Elements of Non-Destructive Editing

Pixels are Precious

‘Non-destructive editing’ is an approach to editing digital images that seeks to preserve as much quality as possible. Whilst some of the individual elements may make only small gains, when combined as part of an integrated workflow, each step adds up to preserve and protect that quality of the original capture. It should also save you time in the long run.

  1. “Quality in to get quality out”. You cannot ‘fix it in Photoshop’
  2. Shoot in Raw
  3. Expose to the right- expose for highlights, process for shadows
  4. Do as much adjustments and editing as possible in raw file processing
  5. be methodical in how you name and arrange your files
  6. use layer masks, rather than deleting pixels
  7. use adjustment layers, rather than image adjustments directly on the pixels
  8. Use a few adjustment layers as possible as adjustments in Photoshop cause combing
  9. use smart filters so you can adjust settings
  10. watch out for combing
  11. save your work as a ‘master file’ that preserves layers
  12. make copies of the master file for print and screen outputs
  13. archive and backup your work!

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