This is an important aesthetic choice that influences all the other decisions about an image, so I do this first.
2 Reduce Nois e
If necessary, this should be done early. In Photoshop things get more complicated if you wait until after retouching. To retain flexibility, either run noise-reduction filters on a copy of the background layer or turn the background layer into a Smart Object.
Whether removing dust spots or a distracting telephone pole, I like to complete this odious chore early. In Photoshop it also makes sense to manipulate pixel layers before adding adjustment layers.
4 Convert to Blac k and White (optional )
It’s better to convert to black and white before adjusting tonality.
5 Make Overall Tonal Adjustments
This means setting the overall brightness and contrast. Ignore small areas at this stage; make the image look good as a whole, knowing that small regions can be modified later. Since tonality affects colour, leave decisions about saturation until later.
6 Make Overall Colour Corrections
(colour images only) This includes overall colour balance and saturation. Again, you’re concerned with the overall image at this point, not specific areas.
7 Make Local Adjustments
Dodging, burning, and other local corrections should come after you’ve set the overall appearance.