Reader Input on a Potential eBook on Post Processing Requested

Let me begin this article by thanking each and every reader for the comments that you have posted over the past number of years on this photography blog – your input and comments are always appreciated! If it’s not too much trouble I would really appreciate feedback from as many of you as possible on the potential of me creating an eBook on post processing. 

On a recent article one of our readers, Bernie McIlhatton, specifically suggested that I consider producing an eBook on post processing with emphasis on some of the things that I do in post with my images.

Writing about a topic like post processing can be a daunting task, especially since the marketplace is chock full of DVDs, CDs and books on this topic. I certainly do not consider myself to be anything close to an ‘expert’ on the use of any specific software programs so I am somewhat hesitant to take on an eBook project on post processing.

Having said that, I may be willing to create a post processing eBook as long as it stayed within particular parametres, and most importantly, would be helpful for readers.

Let’s look at a few sample images to try to illustrate a concept that my wife and I have been working on.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

First, here is a small ‘before and after’ comparison of a jpeg made from a RAW file without any corrections, and one that took less than 3 minutes in post to create.

Here are some larger images to give you a better view…

The first one is a jpeg made from a RAW file with the DxO PhotoLab auto corrections turned off.

Jpeg made from RAW file with DxO PhotoLab auto corrections turned off.

Now, here is another jpeg from the same RAW file with the DxO PhotoLab auto corrections turned on.

Jpeg made from RAW file with DxO PhotoLab auto corrections turned on.

The final image is a jpeg made from the same RAW file using DxO PhotoLab auto corrections, as well as some additional tweaks in PhotoLab, some adjustments in CS6, and a few tweaks in the Nik Collection. The total time to create the following image was less than 3 minutes including computer processing time.

Jpeg made from RAW file using DxO PhotoLab, CS6, and the Nik Collection. Total time to create including computer processing time, less than 3 minutes.

So, I have a basic question for all of you. Would you be interested in an eBook about post processing that provided information on a limited number of very simple, easy-to-do adjustments that could help improve the look of your photographs? The eBook would not be a typical, highly technical dissertation about all of the highly complex adjustments that are possible.  It would illustrate how using a very small number of adjustments can help improve an image. Obviously it would focus on the programs that I use: DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

So, please let me know what you think and if this kind of eBook would be of benefit to you. Leave a comment on this article or contact me directly by email if you prefer. Thanks in advance for your insights!

April 22, 2018 Update for Readers
After receiving comments on this article and a surprisingly large number of personal emails from readers, my wife and I reviewed all of the feedback received. It became clear to us that there is insufficient interest to warrant producing a dedicated eBook on post processing. We do have a number of future eBooks planned, including ones covering bird photography, flower and garden photography, and landscape photography. As we develop those future eBooks we plan on including some subject specific information on post processing.

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal, both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Article and images are Copyright 2018 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending web sites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

26 thoughts on “Reader Input on a Potential eBook on Post Processing Requested”

  1. Hi Tom,

    I would definitely be interested in an e-book on your post processing with DxO Photolab or Optics Pro, as I own both. I really like the processing that you do on your photographs, and to be able to learn your techniques using that software would be great in my opinion. But reading the end of your post, I see that you have decided not to do a dedicated e-book on using DxO Photolab, much to my dismay. I figured I would add my 2¢ to the replies.

    Thanks, Vinnie

    1. Hi Vinnie,

      We’re sorry that our decision was a disappointment to you. While there was insufficient reader interest to justify us investing the time to do a dedicated eBook on post processing, we are planning to include some information on post processing in some other eBooks that we have planned. These eBooks include ones on bird photography, flower and garden photography, and landscape photography. It is our thought that including some general suggestions about post processing that are subject specific will be of more value to readers as it could be related to a wider array of software rather than just the ones that I happen to use.

      DxO Labs, the company that produces software products like OpticsPro and PhotoLab, was split off from DxOMark as a separate, independently-held company in January 2018. The day after we decided that there was insufficient interest to produce a dedicated eBook on post processing, DxO Labs announced that it has begun bankruptcy proceedings in France. While the company has stated that it is not in a liquidation state and that customers will not be affected, the future of DxO Labs and its products is unclear at this time.

      Like many photographers who use and like PhotoLab/OpticsPro we hope that these software programs continue into the future. At this point there is no way of knowing whether these programs will survive.


  2. Hi Tom,

    I would love to have a good e-book/tutorial for processing RAW files using DxO. Processing RAW photo’s I always did in CNX2 and later CNXD but since switching to DxO I am amazed what I can achieve with this software. I know for sure there is more to gain. Not interested in any Adobe software at all. Never had it and probably I will never buy it.

  3. I would buy. Your Nikon 1 work is the best I have seen. If you want to get the most out of the Nikon 1 why reinvent the wheel just follow your work flow. Save time and get great rusults.

  4. Hi Tom,
    I subscribe to your site, but not because of your cameras, but for your stories and techniques of photographing moving creatures, mostly birds. I find them wonderful and one of these days I may capture the spirit.

    However, for an ebook on post processing, I’m afraid I would not buy that from you (or anyone else, right now). I have all that I need, and quickness on PP is not in my desires. However, a book on developing quickness in photographing birds, bees, and other like, is more in my interests.


    1. Hi Wei,
      Thanks for adding your perspectives to the discussion! We have some eBooks planned for 2018/2019 that will be subject specific, e.g. birds, gardens and flowers, and landscape photography. Our plan is to feature a good selection of images in each of those subject specific eBooks along with sharing some tips with readers. It sounds like these other eBooks may be of more interest to you. At this point we are getting quite a few comments similar to the one you posted so we are still in the evaluation stage.

  5. Hi Tom
    I am rather unsure. As somebody already said, there is so much already around. BUT it is mostly – from my point of view – with regard to singular questions or Tools, not whole workflow. I decided to stay with NX-D and PS (tried Luminar, Affinity and DxO), but found it difficult to split my ability to learn them all sufficiently to be able to use one of them for single images. This would Need really very high profficiency in all programs to be able to decide which is truly better for which image.
    I think, if I stay with NX-D for conversion to TIFF and with PS for developing further, I can achieve knowledge necessary.
    On the other hand, my Nikon 1 files are quite different from those from Nikon D8xx. So a peek to your arsenal could be interesting,.. :–) I should add, that I develop for rather largish prints, not for the net/monitor. I am not sure, this is something in your line.

    1. Hi Robert,
      Thanks for adding to the discussion. I have done prints from my files but nothing larger than about 40cm x 60cm. Most have been about 30cm x 45cm in terms of image size.

      1. Hi Tom
        That is large enough for me 🙂
        Therefore, I am no more not so sure: Please, do bring that book!
        Thanks, Robert

        1. Hi Robert,
          It has been helpful to have reader comments here, as well as a large number of readers contact me via email with their perspectives. We are still evaluating our options. I imagine we will make a decision over the next week or so.

  6. Yes, I am definitely interested in an ebook detailing your post processing methods. I am trying to stop using Aperture and move to DxO Photolab. I have the NIK collection but not CS6.

  7. I would greatly welcome the book you described. I especially echo the above comments that refer to the combination of software. Processing using software combinations is not readily available (except both Lightroom and Photoshop), and yet combinations are, I assume, what most people use. I would also like to see reasonable alternatives to LR and PS (post v.6) that use a different business model. Finally, I encourage you to take into account software that has excellent support, which I have not found with Adobe.

  8. I frankly do not feel that yet another series of tutorials is needed. I use Photoshop, Lightroom CC, NIK (especially Viveza), and Luminar and find myself saturated with software. In addition, I have purchased creative Live programs on the same softwares, and use numerous freebies such as Colin Smith Photoshop Cae videos which are quite helpful. I see no need Tom for the use of your precious time to produce yet another source when there is so much out there, including free stuff on You Tube videos. Just my humble opinion.

    1. Hi Dale,
      Your comment aligns very well with some of the concerns that I have about the amount of information that is currently available to folks, and whether my time would be well spent creating yet another resource and if that resource would provide value for my readers.

  9. I think I may be in the minority in statingthat there is just too much information out there now. There is a plethora of program- I myself use Photoshop, Lightroom, Viveza, and Luminar, and the plethora of pre-sets that some of these are now coming with, such as the new Luminar and Lightroom CC programs. I considered, at one time, DXO, but frankly, it is just too much. I am not anxious to see yet another tutorial. I tend to use the free tutorial You Tubes of Colin Smith and find them tremendously helpful. Finally, I have purchased and use Creative Live programs for Photoshop and Lightroom, so I am fully inundated with software. Sorry to be so frank and honest but I do not think there would be a market for this product and would waste you time producing it.

  10. Hi Tom. This is exactly what I have been looking for!
    I will buy it the minute it hits the space

    Keep up the good works

    PS do you think Nikon will keep
    Nikon1 alive along whatever is in the pipeline

    My setup of gear is as follows:
    V1 x 2, V2 x 2, V3 x 1, J5 x 2
    10/2,8, 18,5/1,8, 32/1,2, 6,7-13, 10-30, 10-30 PD, 10-100, 70-300 and 30-110 w ext-tubes
    Inside any given week I will have used most of it

    1. Hi Goran,

      Thanks for the comment and sharing your opinion – it is very helpful for me! As far as the future of the Nikon 1 system I really don’t know what Nikon will do with the product line. I’ve been following CIPA data and the health of the camera market has continued to erode during the last quarter of 2017 and into the first couple of months of 2018. So, companies will really need to think hard about how many products they have in the future and what sensor format they use. I think we will definitely see full frame mirrorless cameras from Nikon in the near future but I’m puzzled with what will happen with smaller sensor (i.e. anything smaller than full frame) interchangeable lens cameras.

      There are some folks out there that think the Nikon 1 system will simply die if Nikon introduces an APS-C mirrorless camera. Another group thinks that it would be possible to keep the CX mount and put a larger sensor in a Nikon 1 body to arrive at a crop factor of somewhere in the 1.8X to 2.0X range. Apparently this would allow the current line up of CX-mount lenses to live on, and for future ‘smaller sensor’ Nikon mirrorless cameras to have much better dynamic range, colour depth and low light performance than the current Nikon 1 cameras. I’m not a technically oriented photographer so I have no idea how realistic this approach would be.

      Given the declining health of the camera market I doubt that three different sensor sizes will survive in the Nikon interchangeable camera product line in the longer term. We may end up with an FX/DX product combination with full frame and a 1.5X crop, or an FX/CX mount product combination with full frame and a 1.8X to 2.0X crop. Obviously I’d rather have the latter. Either way the current Nikon 1 2.7X crop may not survive.


  11. Mr. Stirr,

    I would welcome your eBook on post processing.

    I have been a long time admirer of your work and also use a small sensor camera (Micro 4/3).

    If your new eBook provided just 1 suggestion that improved my post processing I would consider my purchase a success.

    Bob West

  12. I find your question a tough call. While the process you use is interesting, the mixture of all three such programs is likely not common, and therefore some of the suggestions you make would likely not work (or be available) for a majority of your readers (my opinion, so not necessarily fact).

    It would be interesting to see how close to the final product of the above picture you could come with just PhotoLab. The “middle” picture was with just auto-corrections, and I would guess that Smart Lighting plus some other corrections could/would get you closer to the final product. In playing with the middle picture in just PhotoLab, I noticed that my final product tended to be too green (according to my admittedly off partial colorblindness). After six tries I gave up, as I know I am unable to color correct such files, and that is even tougher when the starting file is a JPG (fewer available controls in PhotoLab).


    1. Hi William,

      The unusual mix of programs that I use to get my final results is one of the concerns I have when considering creating an eBook on post processing. As your comment points out, since many readers would not have access to, or want to use, those same programs my eBook may not be helpful for them. I suppose one way around that would be to discuss the intent of various corrections. That way readers could look into the software they currently use to see if their program offers something at least similar.

      At this point I have to finish up an eBook on New Zealand before I determine what other eBook project to move up in my schedule.


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