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Old Apr 1, 2005, 2:24 PM   #1
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Let's hear 'em! What do you generally do to every photo once it is on your computer? Do you use Photoshop or Paint Shop? Do you resize them to 800 x 600? Do you keep them large? DO you play with the contrast / brightness? I'd like to hear what some of your general practices are for optimizing photos for your computer or the web.
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 3:15 PM   #2
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I use Paint Shop Pro 9. I have created a script that I use on just about all jpeg images. Before running the script, I burn the original, out-of-camera, images to CD with no editing. That way I always have the original image to start over if I really screw things up.

My script does the following:
1. Auto contrast adjustment (default parameters)
2. Clarify (default parameters)
3. Auto saturation adjustment (default)
4. Unsharp mask (default)

If, by looking at the original image, I know that this script is not going to work, I run each of the steps manually, adjusting the parameters as necessary. Often, I will skip the auto contrast, if the existing contrast looks ok. If the image is dark or lacks contrast, I may do histogram adjustments. I do color balance adjustment if required.

I do not resize the image except to post on the web. I save with only 10% jpeg compression.

For NEF (RAW) images, the procedure is much more complex and varies with each image, again saving a jpeg copy with 10% compression. I save the NEF image to CD first, as with jpeg's.

Cal Rasmussen
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 5:10 PM   #3
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I shoot with minimum sharpening and contrast to get the best image for post processing. They all look a little dull. I keep the originals but run a batch action in Photoshop so they look better.

For images taken horizontally
Defog – high radius and low amount in USM
Auto Levels – takes care of low contrast
Small saturation tweak
Regular USM – not a lot
Save in best quality JPG

I select the vertical images and do the same action with a 90 degree right rotate added.

Some photos don't look great after the action but most do. If I have the time and the images are likely to be used I go back to the originals and process myself with an overwrite to the tweaked folder those I didn't like the action on.

If I am going to print I usually start back with the originals and individually process them. I don't make gobs of 4 X 6 photos, so it is worth the trouble to work on them individually. The smallest I usually print is 5 X 7.

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Old Apr 2, 2005, 1:29 PM   #4
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I use Photoshop CS, but I think most of the things I do can be done in PSP or Elements 2 etc.

1. View - show - grid. and then straighten if necessary

2. Image - adjustments - levels. and play around until it looks goog

3. Select - colour range - highlights - (right click on image) select inverse - feather 20. and then step 2 again. I find this brings out skin tones really nicely with digital images.

4. Image - adjustments - colour balance. and play with the red and blue sliders. For me reducing the red and increasing the blue "slightly" enhances. Then do the same with the "highlights" tone balance box ticked, although even less adjustments made.

5. Mode - adjustments - shadow/highlights. Although I dont really use the highlights tool that much, and minimal shadows. Step 3 pretty much does this anyway, so if you dont have CS, use this instead.

6. You can sometimes purposely overdo it with the shadows tool and then use the curves tool to put the punchy contrast back in. It can add some Pzazz to your shots

7. I also sometimes use the replace colour tool and slide the saturation and lightness levels a bit. Again this adds punch to shots which is good for the stock libraries.

8. Oh I nearly forgot, if the image is an interior and the walls need a bit of perspective help, I sometimes, with the grid in place...Select All - Edit - Transform - Distort and kind of pull the walls back into straight lines (much cheaper than a perspective Tilt/shift architectural lens)!

Hope this kind of makes sense. I think its why it takes me a few days to have any photos ready after a shoot! :?.

All the best

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Old Apr 3, 2005, 11:07 AM   #5
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