Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Post-Processing for Blogging Purposes

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. 


Going Bananas

Rounds

Portrait of a stranger 1

Very Young

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. 


35 comments :

  1. Robin, thanks for sharing! Nice and sharp photos! I feel the images are different when using the Olympus Viewer compared with Lightroom as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeap, it is definitely better with the Olympus Viewer 3!

      Delete
  2. Beautiful pieces. Thank you for this guide. I've been working recently on photo clean-up for my own pictures and every little bit helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting to see " how you do it". For me it's Aperture and Nik software, altough I might give Olympus viewer a chance again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jos, no worries on whichever software chosen or used. As long as it works for you and your workflow and it gets you the results you seek.

      Delete
  4. Robin,
    Many thanks for the very helpful tutorial.
    SiewKS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries, glad to be able to share.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the tutorial! Out of curiosity. Why not use Picasa for the small "adjustments" instead for ACDSee? Any drawback with Picassa's processing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick, sometimes I do use the Picasa. ACDsee has more controls, especially when it comes to fine-tuning color balance (getting rid of color casts, or adding some color cast) which Picasa has some limitations (basic white balance control only)

      Delete
  6. I really like OV3 as well. The noise reduction when you shoot at high ISO is pretty astounding.

    ReplyDelete
  7. As always very nice job Robin. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Robin,
    Lazy me, I shoot JPG and Post Process in Light Room. And is actually Satisfied on the Amount of Shadow and highlights the JPG file stores.
    However Olympus Viewer looks to do a good Job on my initial test (Process JPG on Olympus Viewer 3).
    I will indeed return to my RAW on my next shutter Theraphy :)
    And will do a comparison of below.

    1.) Output if I Post Process RAW using Light Room
    2.) Output if I Post Process RAW using Olympus Viewer 3

    3.) Output if I Post Process JPG using Light Room
    4.) Output if I Post Process JPG using olympus Viewer 3

    this will determine my future work flow.

    As always thank you for your Guidance... More power to you... you are an Amazing person!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers! That is the way to go, do some experimentation and discover more!

      Delete
  9. Robin,

    I would very much like to learn from your video, but I get no audio (it does come in from other sites). All my audio icons say the volume is high enough to hear.

    Any suggestions?

    Lou Pepoy

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Robin,

    Nice to found your web and your pictures with Olympus look sharper and more detail differ from other Olympus user, would it be the raw converter make the different with the Lightroom most people used.

    Thank you,

    Paul Fan


    ReplyDelete
  11. How does OV3 compare to Huelight profiles? Any experience with these?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey Robin,
    Great pictures, great reviews, I feel that they are honest and truthful even though you are an Olympus employee.
    I read your blogs for inspiration everyday. I keep going back to your old posts for a refresh every other time. I love your macro work the most.
    In addition to your workflow for blogs, would it be possible to share your workflow for print. This should help me and lot of other people out here.
    Thanks and keep blogging and inspiring.

    Cheers,
    Santhosh.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for showing us your workflow, Robin. I had the same problem too: I tried using other RAW converters, but got frustrated that I could not reproduce the skin tones I got from the Olympus JPEGs. I originally avoided Olympus Viewer 2 because it was so *sluggish* to use. OV3 is much improved and finally I get a RAW converter where the *starting point* resembles the JPEG image and then I can adjust from there. Just what I want! I can't believe the ideal program was under my nose, for free too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Robin - this is fantastic! Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to post this. Very encouraging for folks like me that are looking to hone our photo editing skills.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great article ...Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.
    Software Photo Slideshow

    ReplyDelete
  16. Robin, you mentioned that "Those images are NOT for prints". Does that mean that the photos have to be processed further for printing?

    Ed

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the info. I use ACDSee Pro 7, mainly because it's so much faster processing changes and output from RAW to JPG. Processing times on your video seem similar to what I'm experiencing on my Win 7 Home Premium PC (4GB ram). Are there any tricks to speeding up OV3?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Where is there a Oly Viewer tutorial?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am interested your blog more information our site Post processing

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Robin, I know this is an older post but could you possibly put up before and after pics of some of your work?

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Robin,

    I've been trying out OV3 but can't seem to find a way to export in batch like I can in LR. It seems like OV3 only allows you to export one at a time.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Some time ago, my favourite RAW processor was 'Pixmantec Rawshooter'. Now, I'm trying OV3 with my E-M1 and am pleased to find that most of the features that I liked in the old software are present in OV3. Somehow, however, the old Rawshooter managed to make slider adjustments appear in 'real time' on the displayed image, whereas there is quite a lengthy 'processing' delay (even with a much newer computer) with OV3. I find that this makes it difficult to make fine adjustments and wonder if I'm missing something? How do you cope with the delay? I feel it's like trying to hold a conversation over a slow long-distance telephone line!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I also use some better tools for sound workflow management. I take better reviews of nice tools from here .

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Robin, can you explain what gradation really changes in the photo? I noticed that you used Low Key and then +0.6 EV. Why not using -1.0 EV instead?
    Is there a link or something to explain what gradation does? I saw that it is a feature only in Olympus cameras.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete