OK, now we have followed step-by-step the process work on photos from them being taken in camera as RAW or JPEG files to the production of a high-quality image file. What is commonly named “workflow”. Because things are a bit complicated and required quite a few verbose blog entries, here is a little drawing summarizing the different steps:
* Color Management aware application
For details (and starting from the top):
- RAW vs JPEG
- Quick Batch RAW conversion
- Reviewing JPEG files: keepers and non keepers
- Quick Post-Processing
- High Quality RAW Processing with Ufraw
- Final touch up with Cinepaint
I have also added an arrow to open a JPEG picture directly in Cinepaint for high-quality processing, in case the shot was taken in JPEG only – in that case, open the file in Cinepaint, convert it to 16 bits / channel (to use the maximum quality from now on) and then start editing your image.
Now, I am doing that daily (say, weekly) and find this workflow very smooth and easy going. Downloading files from the camera, batching the RAWs to JPEGs, checking out these JPEGs files for keepers, trying a few quickies in The Gimp and maybe have one or two images worth firing up Ufraw and / or Cinepaint.
However, when I see so many arrows all over the places, I just wonder: would it be possible to have an easier workflow that would be something like:
Well, you saw it coming from 500 yards, these “mystery guests” are called Adobe Lightroom (web, wiki) and Aperture (web, wiki). But they are neither open source software nor working on Linux. However there are a couple of interesting programs in the making based on that concept, that we will talk about in the next posts.
Since for once this post is more colorful (thanks to the pretty Tango icons) than the usual verbosity, here is my favorite picture of these days, shot in a close by arboretum (and processed with the “long workflow”):