Professional Photoshop Workflow Demonstrated - 16 Videos


TPF Noob!
Oct 11, 2008
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Lee's Summit, MO
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I was browsing YouTube a little while ago and found a complete post processing workflow, and made a blog post about it. He shows how to take an image straight from Adobe Camera RAW, all the way to the final steps to prepare it for printing. The set of videos is broken into 16 parts (after the introduction):
  1. Camera RAW part 1 - Introduction Adobe Camera RAW, and explanation of the basic tabs (especially “Detail”)
  2. Camera RAW part 2 - More about Camera RAW, including the “Basic” and “Tone Curve” tabs
  3. Workspace Setup - A bit about how to effectively set up your workspace with the tools & palettes you need
  4. Liquify Filter - Shows how to make small cosmetic changes to parts of the body with the liquify filter
  5. Cloning & Healing - Outlines basic uses of the healing and cloning tools to correct minor blemishes/spots in an image
  6. Shadows & Highlights - How to enhance the shadows & highlights of the image with the Shadows/Highlights tool
  7. Contrast with Unsharp Mask - A rarely mentioned use of adding realistic contrast to an image with Unsharp Mask based on the surounding pixels
  8. Dodging and Burning - Explores some of the basic uses of the dodge & burn tools (i.e. accentuate hair, enhance eyes, etc.) in a non-destructive way
  9. Levels - Color correction using a levels adjustment layer, with a detailed explanation of how levels work
  10. Curves - Adding contrast with a curves adjustment layer, while paying close attention to the histogram
  11. Hue & Saturation - Correcting minor color issues, and enhancing the saturation & vibrance of your image’s colors to make them pop
  12. Local Adjustment Layers - How to make targetted adjustments to an image to improve its presentation
  13. Adding a Vignette - A simple method to add a subtle, effective vignette to your photo
  14. Reducing Noise & Sharpening - Using some of Photoshop’s filters to make your image cleaner
  15. Enhancing with Noise (yes, adding noise after removing the original noise) - Adding a bit of texture to your image with a subtle layer or two of noise
  16. Preparing for Printing - A short explanation of steps to go through before sending the image to a printer
I learned a ton and figured it might help others out there. Be sure to check out the other videos on my site as well.
Just a cautionary note about the raw phase of these tutorials (I viewed the first two parts and halted).

Broadly speaking, there are two basic schools of thought about Camera Raw.

  1. These tutorials teach a minimalist approach: Do the least you can in ACR, mainly to prevent clipping of highlights and blocking of shadows. Don't worry about color, white balance, sharpening, etc. Defer those until you get the image inside Photoshop, "where we'll be able to do the magic," as this instructor puts it.
  2. The other approach is to do as much as you can while in Camera Raw. Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe teach this approach. Fraser often said that we should regard Photoshop as a plug-in for Camera Raw, and not the other way around. ACR is so powerful, you should make the most of its features before moving into Photoshop.
Although I agree with Fraser and Schewe, I'm not knocking the video tutorials linked above. But you should understand that if you follow this instructor's advice, you're adopting a minimalist approach to using ACR -- and that there is a substantially different and competing view. You may want to compare the two and make an informed choice.
Although I agree with Fraser and Schewe, I'm not knocking the video tutorials linked above. But you should understand that if you follow this instructor's advice, you're adopting a minimalist approach to using ACR

I definitely agree with you Peano, his whole process seems a bit excessive. What I really liked was the explanation of each little step in postprocessing that you COULD do. I'd never heard of the Shadow/Highlight tool, nor did I know that you can add contrast via unsharp mask. It simply gave me a lot of ideas for my postprocessing.

I've kind of gone back and forth between the two approaches ever since seeing his workflow, and am still kind of torn on what works best for me. I really enjoy tweaking every little aspect of a photo in Photoshop, but it's very easy to overdo or screw something up, and takes a LOT of time.

Thanks for your comment. I didn't mean to imply that this was the only way to process your images, merely it is one way.

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