Wednesday 15 April 2009


Firstly there is no right way of doing things, Everybody has their own way and what works for you may not work for others, I only shoot in RAW (Adobe RGB Colour space) and there are many different RAW converters like Adobes Photoshop and Lightroom, Paintshop Pro,Capture One,Canons DPP,Nikons NX2, Breezebrowser and Bibble to name but a few, I can only tell you what i use and how i use it at the moment but things are always subject to change, As i have mentioned on here before i use Breezebrowser purely to browse my images and delete the images that are not up to scratch, I also use it to rename the images and add some metadata-fast simple to use and cheap to buy,
Once i have my final selection of images in Breezebrowser i copy the RAW files into my WIP (work in progress) folder and also into their own folders say fox or waterfowl, I then open Photoshop CS4 and view the images in Bridge, after selecting an image and double clicking on it the image will open up in Camera Raw (ACR) where i will (if needed)
1,Check and Adjust Colour Temperature
2,Check and Adjust Exposure
3,Check and Adjust Recovery
4,Check and Adjust Fill Light
5,Check and Adjust Blacks
6, Add some Clarity,vibrance and Sat
Whilst in ACR i will level the image if needed, Maybe use the Grad filter if working on a landscape and may use the Adjustment brush to selectively lighten or darken parts of the image
The adjustment brush and grad tools are truly excellent and really easy to use-worth upgrading from CS2 or CS3 for,
So now we have finished in ACR we open the image into the main part of photoshop, Here i use adjustment layers and check and adjust
1,Levels (all RGB)
3,Saturation if needed
4,Selective Colour (Normally +2 black and neutrals)
Once these are done i go to Layer-Flatten image then check and remove any dust spots,At this point i may use some Highlight/Shadow and then Convert from a 16 bit to 8bit,The image is now finished and saved as a Tiff file-Full size, After this i then resize and save as a 1MG Tiff for agency submission and then Sharpen with USM (125/O.2/0) 3-4 times and save for the web (convert to Srgb box ticked) for web/website use. The full size Tiffs are saved in their perspective files as before and the images are then deleted from the WIP folder
This is basically my workflow at the moment, I do have Lightroom 2 and will be incorporating into the workflow soon, One thing i will say is that when processing try to be subtle in your approach,Dont over do the highlight/shadow and saturation, Try to make the image as natural as possible



  1. Very helpful Dave
    When if at all do you run noise reduction?
    i think you mean update from cs3 to cs4 for the adustment tool

  2. Dave,

    Interesting post, thanks for that.

    Do you keep images in specific folders, relating to subject e.g. fox etc, or rely on metadata to find images ?

  3. Hi Pete
    Yes i did mean its worth upgrading to if you have CS2 or CS3,If i run any noise reduction which is rare these days as the D3 is excellent in low light it would be at the end just before sharpening
    Hi Gary65
    I keep my images in specific folders but can search either in folder or with metadat-normally through folders though,As i say everybody has their won system and its just finding what works for you