Preparing Photos for Dreamstime


posted on 18th of october, 2011

Before I submit any image to Dreamstime these are the steps I take:

1. First I select the best photograph of each subject series based on composition, lighting and sharpness. If it is not sharp already I don’t consider submitting it.

2. Next I straighten and crop it in Photoshop to fit the rule of thirds.

3. I then slightly reduce the shadows, if necessary using the Photoshop Shadows/Highlights function and a Shadows Amount of around 5-8.

4. Next I enhance the lighting and colours using the Curves and Saturation functions.

5. Last I check for noise and sharpen every image using the Noise Ninja plugin. If the noise index is above 19 I click on the filter tab and adjust only two settings: Smoothness I set as low as possible either 0 or 1 and the USM amount not higher than 70 and typically 60-70. Many people recommend this as the first step but I have more success using it last.

6. Then I re-check the noise index with Noise Ninja to make sure it is below 19.

I would be very interested to learn about other contributors’ preparation steps and workflow.



Comments (22)

Posted by Effavale on November 06, 2011
It's very intersting this part of your blog:
5. Last I check for noise and sharpen every image using the Noise Ninja plugin. If the noise index is above 19 I click on the filter tab and adjust only two settings: Smoothness I set as low as possible either 0 or 1 and the USM amount not higher than 70 and typically 60-70. Many people recommend this as the first step but I have more success using it last.

6. Then I re-check the noise index with Noise Ninja to make sure it is below 19.

So I try to follow your method !
Thank you!
Posted by Nycscripts on October 31, 2011
Very helpful, thanks for posting.
Posted by BCritchley on October 27, 2011
The other job I find useful is to check plain light areas such as blue skies at 100% for any signs of dust spots or even distant birds and clone out anything found.
Posted by Anhong on October 27, 2011
Oh very detailed work! I also do. But some pictures really like. In the picture quality is not strictly controlled. There are many beautiful pictures need to prepare early enough. In short, to minimize regret.
Posted by Libux77 on October 26, 2011
very useful! thx
Posted by Waihs on October 26, 2011
Very good method, thank you very much!
Posted by Calyx22 on October 20, 2011
Great images! I use Lightroom 3 for adjustments, cropping, etc. If there's touch up work to be done, then I import into photoshop and do that there, and add a little sharpening. I've not used Noise Ninja, but I've heard lots of things about it (all good). Are you happy with it? I'd love to hear more!
Posted by Yadamons on October 20, 2011
Thank you for very nice workflow and sharing
Posted by Akulamatiau on October 20, 2011
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by FabioConcetta on October 20, 2011
Thanks for sharing!!! good job and good day!^_^
Posted by Nwanda76 on October 19, 2011
Thanks for the tips..
Posted by Nero67 on October 19, 2011
Thanks for sharing!!!
Posted by Laurasinelle on October 19, 2011
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Egomezta on October 19, 2011
Great info, I do exactly the same but I only use Corel Paintshop Photo Pro, perhaps it isn't the most powerful program but works for me, and it is really easy to use.
Posted by Vilaimages on October 19, 2011
I didn't know you could measure the amount of noise with Noise Ninja. I wonder if it can be done with Photoshop too. Very interesting.
Thanks.
Posted by Marugod83 on October 19, 2011
I use almost the same process. Instead of Photoshop, I work with Lightroom.

Of course, ONLY Raw files

Useful blog for beginners
Posted by Kharyadi on October 19, 2011
Thanks for sharing, very similar with mine. But for sharpness issue, sometimes i have to downsized the image to get an appropriate sharpness.......
Posted by Peanutroaster on October 19, 2011
Thanks for sharing. I do most of my work in LR3. Do a quick check for rejects, check for sharpness, adjust WB if need, try Auto Exposure to see it makes the image any better.

Adjust exposure if needed, strengthen blacks. Sometimes I try the "Punch" preset which increases clarity and vibrance. I may touch saturation on a landscape.

Sharpen and noise reduction in LR3 at 100%. (I find all my photos need a bit of noise reduction).

If logos or trademarks need to be removed I export it into Photoshop Elements 9.
Posted by Mariaam on October 19, 2011
Thanks for sharing! This is very useful!
Posted by Scaramax on October 19, 2011
Good one, I will check Noise Ninja, never heard about before..

My system is much more simple:
- check and erase unsufficiently sharp (just in normal viewer)
- crop, adjust, clarify and denoise in Adobe Lightroom (generally in this order)
- check again in normal viewer

I do take pics in biggest JPEG, have no need of raw. Used previously more programs to adjust images, but by the time I found LR sufficient for all my needs. By the time, I stopped to make more complicated adjustments for bad photos. Only for (as mentioned above) denoise I´m still considering some external program.
Posted by Llareggub on October 19, 2011
Your workflow is very similar to mine, however I work the curves and saturation in adobe raw from bridge before opening in photoshop and selectively use the shadows and highlight fiunction by adding a layer mask and only if it is required.

The last thing is also my noise reduction process just like yours although I tend to visually check for noise at 100% rather than use and index but may give it a go :D
Posted by Joezachs on October 18, 2011
Some good tips here....... no wonder my pics are getting rejected.



Comments (22)

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Photo credits: Nigel Spiers.

About me

I got the photography bug in 2002 when I purchased my first digital camera - a Casio point & shoot. However I really became keen when in 2006 I bought my first DSLR - a second hand Nikon D70. More recently I have added images of musical instruments, recording equipment and Christmas themes isolated on white backgrounds. In the last few years I have also taken photographs of my home town Christchurch, New Zealand, the damage caused by three devastating earthquakes and the rebuild of the city.

(Nigelspiers)
Christchurch, NZ

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