4. Sharpness and noise reduction
I always do these last, because any sharpening effects can be emphasised by increases in contrast done afterwards. I donâ€™t usually set the sharpness this high, since I prefer to leave the image slightly soft and then add Unsharp Mask in Photoshop, but this picture is quite hazy, so a bit of extra sharpness will punch it up a bit.
What you choose for this area will depend on what you intend to do with your final image. Iâ€™m planning to print this out at A3, so Iâ€™ll leave it at 10-megapixels, use the sRGB colour space, 16-bit colour depth, and a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. If I want to re-size the image later for sale to a photo library, Iâ€™ll use the bicubic resample feature in Photoshop, since that has been approved by the library I sell to.
6. Save in TIFF format
Before doing any further post-processing, Iâ€™ll save a copy of the converted image as an uncompressed TIFF-format file, since this preserves maximum image quality. The finished file is 57.46MB, so if you plan on doing a lot of this sort of stuff, make sure youâ€™ve got plenty of hard drive space.
Because of the wide variation in hardware and software, there is no â€œcorrectâ€ way of processing RAW files, but with experimentation and practice you should be able produce much better images than the camera-processed JPEGs, and since they have never been compressed they will be of innately higher quality.