Digital Workflow In 20 Easy Steps
Improve your efficiency in the digital darkroom
3. Back Up. Back up image files to an external hard drive or recordable DVD or CD. It's far less expensive to have a backup than to pay someone to retrieve data from a failed drive.
4. Delete. Go through your images and delete the obvious bad photographs; they just take up precious hard drive space. Then use your image-editing application or browser, such as Adobe Photoshop, ACD Systems ACDSee, Extensis Portfolio or iView Media Pro, to rank your top images.
5. RAW. When shooting RAW, adjust overall exposure, contrast and white balance and then Save As under a file name per Step 6.
6. Working File. Open an image, but before editing it, use Save As to create a duplicate. Rename it to reflect that this is an edited file. I'd rename my Arizona image as e-ARZ2005.001, for example. This "e" preceding the file name easily tells me the image has been edited and differentiates my original from my edited file. Save it under the native format of the software you're using.
7. White/Black Points. Begin the editing of your image by using Levels to establish your black (shadow) and white (highlight) points. Use Curves to adjust your midtones and contrast. Adjustment layers will create distinct layers for Levels and Curves, which you can return to for minor adjustments.
8. Color Correction. For overall color correction, use the selective color controls in Hue/Saturation or the Color Balance adjustment to make global color changes.