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tomorrowstreasures
01-22-2009, 09:14 AM
Looking at Mr Laszlo's portfolio reminded me of an issue I have, and am probably not alone in. His portraits are crisp, clear, colorful, rich and full. With digital, I am finding that my images lack what film does...all the things that Mr Laszlo's has. There are plenty of digital images that prove to be of the same quality as Mr Laszlo's. I want mine to be of those! :D My question is: what file type should one be using to save the critical data that produces those lush images whilst working on any given image until it is ready for printing or internet use? jpeg, tif, so on and so on... What is the file workflow ? meaning, does one first save at x type file, then when prepared for final use - ie: printing - switch file types?

Ben H
01-22-2009, 09:20 AM
All raw digital images are soft and dull - they *all* require post-processing, *especially* if shooting in RAW (because the camera is not applying any sharpening, colour and contrast boosting etc).

Depending on the image, I will use Lightroom to tone up the image, do any colour or contrast shaping, sometimes add clarity, and then go to Photoshop for sharpening (Lightroom can do sharpening, but it's on output only, and I like to burn in the sharpening on my processed image copy.)

tomorrowstreasures
01-22-2009, 12:10 PM
and I like to burn in the sharpening on my processed image copy.)


Ben, would you mind explaining this further?

Ben H
01-22-2009, 12:47 PM
My basic workflow (obviously, it will depend on what neds to be done, but) when having just done a session.

Import images into Lightroom.

Perform a rough edit (typically, this is to flick through the images, rating, throwing away obvious bad pictures (out of focus etc), quick fixes to white balance and exposure if necessary, and choose appropriate camera profile settings.

This is a pretty quick process in general, and it's just to basically keep the library in order, rather than to make the pictures "nice".

Now, if I'm going to do something - let's say I'm going to use an image for some print artwork. I will find the image or images I'm interested in, and work on those in Lightroom. Generally it means working through the parameters from top to bottom, and includes adjusting exposure, contrast, vibrance, colour, temperature and so on, vignetting, black/.white conversions, all that kind of stuff.

If I want to make local changes, I will do that (using adjustment brushes in Lightroom to work on particular areas of the image, dodge/burn type stuff), cropping, gradients and other bits and pieces - whatever I feel is necessary.

From here, I'll go into Photoshop, and either do any advanced retouching (if necessary), and then do my final sharpening (usually with unsharp masking), and save out my final image. (So my final processed image has the sharpening rendered in - I always have the RW original in LR if I need to go back.)

If I'm going to put something up on the web (like here for example), I'll add it into my frame template, resize down the the web-appropriate size, do some more sharpening (resizing to small sizes loses sharpness, so I usually do a quick "sharp" filter in Photoshop, then fade that sharp filter back to where it looks ok (the default is too much on a small web image).

Save that version out and upload it.

That's typically my workflow - probably not much different to anyone elses using similar tools.

Does that answer your question..?