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Old Mar 6, 2003, 4:55 PM   #1
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Default Optimal workflow

I'm gradually getting the hang of image editing and would appreciate some suggestions on the best workflow.

I download images to My Pictures folder, immediately copy them to Shared Pictures folder (these are my negatives that remain untouched-when they reach 700 mb, I burn them to CD for safe keeping in 2 locations), then return to My Pictures and do all editing (crop out only the obnoxious or obvious stuff, PSE, maybe Neat Image, etc., and, finally, unsharp mask, for the first sharpening), and Save As a pdf. I keep this as my "edited negative" in the appropriately named subfolder in My Pictures. This also remains untouched, unless I redo it after learning better techniques. I'm going to learn to do all this in layers some day.

For the final output process, whether resizing for web display or resizing for print, I do this on a copy of the pdf file. I'll resize and then apply the second unsharp mask. My understanding is that you degrade the image if you apply sharpening a 3rd time, therefore, in camera sharpening is turned off.

These final images are saved (jpg for web, and tiff for printing at Costco or Walmart) in a subfolder in My Pictures folder that I named "OUTPUT". This folder has the same set of subfolders as found in Shared Pictures and My Pictures. This allows me to quickly find whichever version I want of any image.

Is there a more efficient way to do this? I've read that you should never sharpen the edited negative, and only sharpen it after resizing for the output process. This is to prevent too many attempts at sharpening. I would think, however, that my workflow avoids oversharpening. Is my reasoning sound? Am I assuring the best quality possible with this workflow, forgetting, for the moment, my utter lack of composition and exposure skills? :-)

This workflow leaves me with 3 sets of images. Of course, I delete them from the disk after burning them to CD, and I have 20 gigs of hd on my laptop. This still is considerable redundancy. Is this overkill?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old Mar 6, 2003, 7:14 PM   #2
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I should clarify my question. I tried to get too cute and phrase it for the future when I know how to use layers. At the present time I don't use layers and simply do all the editing on the background layer. So I don't sharpen the edited image, in case I want to re-edit at a later date. Thanks.
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