Chapter 1 describes the general workflow, split into sections covering what, how, and how to do things better. It includes descriptions of the RAW format and what it actually is, as well as efficient data transfer, file naming, and cataloging. There is also a glossary of buzzwords that will crop up throughout the book.
This book is not intended as a substitute for any user manuals, and you will sometimes have to refer to your camera’s manual or the online help for Photoshop, Lightroom, or whatever other program we might be using. The procedures, the relationships between the individual steps, and the overall workflow are what this book is all about!
Chapter 2 addresses the five main phases of the workflow and the individual tasks involved in each phase. Alternative methods and tools for some tasks are described.
Because digital photography is largely a color-based medium, Chapter 3 introduces you to photographic color and color management. The material is sometimes heavy going, and you don’t have to read it all before you proceed to the other chapters, but you will need to refer to it a fair amount later on.
Chapter 4 discusses the basic steps involved in processing digital images – in this case, basic Photoshop CS4/CS5 techniques. The methods described here are the basis of our digital workflow and are essential in helping you to understand the following chapters.
Chapter 5 concerns itself with converting RAW image files to suitable image processing formats. We will use either Lightroom or the Adobe Camera Raw 5.x component of Photoshop, but we will also discuss alternative software.
Chapter 6 addresses the new generation of all-in-one RAW editing, image processing, and image management programs.
The use of Photoshop Layers is an extremely versatile image processing technique that we will cover in Chapter 7. Thereafter, our workflow will be based exclusively on Layers techniques. Chapter 8 then delves further into advanced image processing, and includes a discussion of masking techniques and correcting perspective distortion.
Digital technology allows us to merge multiple images in ways that were either impossible or at least extremely complicated in the analog world. Chapter 9 is all about such multishot techniques, some of which will be new even to “old hands”.
Although digital exposures take place almost exclusively in color, monochrome photos are still an important part of a contemporary photographer’s repertoire. In Chapter 10, we will show you some of the many different ways to convert your color material to black-and-white.
Chapter 11 describes how to print your photos or publish them on the Internet. Producing a presentable image is, after all, what the previous chapters are all about.
Chapter 12 summarizes some of the additional plug-ins and add-ons available for enhancing and automating existing Photoshop tools.
Chapter 13 winds up the book and tells you how best to save, manage, and archive your images.
We have used a large number of our own images throughout the book. They are intended to remind you that the book is not only about the purely technical side of digital photography, but also about producing great images. We have tried to communicate an overall vision rather than attempt to produce perfect (but probably dull) images. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to process an image; the goal is to produce an image that pleases you and anyone else who views it, regardless of the technical processes involved.
In the interest of clarity, and also to save space, we have cropped some screenshots and reduced whitespace in others. This means that some of the illustrated screenshots and dialog boxes will look slightly different than your own.
Keep your vision fresh!
You can find a number of free scripts and other information mentioned in this book at: http://books.outbackphoto.com/DOP2010_03/. However, not all of the scripts will run with the 64-bit version of Photoshop.