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Old Jul 30, 2010, 2:27 PM   #1
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Default Post Processing - which do you change most?

I was looking at the posting of pictures, and I see a lot of great shots, that seemed to be tweaked with post processing.

My question is are there generic changes that most do, sharpness, saturation, etc? Is it specific to every photo, or do most change these and others all the time?
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 4:22 PM   #2
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Ok. I'll bite first. I use Irfanview to resize, add a small black border, increase contrast, sharpness and saturation. In the Irfanview options I make the last 3, plus 25. I don't know what it means but it doesn't seem too much. Before this step, I will have cropped to a 1.7 ratio usually cause I like 16:9. The odd time (very odd) I'll use Paint shop Pro to edit. Very seldom tho. I resize so the finished product is 1000 pixels wide. I know the rules for this forum suggest 1024, but really, does that fit on your monitor? It doesn't on mine.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 5:14 PM   #3
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My processing varies by the shot. Most shots I do the following:
1) Crop
2) apply unsharp mask (although values are different depending on the subject)
3) Save

Now, on landscape type shots i'm prone to bump saturation or apply a velvia affect.
If I didn't get my exposure perfect I'll do a level's adjustment. If I didn't get WB the way I want it, I'll make that adjustment.

Other edits I might do: dodging/burning if people, and if close up some cosmetic improvements to skin.

I think those are the most common things that I do.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 5:35 PM   #4
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When you say unsharp mask, what does that mean? I see people saying saturation to 30, hue to -9...would these be generic settings, or is it per individual picture. I was playing with a horse shot in a field, used this setting and saw the grass greener, etc...when I did the same to my a prom picture in my front yard, the wood chips were red'er, grass greener, but face color changed a bit...I am using Corel paint shop pro x2.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 6:05 PM   #5
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Unsharp mask is a tool most photo editing packages have - it's used to sharpen photos but it gives you 3 parameters that allow you to control the affect.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 6:29 PM   #6
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My editing is usually to

1.) invert images from sideways to upright as needed
2.) fix the brightness of an image if needed and some cropping.

but most of the time since I shot fire-rescue type photos I try to keep them unedited and true to what I captured in case they are pulled for court etc.

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Old Jul 30, 2010, 7:55 PM   #7
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I discovered this neat little tool in Nikon's ViewNX for removing purple fringing, so I use that regularly.

I'm also a big fan of the Shadows & Highlights, and the Levels tools in PSE, and use them selectively.

I also use PSE as well as MS Office Picture Manager to crop and/or resize.

That's usually the extent of my PPing efforts.
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 9:47 PM   #8
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Resizing tends to blur edges a bit, so I use unsharp mask to clean up from resizing. Other than that, I don't have any stock adjustments.

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Old Aug 2, 2010, 7:21 AM   #9
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I think it changes a lot depending on the picture but generally:

1. Crop (no point editing stuff I don't want)
2. Adjust white balance if necessary
3. Denoise if it needs it
4. A gentle pseudo-HDR if I think it needs it, or a histogram adjustment (gamma, midtones etc.) and/or the clarify tool in Paintshop Pro. Something to balance the light/shadow as I want.
5. Maybe saturation adjustment but usually not.
6. Any rotation, perspective adjustment or other transformation.
7. Resize to final size
8. Unsharp mask (0.5 radius, strength 100, clip 5)
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Old Aug 3, 2010, 6:12 PM   #10
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My post processing usually goes like this:

1. Straighten if horizon is not level.

2. Crop 4:3 aspect to 3:2 aspect since my wife’s SD550 does not have a 3:2 aspect option. This is because my wife always wants 4x6 inch prints for her photo albums. My FZ50 has a 3:2 aspect option so no cropping is necessary unless I straightened the horizon or want to isolate a portion of the image (though I've shot in 4:3 aspect often too.)
3. Overall exposure and white balance adjustment using Photoshop levels “if needed”.
4. Gradient exposure adjustment for group flash photos where the back people are under exposed.

5. Remove red-eye when needed.
6. Sharpen photos using the High-Pass sharpening method. (Only for photos that I think would benefit from it since we’re mostly making 4x6 inch prints.)
7. I don’t resize unless I’m going to upload the photos using the internet where exact smaller size will save upload time. Most of the time I just bring the max size photos to Walgreens or Longs (CVS) and load the images really fast there.

In step-2, in the past I’ve only cropped the 4:3 aspect to 3:2 for photos that did not have ample room at the top and bottom which will be cropped off when making 4x6 inch prints. Otherwise I just left them in the 4:3 format.
--- From now on I decided to crop every 4:3 image to 3:2 because:

a) we always make 4x6 inch prints as I already mentioned.
b) 3:2 aspect images have a better width to height ratio for displaying slideshows on wide screen TV sets than 4:3 images do. We always had 4:3 aspect TV sets before but recently bought our first 16:9 aspect TV set.


Last edited by skylark; Aug 3, 2010 at 6:24 PM.
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