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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:44 am
Posts: 22
Sorry if i am breaking the rules but i am sick of search returning "The following words in your search query were ignored because they are too common words:"

So here goes:

I would like some of the more experienced post processors to PLEASE advise us mere mortals of the general rules and workflow they follow (example - white balance, exposure, hue, saturation - export blah blah). Currently all i do is move sliders around willy nilly in ViewNX2 then export for GIMP move sliders some more and who knows how it will come out.
I am seriously considering buying Lightroom 3 or 4 but have to draw the line at Photoshop and stick with GIMP as i am now starting to understand layers and masks in GIMP and do not have the funds for Photoshop.
I also have Photomatix and want to use to to produce both glaringly HDR'd photos and ones subtly improved.

Can you also recommend export settings when converting to JPEG/TIFF, settings that will keep photos crisp and clear up to say A3 size whilst keeping the file size as small as possible, this is purely a time saving requirement and hoping to have finished articles small enough to post on web, email and print out quite a decent size...

Yeah i know the newbie asks a lot LOL

Thanks to all for any hints and tips


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:36 am
Posts: 620
Location: Toronto, ON
Mine is pretty streamlined as it stands now:

1) Shoot all RAW, 99% manual exposure for consistency where applicable
2) Download cards to import folder via Finder (on Mac)
3) Open Lightroom 4 and sync import folder
4) Apply a preset per ISO per camera on import (automated, just have to set the "default develop settings" manually first)
5) Render Standard-sized previews (takes a little while)
6) Open first image in a set (select the image and hit enter, then hit Tab to make all the panels go away, then hit L twice to go lights-out)
7) Quickly run through images with arrow keys, rating "keepers" by hitting 4 on the keyboard
8) Filter keepers out
9) Start at first filtered photo, hit D to go into develop mode and play with sliders
10) Hit G go to back to the grid, ctrl/shift-click the photos shot in the same light/same settings and then Sync develop settings across
11) Go to the next undeveloped "keeper" and repeat 9 & 10 until finished
12) Export for intent:
- for web; @ 1440px on the longest side, 72dpi, standard sharpening "for screen", apply my watermark
- for print; @ full-size, 300dpi, standard sharpening for "matte paper", no watermark
13) Archive the whole folder on my external hard drive
14) After a year or two, delete the "junk"/undeveloped/non-keepers

I can edit ~3000 wedding photos down to ~500-700 keepers in about 3-4 hours of sitting down at my computer, depending on how well and consistently I shot. It's taken me years to get this down pat, and creating my own presets are what really save me a lot of time and effort... I rarely drag sliders around aside from some really nit-picky fine-tuning of shadows/highlights/white balance. I have standard noise-reduction levels for various ISOs, stronger for higher ISOs, and some post-crop vignette presets of various intensities (though shooting full-frame with fast lenses usually ensures I never use those presets anymore). White Balance is usually what takes the "longest" to get right, depending on the scene; the rest is gravy, and if I'm shooting consistently I can edit one photo out of a group of 6 or 7 and then just sync the changes to those other photos.

I don't do a lot of HDR (actually haven't touched photomatix in ~2 years?) but the workflow would be similar, except you'd save sharpening until the very end of your process so you don't introduce artifacts into your composites.

I have Photoshop, but I use it maybe 1% of the time, for things like liquifying or fixing really difficult skin blemishes. Lightroom has some basic healing/cloning brushes and is really all I need 99% of the time :)

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:44 am
Posts: 22
Thanks
Exactly the sort of routine i was looking to start with and chop and change to suit my needs.
I have just been watching some video tutorials on Lightroom 4 and it really is quite a powerful tool.
Well impressed,
So asking the wife to purchase it for xmas...
thanks once again - much appreciated


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:52 am
Posts: 94
+1 to what Plymer said.

I only recently moved to Lightroom and am still in the process of creating presets. Gotta say it makes a huge difference being able to automatically apply settings, batch sync them across multiple images and then batch export for different uses.

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Dan Marchant
I am learning photo graphee - see the results at www.danmarchant.com


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