Develop a sys­tem

Speed up your pro­cess­ing by con­sis­tently fol­low­ing a log­i­cal work­flow

NPhoto - - Competition -

There will never be uni­ver­sal agree­ment on the best or­der to use tools when pro­cess­ing, not least be­cause there are so many, but you won’t go far wrong with the fol­low­ing. Soft­ware en­gi­neers gen­er­ally de­sign the win­dows on the as­sump­tion that users will start at the top and work down­ward, but there’s no com­pul­sion. The way shown here starts off like that, but back­tracks once or twice.

1 Under Lens Cor­rec­tions, check Color and lens Pro­file. Color is al­ways worth cor­rect­ing, but treat the lens pro­file ac­cord­ing to your taste: dis­tor­tion cor­rec­tion can some­times lose some of the im­age near cor­ners, and may elim­i­nate a look you want to re­tain. Sim­i­larly, vi­gnetting is some­times a good thing.

4 Check over­all Exposure. flat­ten­ing ef­fect of steps 4 and 5 above. Ad­just­ment Brush, Grad­u­ated Fil­ter or Ra­dial Fil­ter.

5 Re­cover High­lights if they need it, but save any ma­jor ad­just­ment of bright ar­eas for lo­cal ad­just­ments (Ad­just­ment Brush, Ra­dial Fil­ter or Grad­u­ated Fil­ter).

8 Check that the white point is ac­cu­rately set us­ing the Whites slider (check the High­light clip­ping warn­ing at the top-right of the his­togram).

11 Ad­just Clar­ity only if es­sen­tial, and very cau­tiously. It tends to give a fake look.

12 Think twice be­fore ad­just­ing Sat­u­ra­tion or Vi­brance. Vi­brance pre­vents clip­ping by colour chan­nel, so looks milder than Sat­u­ra­tion.

6 Brighten up Shad­ows if needed, but only by a lit­tle. As above, save any ma­jor ad­just­ment of shad­ows for lo­cal ad­just­ments.

9 Check that the black point is ac­cu­rately set with the Blacks slider (check the Shadow clip­ping warn­ing at the top-left of the his­togram).

2 Use the Crop Tool and Straighten Tool if nec­es­sary.

13 Ex­am­ine the im­age at 100% mag­ni­fi­ca­tion for any dust spots, and use the Spot Re­moval tool if needed.

3 Tweak colour Tint and Tem­per­a­ture as needed.

7 Raise Con­trast to com­pen­sate for the

10 Ad­just over-light or over-dark ar­eas with the

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