Friday, 16 March 2012

Exercise: Your own workflow 1, Part 2

The second part of this exercise looks at the computer side of the workflow. Here is my planned workflow:

Workflow flow chart, Post-shoot

I started following the workflow above, but when it came to deleting photos I was not happy, so I created a folder called /delete/ and placed the .jpg and .cr2 photos I thought I would delete in that folder. That gives me the option of double checking at the end of the process that I really want to delete them, and do so then. It is a little less final than doing it in the first round of checking.

I started with 60 images, including 3 with grey card. I tagged all my images. I set Digikam on full screen mode, and go through using the star system as detailed in my flow chart. Any images with zero stars went to the delete folder (apart from the grey card images) after this first round. I moved 24 images, leaving 33 with one or more stars. I then deviated again from my workflow, and displayed all 3 star images and changed some to 2 stars. I also displayed all >2 star images and changed some to 1 or 3 stars and did the same for all 1 star images. Basically I did an extra review afterwards which I had not included in my workflow above. This left me with 8 images with 3 stars. Being more rigorous with my star system really helped me to  get to these 8 images more quickly than I would have otherwise, as did using the /delete folder.

Here are my 8 images:

8 images with 3 stars
I then decided to do further starring and chose my favourite image 2147 to open in Photoshop. For this exercise I decided to try editing from the raw file but was unable to produce an image that I liked as much as the out-of-camera jpg. For this reason I then opened the jpg in Photoshop and edited from there. I saved as a tif (with suffix _003 as I had made two attempts on the raw file and wanted to keep the naming separate) to preserve the layers and prevent degradation of image quality. On a layer copy of the background I removed two tiny reflections in the glasses of my model which I thought were distracting (from the flash) using the clone tool. I also used very minor curves adjustment at 50% opacity to increase saturation slightly. I then saved my image and checked how it looked in Digikam compared to the original jpg. Once I was happy with it, I saved the file as a jpg, and also resized to 8 by 12 and placed in my /upload folder ready to upload to the web. In this case I have left quality at the maximum so that my tutor can see the file at its best, but perhaps for general uploading to the web it would be sensible to decrease the quality slightly?

Final chosen image
So in summary I am happy in general with my workflow, but needed to make changes, mostly to the post-processing part. I am still in the early stages of learning about post-processing, and have found this exercise very useful as a way to document and learn about the pros and cons of various options. I have also looked at other student's blogs and seen what their workflow is, which has assisted me. I imagine that my workflow will continue to evolve as I learn more through this course, so this will be an interesting exercise to return to review later.

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