Image processing workflow

My image processing workflow is pretty simple. I prefer to minimize post-processing by capturing images as close to their final result in-camera. For example, I use neutral density filters for most of my landscape photos rather than a software gradient. I don't use any complicated post-processing software such as PhotoShop, Lightroom, or Aperture. I have nothing against those programs; I just haven't learned how to use them yet.

I only use the following free tools for my post-processing:

  • Canon Photo Professional (CPP) - This is the free software that came with the camera. I periodically check for software updates on Canon's website. (For example, you can find out about the latest software available for the Canon 7D in Canada here.) I have configured Canon Photo Professional to only show raw images when there is a JPEG image with the same filename (using the checkbox at Tools->Preferences...->Display only CR2 images for CR2 and JPEG files of the same name).
  • Google Picasa - I have configured Picasa not to show raw images (using the checkbox at Tools->Options->File Types->RAW formats).

With Canon Photo Professional and Picasa in place, my workflow is as follows:

  1. Capture raw images in camera.
  2. Copy raw images to computer.
  3. Edit raw images using Canon Photo Professional. I almost always change each image's white balance and sharpness. I occasionally edit color saturation, shadow, and highlight and rarely use noise reduction.
  4. Convert raw images to JPEG images. I resize images to 1920x1280 to save a little space and because that's the maximal resolution supported by my Apple TV.
  5. Add captions using Google Picasa. I caption each wildlife photo with the species name so that I can easily find photos of that species later using Picasa's search bar.
  6. Upload JPEG images to SmugMug.