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First Steps in editing a picture !!

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Hi Everyone

An "Older Newbe" with a Nikon D5100 Camera.  I have just purchased "Affinity Photo"  and a little overwhelmed over all that this program offers. 

I will certainly look at all the Tutorials.

I have a question for the "Guru's" here....

Regardless of what the Photo is, is there a standard procedure that you do every time when you are editing a photo. 

 

Thanks

Ron

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Ask 10 members, and you'll probably get at least 15 answers (none of them particularly wrong). That having been said, I am one that always shoots RAW, so the first thing to do is Raw Development. You can do this in the Develop persona of AP, or you can do this in third-party software. Personally, I use DxO PhotoLab, since it can batch process multiple photos at once, which is something AP can't do at this point.

In Raw processing, I tend to take a minimalist approach. That is, I don't try to get a final result out of Raw development. I try to use my RAW developer to its strengths, which I see as setting white balance and exposure correctly. So, I try to get the exposure I like (and try to avoid getting any clipping, especially at the white end), and I try to get an acceptable white balance.

After this, I export to TIFF and do the rest of my editing in Affinity Photo. If you use the Develop persona, keeping the RAW development within AP, this would mean setting exposure and white balance in Develop and then hitting the "Develop" button to move over to the Photo persona.

In practice, this means that the image that comes out of the RAW development is usually pretty flat, and needs increased contrast, saturation, and so forth. This is easy in the Photo persona. Getting the color and the tonality nailed is something that your RAW developer does better, though. That's at least how I start.

Many folks like to get a finished product out of Raw development, and they're not necessarily wrong about it. I don't do it that way, which is not the same as saying that I'm right to do so. I think if you look at many of the video tutorials that James (Ritson) has produced, you'll see he uses the Develop persona the way I do, aiming to get a pretty "flat" result. The rest of it is done in the Photo persona.

I'll bet you'll get lots of other opinions, many of them the polar opposite of what I just told you. Play around with it and find the workflow that you like. There are no rules, you know.

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Thanks @smadell

I was tinkering with Photoshop a couple years ago and remember watching a tutorial video where the emphasis was to look first for "Noise" and then, removing the "Noise" .  Unfortunately I   never quite understood that but that experience is the only thing that I can remember about editing a photo. Is there someplace in the software where I can do this?

Ron

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De-noise filters exist in the Photo Persona (as a Destructive process, or as a Non-Destructive process via Live Filter Layers). Also, noise reduction (and addition, if you're so disposed) can be done in the Develop persona.

52153509_NoiseFilters.thumb.jpg.67127cb33643e61d1a32448e14ed5846.jpg

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As @smadell said, there are lots of different 'standard' procedures that are not particularly wrong, but how 'right' they are will depend greatly on the photo & what you want to do with it. For example, a photo might be perfect in all technical respects (focus, color & tonal balance, exposure, & so on) but you decide it would be better if the background was defocused, maybe with some artificial bokeh, to draw the eye to the foreground subject. You might want to remove or soften skin blemishes, remove something distracting from the background, or any of innumerable other things, both technical & artistic.

So that is where you should start, even if you do not yet know how to do any of those things in Affinity Photo or Photoshop, or any other photo editing app. One of the great things about Affinity Photo is it offers tons of non-destructive procedures, so you can experiment to see what you like best without having to commit to any of them. So it might be a good idea to learn which ones are non-destructive ASAP, but it is still a good idea to duplicate the originals while you are learning that, because some things are destructive.

All that said, if you want to check out a popular 'standard workflow' I think the Cambridge in Colour Digital Photo Editing Workflow tutorial is hard to beat. For that matter, all the site's tutorials are excellent, covering a lot of highly technical details in a very easy to understand way.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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10 hours ago, R C-R said:

I think the Cambridge in Colour Digital Photo Editing Workflow tutorial is hard to beat.

It's hard to fault that!  The next question though is does the order matter?  I've heard people argue pro and con when discussing LR / PS.


AP user, running Win10

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2 hours ago, IanSG said:

The next question though is does the order matter?

The paragraph just above the "White Balance" section of the Cambridge in Colour tutorial has some good info about that but the intended use, composition, & other factors may sometimes make a different order a better choice.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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1 minute ago, keyboard said:

I guess I should have asked, "because I am just starting my journey, I am looking to form good habits when editing Photos". 

Where is the fun in that? xD

Seriously though, good habits are important but so is experimenting with ideas & techniques that may not conform to any standards, de facto or otherwise.


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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Set white and black points, set white balance, adjust gamma/curve, noise removal if needed. Geometry adjustments and local corrections as needed. Sharpening in final stage.

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5 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Set white and black points, set white balance, adjust gamma/curve, noise removal if needed. Geometry adjustments and local corrections as needed. Sharpening in final stage.

Yes, this is what I am looking for.....  To me, it is important to have a good foundation to grow on. Thanks 

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You might find Simon Foster's (aka Drippy Cat) free tutorials for beginners of help. My apologies if this is too basic - from what I understand you're new to photo editing so his free courses and/or his courses on Udemy might address your questions about a fundamental workflow.

 

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7 minutes ago, EdD said:

You might find Simon Foster's (aka Drippy Cat) free tutorials for beginners of help. My apologies if this is too basic - from what I understand you're new to photo editing so his free courses and/or his courses on Udemy might address your questions about a fundamental workflow.

 

Thank you very much....

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26 minutes ago, EdD said:

You might find Simon Foster's (aka Drippy Cat) free tutorials for beginners of help.

There’s more from Simon here: https://theeagerlearner.com


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.6 (iPad Air 2)

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On 6/30/2018 at 2:45 PM, smadell said:

Personally, I use DxO PhotoLab, since it can batch process multiple photos at once, which is something AP can't do at this point.

Hi smadell, I'm currently trying to work out a batch RAW processing approach. When you use DxO Photolab and develop each of the RAW files, what filetype do you save-into in order to pass onto Affinity for using the Photo Persona? 

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DxO can export to JPG, TIFF, and DNG. I export to 16-bit TIFF. I don’t use JPG, since this is not only “lossy,” but is also limited to 8-bit files. I also don’t bother with DNG, since I use the exported files only as intermediaries; typically I delete the exported TIFFs as soon as I’m done processing in Affinity Photo. After all, I can re-create the TIFF files from DxO at any time, and all they would do is chew up disk space.

When I export, I tend to use the ProPhoto color space, since that affords me the widest gamut I could possibly need.

I export the TIFFs into their own folder, and then open them one by one in AP for editing. After edits are finished, I delete the TIFF folder entirely.

As an aside, I also use Fast Raw Viewer for culling my RAW files, prior to developing them in DxO. I find FRV to be fast and simple, and it’s much less expensive than Photo Mechanic (which many folks think of as the “standard” for culling).

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8 hours ago, smadell said:

DxO can export to JPG, TIFF, and DNG. I export to 16-bit TIFF. I don’t use JPG, since this is not only “lossy,” but is also limited to 8-bit files. I also don’t bother with DNG, since I use the exported files only as intermediaries; typically I delete the exported TIFFs as soon as I’m done processing in Affinity Photo. After all, I can re-create the TIFF files from DxO at any time, and all they would do is chew up disk space.

When I export, I tend to use the ProPhoto color space, since that affords me the widest gamut I could possibly need.

I export the TIFFs into their own folder, and then open them one by one in AP for editing. After edits are finished, I delete the TIFF folder entirely.

As an aside, I also use Fast Raw Viewer for culling my RAW files, prior to developing them in DxO. I find FRV to be fast and simple, and it’s much less expensive than Photo Mechanic (which many folks think of as the “standard” for culling).

Thanks. Do you ever save while editing in Affinity Photo? What I’ve found is I end up having many .afphoto files laying around; I’m concerned that I’ll need to revisit editing a particular image, but unfortunately these .afphoto files can eat a lot of disk space. 

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I always save the Affinity Photo files. What I discard are the TIFF files. Without getting into too many specifics, I end up with. three folders when I’m done with each batch: 1) a folder of Culled RAW files; 2) a folder of Affinity Folder files, with all the edits; and 3) a folder of JPG files, exported from Affinity Photo.

The files I trash are the RAW files that I chose not to edit, and the TIFF files that only served as an intermediate, lossless file to go from DxO to AP.

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