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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Digital Workflow In 20 Easy Steps

Improve your efficiency in the digital darkroom

9. Local Adjustments. To locally adjust color or contrast in distinct areas, use layer masks or selections. Both allow you to isolate changes to specific areas of your images, such as a shadowed foreground.

10. Save Often.
Save periodically while editing an image. If you're performing extensive editing of a photograph, a system freeze or crash can result in having to start all over again.

11. Print Folder. Without applying any sharpening to the image, save the image as a master file to a special Print folder where you'll save all of your completed edited images. This folder can contain subdirectories for subjects, including landscapes, close-ups and wildlife.

12. Resize. Resize the image for the appropriate print size and rename it to reflect the size of the print, e.g., ARZ20058x10.001. This way, you can have easy access to different-sized files of the same edited image.

13. Sharpening. After resizing the print, apply sharpening using the Unsharp Mask tool or plug-ins, such as nik Sharpener Pro. You'll get the best results when sharpening at the intended print size.

14. Clean Printer.
Check your printer before outputting your first print. Perform a nozzle check and use the Clean function available in the print software's utility menu, especially if the printer hasn't been used for a while.

15. Printer Settings. When you're ready to print, choose the Print with Preview option and double-check to see that the image size is correct. Also, choose whether Photoshop or the printer driver controls color management. If you're using the printer for your color management, select the Let Printers Determine Color option in the Color Handling window (in Photoshop CS2); otherwise, use Same as Colorspace. More precise color control comes when you choose Let Photoshop Determine Colors. Then choose the printer profile that matches the printer and paper you're using.



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