post processing

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Nige Danton, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. Nige Danton

    Nige Danton Guest

    There have been some stunning before and after post processing photos
    posted here in recent times. I've got zero experience of post processing
    other than a bit of exposure adjustment and sharpening using Mac OSX (Lion)
    built-in software. The photos posted here have been remarkable and I'd like
    to learn how to do something similar.

    So, where do I start? Presumably I'll need some software - whats the

    If it matters I'm shooting with a Nikon D7000 and an 18-105 lens. I shoot
    in RAW and jpg.

    Thanks for any help.
    Nige Danton, Mar 13, 2014
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  2. Nige Danton

    Sandman Guest

    You need to show you examples of post processing you want to learn more
    about. There have been lots of photos posted here, in many varied post
    processing techniques, so it's hard to make an assumption.
    I always recommend Photoshop.
    RAW contains more data than JPG, so post processing from RAW means you have
    more to work with, which helps in most instances.
    Sandman, Mar 13, 2014
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  3. Nige Danton

    Savageduck Guest

    You are going to get all sorts of recommendations from all of us
    regulars in these photo news groups, and we all hold some strong
    There are some free options, some affordable ones, and some quite
    costly. Each of us have developed a workflow which suits us as

    Since you are using a Mac, I guess you are using iPhoto, which is quite
    capable for basic snapshot adjustments. If you want to take a further
    step at a reasonable cost, I suggest looking at Pixelmator. That is a
    powerful full featured Mac photo editor which also has a fair number of
    good video tutorials.
    < >

    Many of us use Adobe software which has a large support and tutorial base.
    The most affordable is Adobe Photoshop Elements.
    < >

    As somebody who shoots RAW, my workflow is achieved with Adobe
    Lightroom 5, and Photoshop CC. I have become comfortable using that
    particular software, but ultimately it depends on what you want to
    invest in time and money.
    < >
    < >

    Take advantage of tutorials available online. There are also quite a
    number of free podcasts by some of the best who provide this training.

    As I said you are going to hear all sorts of opinions, and I am just
    putting mine out there.
    Savageduck, Mar 13, 2014
  4. Nige Danton

    PeterN Guest

    The question you asked could easily start a war here. Try to ignore the
    flames. It is also difficult to recommend a specific program since we
    don't know what you are looking to do photographically. It could be
    anything from simple shots to remind you of what you saw, to complex
    works of art, and/or anything in between.
    Most commercial programs will do decent image processing. Try starting
    with a basic program such as Adobe Elements, or Corel Paint Shop Pro,
    both under $100. Adobe LIghtroom is a bit more advanced, and Photoshop
    even more complex. So much so, that unless you are prepared to spend a
    lot of time just learning, it is easy to become frustrated. Having said
    that, I personally use Adobe Photoshop, CC. I had started with Corel PSP
    and quickly found it did not meet my needs. I took some web courses,
    went to lots of lectures, and hands on workshops, and am basically
    proficient. Before converting to digital, I had a small wet process
    darkroom. I say all this just to let you know where I am coming from.
    You might want to take advantage of some of the free trials available,
    just do a basic tutorial, and see which one you are most comfortable with.
    If you go the PS route, you will find Scott Kelby's books quite helpful.
    The writing style is a bit wordy, but easy to follow:
    I have tried some of the free programs, and think that they are too
    frustrating to use. Other people like them.

    PeterN, Mar 13, 2014
  5. Nige Danton

    Sandman Guest

    Very much! On the topic of post-processing, Photoshop Elements is very
    able. Few post processing techniques require the use of layers. Granted,
    many layer functions of Photoshop CC are very handy in post-processing, but
    not necessary.
    LR is a full image database and file management application and it's a bit
    over the top for mere post processing. Plus (as far as I'm aware) LR
    doesn't support Photoshop plugins (correct me if I'm wrong) but Elements
    does, so there's a plethora of cheap or free plugins out there you can use
    for your post processing needs.
    I wouldn't recomment the Gimp even to Tony :)
    iPhoto is free and has some really neat post processing tools, but compared
    to Photoshop, it's sort of meager.
    There really is no standard RAW format, at least not used by the major
    manufacturers. They all have proprietary formats that has to be
    reverse-engineered by people that want to read them. That's why NX2 is
    the only application that can *write* to the RAW format.

    Adobe really wants people to use the open DNG format, but few manufacturers
    do, and Nikon and Canon probably never will.
    Aperture has great post processing tools. I use it a lot.
    Sandman, Mar 13, 2014
  6. Nige Danton

    Savageduck Guest

    Sorry Jonas, this is one of those times you are wrong. LR can, and does
    use a whole bunch of Photoshop plugins including but not limited to the
    NIK Collection, the OnOne Suite, and Tiffin DFX.

    From a view point of processing RAW files, LR5 is far from being over
    the top for "mere post processing", it probably has one of the simplest
    and logical RAW workflows.
    ....and the same is true for LR5.
    Agreed! However, Floyd and Sid are not going to agree, but then they
    aren't using a Mac as the OP does.
    I should have added Aperture to my list of Mac appropriate PP apps, but
    to the affordable and powerful Mac specific apps the Mac user can also
    consider Pixelmator, or Acorn.

    < >
    < >
    Savageduck, Mar 13, 2014
  7. Nige Danton

    Guest Guest

    depending on what you want to do, either lightroom or photoshop.

    lightroom is a good all in one solution that does most adjustments and
    also includes asset management so you can keep track of all the various
    versions of the photos. it also is a non-destructive workflow.

    photoshop is an extremely capable image editing app but it lacks some
    of the stuff lightroom has. depending on what you want to do, that
    might matter or it might not. also, a non-destructive workflow is quite
    a bit harder with photoshop because it's not designed for it. it's
    possible but it takes a lot of effort.

    photoshop elements is a terrific way to get started and it's about
    $50-60. it's more than enough to keep you busy learning for a while. in
    the event you outgrow it, then you can get photoshop cs/cc.
    Guest, Mar 13, 2014
  8. Nige Danton

    Guest Guest

    Photoshop CS is very expensive ; plus, the learning curve is step.[/QUOTE]

    he doesn't need cs.

    elements is more than adequate, especially for someone just getting

    if it turns out that he needs more, he can get cs/cc later on.

    there is a wealth of tutorials, online videos, books and more for
    photoshop (which means both versions) to get started. there is also a
    huge choice of plugins available for all kinds of special effects.
    elements has layers.
    excellent recommendation, but depending on what kind of post processing
    he wants to do, that might not be the best choice. lightroom does most
    of the common stuff, just not everything. it's also non-destructive
    which is a *huge* plus.
    the gimp isn't anywhere close to photoshop cs. it isn't even a match
    for elements.

    it's still around ten years behind photoshop and even lacks some stuff
    that photoshop 3 had (not cs3, but version 3) back in the mid-90s, some
    *twenty* years ago. the gimp requires a lot more work to do many tasks
    plus it's not optimized and runs substantially slower than modern apps
    do on the same hardware.

    it's not even worth free, it's that bad.
    there is a lot of free software, but in many cases, you are the
    product, as you mention.
    picasa isn't much better than what he has now on his mac.
    Guest, Mar 13, 2014
  9. Nige Danton

    Guest Guest

    I dont recomment the Gimp either, merely signaling that for
    post-processing photos, it can do as much as PS CS, a lot cheaper but
    not simpler ![/QUOTE]

    the gimp doesn't come anywhere close to what cs can do, including the
    decade old cs itself, nevermind the current version, cs6.

    the gimp even does less than what photoshop elements can do, and what
    little it does do usually requires more steps and is slower once those
    steps are done.
    all raw formats are proprietary in one way or another. however, most of
    them have been reverse engineered.
    Guest, Mar 13, 2014
  10. Nige Danton

    Guest Guest

    not compared to what can be done in camera raw, it isn't.
    what you also fail to realize is that it doesn't do anything that can't
    already be done on a mac with built in software.
    Guest, Mar 13, 2014
  11. Nige Danton

    Tony Cooper Guest

    Within the past 24 hours or so, you were on your high-horse about the
    fact that I had posted a reply without first Google-searching your
    Sony camera. And, here you are, commenting on Elements without doing
    your due-diligence.

    Elements includes Layers, and has for several versions. Missing from
    Elements is the ability to use a Layer Mask, but Layers is there.

    Lightroom accepts PS plug-ins.

    Lightroom is no more over-the top for editing than CS or Elements.
    Some might say it's less complicated, but that's not a definable
    statement since it depends entirely on to what extent editing will be
    done on an image.
    The learning curve for Gimp is no different than the learning curve
    for CS, Elements, or Lightroom for basic editing. It is a bit more
    difficult to learn only because there are fewer tutorials, and some of
    the tutorials are not as well done as the ones for the Adobe products.
    I don't know what you mean there by "few manufacturers do". Do what?

    Adobe's Bridge will automatically convert .NEF files to .dng files
    during import if you tick the box, but Adobe products process .NEF
    Tony Cooper, Mar 13, 2014
  12. Nige Danton

    Tony Cooper Guest

    And vice-versa. LR lacks some things PS has. The better system is
    having both LR and either CS or Elements.

    It takes some care, but not effort. "It's possible" suggests that
    it's very difficult, and it's not at all very difficult.
    Tony Cooper, Mar 13, 2014
  13. Nige Danton

    David Taylor Guest

    I use mostly Paint Shop Pro, which is a low-cost program, not requiring
    a recurring subscription payment, and the excellent Kolor Autopano Pro
    for combining multiple images. Image management is with PIE (Picture
    Information Extractor). Free software I use includes JPEGcrop (lossless
    cropping) and GeoSetter for geo-tagging.

    I very rarely take RAW, preferring to get the exposure right in the
    camera. I run on Windows, so some of these packages may not be available
    for your OS.
    David Taylor, Mar 13, 2014
  14. Nige Danton

    Savageduck Guest

    Other than the cataloging/library features they are very similar
    animals even down to using the same RAW processing engine.
    Once you consider PS comes with Bridge, you just have a slightly
    different workflow to learn to gain similar benefits from either LR or
    For most photography oriented folks LR is all that is needed. Once you
    add in a need for major cutting & pasting, then PSE or CS6/CC should be
    added. Also, if you are doing any compositing, PSE won't cut it, then
    the LR5 + PS CS6/CC workflow option is the way to go.

    RAW processing with the version of ACR packaged with PSE is well short
    of the features found in LR5 and PS CS6/CC.
    Savageduck, Mar 13, 2014
  15. Nige Danton

    Guest Guest

    some of them. not all. photoshop supports a wide variety of plug-ins.
    it's more difficult because it was designed by geeks who don't know
    much about ui/ux design. photoshop was desgined by photographers and
    graphic artists *for* photographers and graphic artists, and it's been
    refined over the years.
    support dng in the camera, which very few cameras do. nikon/canon never
    that's after the fact.
    Guest, Mar 13, 2014
  16. Nige Danton

    Guest Guest

    it's effort.

    contrary to your belief, a non-destructive workflow does not mean save
    a copy of the original. far from it.

    a non-destructive workflow means previous steps can be adjusted long
    after the fact and to do that in photoshop requires effort. you have to
    deliberately use smart filters, smart objects, adjustment layers, etc.
    every time you make a change. the moment you adjust something without
    doing that, it's destructive.
    Guest, Mar 13, 2014
  17. Nige Danton

    Guest Guest

    Other than the cataloging/library features they are very similar
    animals even down to using the same RAW processing engine.
    Once you consider PS comes with Bridge, you just have a slightly
    different workflow to learn to gain similar benefits from either LR or

    bridge sucks.
    agreed but it sounds like he wants to do fancier things than what
    lightroom is suited for.
    eventually maybe, but it's nothing that matters right now.
    Guest, Mar 13, 2014
  18. Nige Danton

    Savageduck Guest

    bridge sucks.[/QUOTE]

    Hence LR ;-)

    Actually, Bridge has improved over the years, and is an important tool
    for those who use the other parts of either the Creative Suite, or the
    Creative Cloud.

    It sounds like he wants to do fancier things than iPhoto or Preview permit.
    Savageduck, Mar 13, 2014
  19. Nige Danton

    PeterN Guest

    If you want cheap, you can get Photoshop CS2 from Adobe, for free.
    PeterN, Mar 13, 2014
  20. Nige Danton

    Eric Stevens Guest

    As I understand it, an edited Nikon NEF file contains the original
    unedited RAW file plus a list of the camera's settings plus what is in
    effect a script of the edits that have been made since. The edits made
    by NX2 do not alter the RAW data but give instructions as to how it
    should be interpreted by NX2. The list of edits can be removed at a
    later date leaving only the RAW file. Alternatively multiple sets of
    edits can be stored in the saved NEF file. As far as I know all the
    non-Nikon applications other than NX2 which read an already edited NEF
    file ignore the embedded edits.
    Eric Stevens, Mar 13, 2014
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