I have been receiving many requests to share my workflow for post-processing which I have used for the photographs shown in this blog. I know I can ramble on and on with long descriptions, then it hit me life would be so much simpler if I can just create a screen video capture and just show it here!
From the video screen capture, you will find that:
1) I use Olympus Viewer 3 to convert Olympus RAW images (.orf files) to JPEG.
My main reasons for using Olympus Viewer 3 is to fully obtain the original Olympus JPEG files, preserving the signature colors (which I think is the best, very true to life and pleasing to the eyes in comparison to any other camera manufacturers). On the other hand, the Olympus JPEG engine is so efficient in pulling out every bit of details from the image, doing a much better job than other softwares I have encountered. I have toyed around with Lightroom and Photoshop and just could not obtain that amazing Olympus skin tone and colors, as well as the amazing fine details.
2) I made very slight adjustments to the exposure compensation, white balance, gradation and noise filter when necessary.
For example, if the image is underexposed, I will add exposure compensation until I get the balanced image. If the image was shot at high ISO setting (ISO3200) I will use the noise filter "standard".
3) I use Snapseed (PC Desktop version) to enhance my Black and White images.
I find the "drama" setting and "high Contrast B&W" to work wonders.
4) I use ACDsee7 with Powerpack to further fine tune the images, very slightly, mostly on contrast, and minor color tweaks.
5) I use Picasa mainly as a tool to manage my photographs, and quickly resize in a batch and upload to Google+ which is fully integrated with my blogging platform, the Google's Blogger.
It is easy to synchronize everything when you use multiple services under the same mother service provider, as you can evidently see from this blog entry, I use Blogger, Picasa, Google+ (online albums and photo hosting) and Youtube, all under Google.
6) The images were already resized BEFORE upload.
This step is extremely crucial, NEVER upload the original full size image for blog display. In the video, you will see that initially I uploaded the full resolution images and it took very long to upload, and is a waste of time and online resources. For blog display, I resize my images to 1200 width, and with the already resized images, I uploaded them and displayed in full, without allowing the photo-hosting site to further resize or recompress my images. This way I get to maintain the exact quality as I have processed from my computer with minimal (if none at all) digital degradation as displayed on my blog.
7) Speed and efficiency are my priorities
Normally when I come home from a shutter therapy session, it would only take me about an hour to off-load my images from the memory card (it helps if you have a fast card and an USB 3.0 capable card reader), select the best 10-20 images and fully post-process them and have all ready for upload and blog use. Add about another half an hour for me to compose (perhaps an hour if I have a longer blog body) my blog, I can have my blog entry updated within 2 hours, or even one hour if it was a short one. After all, I believe a hot bowl of noodle soup is meant to be served while still hot.
8) Those images are NOT for prints
Obviously. The way I process my images were only to be used for web display. They are quick, and very easy to do with minimal steps. I only do correction when necessary. I do not spend half an hour editing one photograph. I would rather spend most of my time out there shooting instead.
Portrait of a stranger 1
Portrait of a Stranger 2
Do bear in mind that these are my own post-processing methods and steps that work for me, and are by no means the "correct" or "recommended" way to process your images. Do more research, experiment by shooting more and processing your images and find the best workflow that is optimized for yourself.