I found this amusing on Flickr. Possibly as I was a participant in the hijinks.
Flickr: Technique: Standard Photo Color Correction
I’m wondering what people do as standard procedures when processing their photos into a final version.”
i adjust/correct photos for a magazine publishing company, so this is mostly RGB adjustments for a custom CMYK profile.
like lifeinpixels…this is mass processing, so this all goes pretty fast. Most simple images would be around 15 seconds.
first thing i do is crop and use the perspective correction aspects of the crop tool to correct for lens distortion, if needed.
1. Shadows/Highlights [if needed] for subtle adjustments of dark areas. Careful not to make it glowing-round-the-edges crap.
2. Fix things using the healing tool and the clone tool on a new layer, adjust opacity of that layer for some things–like wrinkles, etc…to bring them back slightly. Helps it not look plastic.
3. Curves adjustment layer, to brighten up a bit, set the gray point.
4. CMYK gamut warning view to see which colors are completely f*cked.
5. If it doesn’t look to bad, i convert to CMYK, hit my size/resolution/save as macros.
6. If it is really bad and the color is important–bigger images needed or its a beautiful red flower in a sea of green–i’ll continue to use hue/saturation, levels, and curves adjustment layers–with the CMYK gamut warning on–and try to make the colors survivable. Then step 5.
7. Stretch, get more coffee.
8. I also use the layer mask functions for the adjustment layers, so i’ll have one for the sky and one for a building and one for the foreground, depending on what is needed.
I tend to never use auto–even though i’ve adjusted it so that my black and white clipping points are at .01% or so, and do a fairly good job.
Brightness/Contrast is avoided at all costs…i always recommended to students that they learn to use Levels for brightness/contrast adjustments, so that you can see the histogram and you have more control.
I also tend to use series of layers…even several curves layers for instance, rather than trying to get it all perfect with one. I like warmer shots…some correct a bit more towards cool…a lot of it is very subjective unelss you have specific guidlines.
**i don’t correct flickr images, i just load them up. call it lazy, call it art.**
Campin’ Guy says:
How many times do you do Step 7, Phil?
well, admittedly, step seven is the slow part of my work procedure.