Post processing plays a big role in today’s photographic society. Photographers are expected to be familiar and knowledgeable with editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom. It can be argued back and forth if this is right or wrong and whether such digital manipulation is ruining photography. But I see it as a tool, just as the darkroom was a tool to manipulate images. Whether it’s used subtlety, or for major composites, I think it is definitely an important skill to know.
As my photographic skills grew over the last few years, so did my thirst for better images. I have acquired a myriad of editing techniques that I use to process my photos in different situations. This is not a tutorial in Photoshop, but a brief explanation of my workflow processes, how I filter my images and process them from start to finish.
1. Before importing the raw files, I would create a new folder album and strictly name it according to the date taken, follow by a name of the event.
2. After importing the raw files, I could create more new folders inside the root folder, such as “unpick” to filter out unwanted files, or a named folder if I am going to edit. If I have taken multiple images for exposure bracketing, panorama stitching, or time-lapses, I would classify them into new folders. New folders signify a new scene. Sometimes if I am rushing for time, I would pick images straight from the camera card. This reduces the additional process of transferring the entire album and filtering them again.
3. In these folders, I would create two more subfolders: “Raw” and “Workfile“. The Raw folder would contain the CR raw and the metadata files after editing, and workfile folder would contain all of my photoshop files. Sometimes if I have two identical images, I would determine the best one to edit and discard the other into the “unpick” folder. This is my way of selection before I start my editing process. If it is a large album like a few days worth of images of a single event, I would archive these images in folders (after culling the bad ones) before I start editing. These images in the unwanted folder would be cleared away to free up more space.
4. After my editing, I would reorganise my root folder before I archive the entire edited album into my hard disk (copying over the original backup files), On my Computer, only the best image will be kept in jpeg form. I would discard the raw files and working files in my computer when I feel confident I don’t need them anymore. In case I need them again, I would retrieve from my hard disk.
5. I would use coloured tags in Mac to sort out which folders are done and which requires attention. I would also use these coloured tags to pick the strongest images in my album and create “unwanted” folder to cull more bad images again.