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different ways to post-process photos?

edited October 2014 in post-production

 I use Lightroom or another program just to change sliders in exposure, Darks,
lights, maybe a little luminescence, Saturation, and maybe sharpening. Some of
the things you guys do with layers must be so time consuming, not sure how you
fit it all in if you do photography for a living. I don't use layers. I tried it
a few times and was quite overwhelmed by it, and it did seem VERY involved. I
don't think I have a great need for it for the limited events and occassional
portrait sessions I do. Probably laziness on my part not learning layers and
masks and all that stuff...Seems like overkill if you're not a full time
photographer...The times I get paid for my work, I haven't had any complaints,
so learning Masks and Layers on the BACk BACK burner. If you can change my mind
and convince me I need these things, by all means, please do. Hey, anytime we
can better out craft, all the better.


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited October 2014

    It's is a steep learning curve with masks (I am not talking about 'brushing' on an blank mask layer, I am talking about masks created via different channels using Calculations/Apply Image/Channels) but so worth it.

    Knowing what to do/where to start is a huge entity in itself, so it's YouTube time. Google using masks etc. and see what you come up with.

    Once you get the hang of it, you will be absolutely astounded at how much you can improve an image like the eye saw it on the day.

    I am very lucky in that having my background in image editing for the past 18 years it's second nature to me, and once you can build an action/s to apply for different parts of an image you can very quickly apply.

    eg: Sharpening, I use 500% with .08 Radius, try that on an image especially with skin tones and see what you get, but, if you apply it through a mask (red channel to protect skin) you will get a much superior result than applying say 100% at .5 Radius.

    Here is sample of a Sharpening Mask, 500% with a 0.8 Radius, huge in normal terms, but see how I used an Inverted Red Channel to protect the skin tones and the eyes & eyelashes, hair, and other parts have a fantastic sharpening applied but not in the skin.


    Now here is a As Shot (jpeg extracted from RAW) and an edited version to which I applied an action to bring out the Shadows/Highlights, all through masks, but then I got fantastic sky detail as I saw it on the day, by running an action using Apply Image with Multiply to darken the blues through a mask, but then added a simple gradient from top down to only reveal the sky part.

    You cannot do that in ACR/LR/Capture/Aperture at all with Layers/Masks.

    Time to edit this image was less than 1 minute tops after exported out of LR as a PSD file.


  •     Trev,

                    Looks and sounds like a HUGE learning Curve! Sooo much to learn. guess I've been lucky with the few enhancements I mentioned with my photos.


  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited October 2014
    When I use Lr it is down and dirty. Mass edits and I don't spend much time masking or using layers in other programs. The only mask I use is the masking slider in the sharpening tab which is set at 80. I created custom presets for each camera so it automatically applies the NR for ISO level, lens correction, adjustments in in the Presence sub tab (clarity and Vibrance), camera calibration, etc. I just crop if necessary and work primarily with the shadows, highlights, etc in the Basic tab like you do.     

    I will only export to PS to do advanced clone stamping to get rid of unwanted objects. Usually about 1 or 2 out of a hundred that I missed because I was busy. 

    Trev does some nice editing and has his process down. You might consider using presets to achieve these boosts. There are tons of free ones and some very good ones you pay for. Well worth it. If I'm doing 10 images then I'll take more time to work on them.

    Unfortunately Lr does not offer actions but this is where the custom presets and the additional presets come in handy. 

    FYI. I shoot with Canon. I used to hate Adobe colour so I would convert my RAW files to Tiff and work in PS. It was en editing nightmare. Adobe has come a long way in the several years and the camera profiles like faithful, etc match pretty closely. Over time I transitioned to using Adobe Standard that still was a little on the yellow side for skin tones compared to Canon's DPP, which is a more on the red side. I got a few tweaks in another forum for any Canon shooters that may want to try it.

    Red Primary    -   Hue +4    Saturation -4

    Blue Primary    -  Hue +7    Saturation -6

    The person set his Blue Primary Hue at  +10 but I found +7 more pleasing to the eye.

    Another method is the Colour Checker Passport if you have the time.   
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