Saturday, December 15, 2012

Simplified Post-Processing Workflow

San Francisco Bay by Wayne-K
San Francisco Bay, a photo by Wayne-K on Flickr.

When shooting my Nikon D80 DSLR, I capture in NEF (raw) format and post-process my images in Lightroom 3. With my film camera, I have my negatives scanned by the photo processor and only use Lightroom 3 for cataloging and tagging my files (basically, I don't post-process my film shots). I was looking for a middle ground for my Panasonic LX5. Many of these images will be processed in Lightroom, but there are times I just don't feel like powering up the computer and expending time on post-processing.

I've been experimenting with post-processing on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Android tablet, using Snapseed. I customized two processing options in my LX, one for B&W and one for color. Both use less contrast and sharpening than the "standard" JPEG processing options in the camera. It's easy to add contrast and sharpening to JPEGs in post-processing, but very difficult to decrease it. Therefore, turning down contrast and sharpening up-front gives me the option to keep it low or to increase it later in post-processing.

It's only been a couple of days, but I'm enjoying the simplified workflow. The tablet boot up time is quick and Snapseed has enough functionality to be useful, but without being overly complex. I do wish, however, that Snapseed had noise reduction capabilities. The only issue I have so far is I'm finding a seven inch tablet a bit too small to post-process photos.

The wife and I had a "date day" today and caught the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train into San Francisco. We had a nice lunch at Waterbar and then spent some time hanging out in the Ferry Building. It was raining this afternoon, so hundreds of us packed ourselves like sardines in the narrow confines of the Ferry Building. I shot B&W film on my FM2 camera, but also took a few shots with my LX5 so I could play with it in Snapseed.

The opening photo was taken outside the Ferry Building, looking toward the bay. The photo below was taken yesterday, primarily to help me get acquainted with Snapseed.

Priceless Art Exhibit

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