POST PROCESSING SOFTWARE > back
Sorry to say, I learned late to shoot RAW + JPG. I grew up shooting film, so I was a little slow to learn the new digital aspects of photography. Now if the jpg is not satisfactory, or I wish to custom post process, then I have a fallback using the RAW to make corrections or adjustments.
Most of my photographs are for selling product. I need to be able to shoot a lot of pictures and have them come directly out of the camera sufficiently good for selling on Ebay. I need an image good enough to show the item as clear and accurately as possible, taking the least amount of time to accomplish that. I have two lighting stages, one for 3d items and the other for flat items. I don't use a tripod because there is not the space for it and I need the freedom move in or out or change from portrait to landscape as needed. If an image is not technically perfect, that is ok, the image displays an item on Ebay, item sells and any imperfections are overlooked by the buyer in preference for knowing what the item was for purchase. Simple practicality reasonably balanced with aesthetics.
I also use two scanners, an Epson V600 for photos, slides and negatives, then a large format Viisan scanner for reproducing fast high resolution images of antique paper for sale online. I will write a little more about my scanners and link to it in my graphics pages soon.
Update March 2021: Digital photography, at least for myself is an ongoing process of learning and I can only absorb and implement one new skill set at a time, a logical progression from what I have learned previously. In the quest to photograph coins and antique jewelry with the necessary color representation, I found I needed to add X-rite Passport Color Checker 2 to my camera bag. Now there are only a few programs that support the use of the "Color Checker" in RAW development. Adobe Lightroom Classic was the best choice for me with develop controls similar to Affinity Photo and only $9.99 / month.
X-rite Passport Color Checker 2 & Adobe Lightroom Classic: Using "Color Checker" really makes a difference in producing very accurate colors despite viewing on various screens and devices. I am extremely happy with the choice to purchase and use both of these new tools. PPCC is very easy to use from Lightroom and it even allows me to choose Dual Illumination to generate a color profile that is effective for my camera over a wide range of lighting situations. For my purposes that works well enough for shooting coins, jewelry, antiques and collectibles for sale online without a separate color profile for every change in lighting. I shoot an item, it goes online and usually within a week or two it is gone, so a reasonable effort at accuracy is more than sufficient. Then if I want to do more, I can. Also, lightroom has an easy workflow to color correct and RAW process for my needs. However, for more detailed post processing my choice is Affinity after color correcting.
X-Rite ColorChecker Passport in Lightroom by Simon Maxwell video Visit his website more details and an e-book, Creating Custom Camera Profiles With the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.
Digital School of Photography: How to Choose the Right Color Profile For Sharing Images Online
Advice about icc colour profiles by colour managment
X-rite Automating Color Control in Lightroom
Step by step how to... Using Camera Profiles in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC
Photo Print Quality – Adobe RGB vs. sRGB Working Space
FastStone Image Viewer: Practicality being primary, I use FastStone Image Viewer. It is an amazingly powerful, fast and easy program to use for managing files, folders, viewing, moving, and making quick adjustments for the items I sell or for web design. It is a free program, but I contributed $ because I found it sooo useful. If you try it, let me know what you think. Visit their website to see all it's features.
Affinity Photo: For RAW processing and other advanced editing I use Affinity Photo. Affinity is available for one low price with no subscription and regular updates. It is powerful, has more features than I will probably ever use and there are 90 official desktop training videos availble. I tried some of the free programs, Gimp, RawTherapee, Corel After Shot & Paint Shop (packaged with Fuji XP) and they did not gain my support. I am very happy and impressed with Affinity Photo. I am very practical and will not spend hundreds, if not thousands for a subscription over time. For a professional photographer or cinematographer a subscription to Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom has it's advantages.
Pentax DCU: After learning my lesson from shooting only JPG, I now shoot RAW+JPG usually in Natural. So when using my Pentax K-70 I have the option of post processing directly into any one of the 12 Custom Image Profiles using the Pentax Digital Camera Utility 5 (DCU) and making adjustments from there. Profiles include Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Radiant, Muted, Flat, Bleach Bypass, Reversal Film, Monochrome, Cross Process. Read more about Pentax Custom Image Profiles and see samples here. Until I become more adept at using Affinity Photo, these profiles give me plenty of artistic lattitude without much effort.