6. Where Are My Image Files Stored?
          1. Keeping Originals and Processed Image Versions Separate
          2. Checking File Integrity
        7. Image Management Software
          1. Expression Media 2
          2. Comparing Database Software with All-in-one Workflow Tools
      2. Data Security
        1. The Risks Involved
          1. Data Loss due to Hardware Failure
          2. Data Loss due to Virus Infection
          3. Data Loss due to Human Error
          4. Data Loss due to Power Surges
          5. Data Loss due to Theft
          6. Data Loss due to Fire or Water Damage
        2. Some Practical Tips
        3. Which Data Should I Back Up?
          1. Operating System and Program Data
          2. Image Files and Other Media Data
          3. Database Data
          4. Working Data
        4. Backup Software
        5. Backup Media
        6. Storing Your Backup Media
          1. Checking Your Backup Data
          2. Making Fresh Copies
          3. Conclusions
    15. A. Resources
      1. Recommended Books
      2. Tools We Use Regularly
        1. RAW Converters and All-in-One Workflow Tools
        2. Color Management Tools
        3. Filters and Tools on the Web
      3. More Information on the Web
        1. Organizations and Institutes
        2. Other Information
      4. Inks and Inkjet Papers
    16. Index
    17. About the Authors