Understanding Post-Processing – The Tutorial


Well, it’s finally here. I’ve spent the last couple of days finishing off the tutorial that I promised what seems like a long while ago now.

The preview PDF (1.5mb) is HERE.

You can buy it HERE.

The idea behind the tutorial was born from countless e-mails where people would ask me what I do to my images in Photoshop/Lightroom. Although how I post-process images is no rocket science, it is not necessarily something that can be described briefly in an email.

And so I have come up with a fairly comprehensive e-book, which goes right to the heart of what I do to my images in post. The instructions are detailed and should enable even a beginner with some basic knowledge to achieve the same results as I, with some practice.

I think that the content of this e-book may change the workflow for many photographers. The techniques are simple enough, yet they enable you to achieve dramatic results without spending too much time on each image. To me that’s important, as much as I enjoy the post-processing, I love shooting much more. Less post-processing equals more shooting.

I mentioned some time ago how much I loved Capture One and I still do, but I have found myself using Camera RAW in Photoshop CS4 and achieving great results much, much quicker than before. Apart from some interface differences, Lightroom is identical to Camera RAW in what it does. As a result I ended up writing this e-book tutorial for Lightroom and Photoshop users. The instructions for working with the RAW files are for Lightroom (I do provide screen-grabs from Photoshop, for parts where the interface is a little different). The instructions for work that can’t be done in Lightroom and additional touch up work are for Photoshop (CS3 and after).

The e-book is priced at $US12, but I feel that it will give infinitely more value to those who use it. 🙂

If you like the e-book or know photographers who may find it useful – spread the word. Any income from this will be used for good 🙂 – i.e. photography and more travel, which will also result in more photography and more viewing pleasure for the readers of this blog. 🙂

Everything you need to buy the e-book is HERE.

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49 Responses to “Understanding Post-Processing – The Tutorial”

  1. Jeroen Says:

    Just bought it. Thanks, looks great 🙂 I’m sure I can learn a couple of things 😉

  2. pixelatedimage Says:

    Mitch – Well done! This is WELL worth the $12! I’ll pass this on to my readers asap. It’s this kind of sharing that makes us all better photographers and communicators. The info in here is worth many times the price if people absorb it and practice it. So many gimmicks and plug-ins out there, this cuts through the noise and gives the real-world goods. Well done!

  3. Julie Aucoin Says:

    Looking forward to browsing through the tutorial! And congrats for the magazine cover!

  4. André Says:

    Looks very good, just got it too.

  5. Rodney Says:

    This is quite excellent. I found out about this tutorial via David’s (pixelatedimage) twitter feed. The preview is wonderful and I will definitely purchase this tutorial.

    I also noticed you do work in Indonesia. If ever in Jakarta, let me know! I’m trying to do humanitarian work here (your Flores trip sounded very appealing!).

    One thing I am currently trying to learn is how to “set up” a photo trip, such as how to find quality guides, translators, etc. As you seem to have expertise in this, you could write a tutorial about photo trip/project planning! This is something of great interest to me anyway. 🙂

  6. Jan Says:

    Mitchell, thank you for writing the tutorial, it’s definitely worth it. I am not through yet, but will be by tonight:-). And it’s definitely worth the money.

  7. Ankur Says:

    Bravo! Looks like a better deal than I imagined!

    …fumbling for my credit card 🙂

  8. Sid Says:

    This looks really good, well worth the $12.


  9. Harsha Says:

    Yayyy !!! I got my Copy !
    Amazing Book !!!! very well written, nice thought process and simply enjoyable !!! Thanks Mitchell

  10. Mitchell Says:

    Thanks everyone, nice to have such a positive response to this 🙂

  11. Brock Says:

    Excellent Mitchell — the key information presented clearly and effectively, with your beautiful images to boot. And its great you included the before and after images each on a full page so one can flick between them instantly — the best way to see all the changes. First class, and a bargain for the price!

  12. sreenisreedharan Says:

    hey, thanks for sharing this info.

  13. Thursday Resource Roundup | PixelatedImage Blog Says:

    […] My friend, Mitchell Kanashkevich is an extraordinarily talented photographer, I’m a huge fan of his work. He’s just released an ebook (image above is from the cover) about his post-production methods and it rocks. It’s the real goods. No gimmicks, no fancy plug-ins. It’s somewhere between a book and an extended set of tutorials in length, but the cost on it is $12 which is a paltry sum considering how much you pay for some of the books out there. HIGHLY recommended. Check it out here. Well done, Mitch! More info on the Understanding Post-Processing ebook HERE. […]

  14. Stephen Says:

    Thanks for putting this together. It’s always interesting to see how others work.

  15. Nabaz Anwar Says:


    I stumbled over your name… and then your website. I am truly impressed. I love the simplicity of your captures, but yet powerful enough to capture the interest of the eyes.

    I have added your site as one of my fav. and if you didn’t had any fans… consider me from now on as a fan. 🙂

    I read that you said you are a poor photographer??!! And don’t understand that by looking at your web-site. So I buy your E-Book to help you getting rich :-))

    Thank you for inspiring.

  16. Mitchell Says:

    Nabaz, thanks for the support 🙂 I didn’t say that I was poor, though I’m probably not far from it :), as are many documentary photographers are, when you compare us to people in ‘regular’ jobs. But I assure you, what we lack in money we make up for in amazing life experiences:).

  17. Tom Nguyen Says:

    I cant believe this is only $12. Thanks for the knowledge.

  18. Glen Goffin Says:

    How do you put a price on years and years of experience from an artist with an impeccable portfolio!? This is an instant classic, IMHO. This goes on the top shelf of my bookcase (ok, my topshelf subdirectory to be precise:). It’s not always appreciated how much one learns from examples by artists both of what TO do and what NOT to do! Thanks again 🙂

  19. Nabaz Anwar Says:

    hehehehe… I’m sure you do have some priceless experiences.
    I have just finished my university degree in Sociology, but actually rather want to work as a photographer. I hope I can combine and use my knowledge about people with my photography (probably should work on the photography ability).
    I’ve read your E-book… very nice. Simple techniques with great effects. Your pictures and work is inspiring my friend.

    by the way…. which camera do you use? I know this is a silly question, but I wanted to invest in some better equipment in the future.

  20. Mitchell Says:

    Nabaz, you can read about all my gear here:


    I still haven’t got it, but Canon 5D mark II is what I’d recommend.

  21. Fun Friday: Links We Love - June 12, 2009 | A Blog For Portrait, Wedding & Lifestyle Photographers | PhotoOne Software Says:

    […] Understanding Post-Processing […]

  22. Jogos do dia 14 de dezembro, domingo | Ater Internet: Empresa de webdesign | Criacao de sites dinamicos Says:

    […] Understanding Post-Processing – The Tutorial Well, it’s finally here. I’ve spent the last couple of days finishing off the tutorial that I promised what seems […] […]

  23. Francesco Gallarotti Says:

    Mitchell, after our chat tonight I purchased your tutorial. I wanted to see how you bring back life and volume in your images. I enjoyed the read and I learned a couple of things to add to my tool belt, but even more importantly I enjoyed virtually sitting with you during the editing of those masterpieces.
    It was refreshing to see that out of camera the images weren’t so special. Great moments captures in great compositions but as flat as it gets with RAW, just like with my camera. Very interesting editing (I like how you essentially break down the editing in two phases).
    One thing that I would like to know is what is your data workflow.
    You have one RAW file to begin with, then you generate one or more images from it that you will then merge in Photoshop. I notice your oversampling, but I didn’t get your output. Are you spitting out TIFFs from Adobe Camera Raw?
    And in the end you possibly end up with:
    – the RAW file (and the XML file with the ACR settings)
    – one or more TIFFs output from ACR
    – the PSD file
    – the final JPG/TIFF for printing
    Do you keep them all? Or do you get rid of the intermediate TIFFs? Do you keep the PSD with layers or once your editing is done you simply keep the final TIFF?
    I would be very interested to know how a professional like you handles this, since it significantly affects space used and I have tried every possible combination and can’t find the perfect one…
    I look forward to reading your reply. thanks again,

  24. Mitchell Says:

    Francesco, thanks for the nice words. To answer your questons:

    The reason I didn’t include the output is because it’s not so relevant to the post-processing, the only relevant detail is – if you’re outputting Jpegs, keep them at full quality (which I mentioned)

    I don’t often output Tiffs – they take up too much space and honestly no one asks for them or very, very rarely and if someone ever does, I can ‘remake’ that image, no big deal, but it’s happened like once. 🙂 My outputs are JPEGs at quality ’12’ and 300dpi, upscaled to at least 5500 pixels on the long side (around Getty requirement) I know a Russian Nat Geo photog who doesn’t even shoot RAW, just shoots JPEGS with a Canon 20D, that’s a bit ridiculous, but hey, it is good enough for magazine size images.

    Intermediate Tiffs/JPegs are usually deleted, unless it’s some unusual case and I feel like I may need to go back to a particular image. Same goes for PSDs. If I am in the middle of working on an image and have to go, I’ll save it and get back to the PSD, afterwards I delete it.

    I try to keep things simple, even if I have a few versions of an image, there are folders with only the final, public versions and these are the folders I back up, along with RAWs of the important images.

    It’s important to draw the line, to say to yourself that’s it, this image is finished, otherwise you can keep adjusting/tweaking endlessly. Believe me I know – one day it looks good with a stronger contrast, the next day it looks overdone etc.

    Hope that helps 🙂

  25. Francesco Gallarotti Says:

    It does help a lot… I used to shoot only JPGs and was laughing about people wasting space with RAWs until one day I tried RAW and was blown away by the added control on the image. Since then I have been 1) regretting for the past years of JPG-only archives 2) storing all the keepers in RAW and/or TIFF and sometimes even PSD. But you are right… it’s not so hard to just redo it from the RAW file if I really have to and honestly I never went back and redid them. I just feel that every time I learn something processing-wise I might want to be able to go to the RAW and re-edit. So yes, I guess RAWs and final HQ JPGs should be all I need… That would also save me quite some space!
    I’ll try following your advice with my next trip and go back to some older folder and start getting rid of all those gigantic PSDs and TIFFs… absurd use of space really.
    thanks again for your precious input!

  26. prashant khapane Says:

    well done Mitch.

  27. John Batdorff Says:

    Well worth the money….thanks for doing this. Your work speaks for itself.

  28. Uma prenda baratinha para quem gosta de passar o menos tempo possível a tratar fotos em frente do computador « pulse&vision:blog Says:

    […] e Adobe Photoshop, numa forma intuitiva, objectiva, rápida e muito eficaz. O manual – “Understanding Post-Processing” – custa  a módica quantia de $12,00, o que em euros ronda os 8,65 €… […]

  29. Glen Goffin Says:

    Hope it is alright with you … I promoted your tutorial on my blog :)) Thanks again for making it. It is tremendously helpful especially to a novice like myself. Peace! Glen

  30. Bangkok Travel Photographer | Gavin Gough: Travel Photographer Says:

    […] it before he comes to his senses and charges what it’s really worth. You can find out more on Mitchell’s Blog, which I urge you to subscribe to if you don’t […]

  31. Rebecca Says:

    I’m adding your blog to my google reader and looking forward to reading the ebook!

  32. Heimana Says:

    Hi Mitch, a little time since I came here last time (even with the rss feed, I’m getting lazy), and I saw you’ve edited the little tuto of post-prod. That’s great! I just bought it and will read it with attention and then try some tricks on my pics, so thank you for putting this togheter, it’s helpfull to know pro photogs “secret” tips, lol !

    PS. And yes, 12USD is a good price for all the tips one gets… and very clear and “targeted” in opposition with the bunch of books we can usually find in the bookshops!

  33. Shutterbug Sunday - Mitchell Kanashkevich Photography | Editorial music and travel images from Asia | CraigFergusonImages Says:

    […] recently came across Mitchell’s work by way of his Lightroom tutorial e-book, Understanding Post-Processing. As someone who has been using Lightroom since it was first released in a beta form, I consider […]

  34. Sanjay Sharma Says:

    Hi Mitch,

    I’m a relative novice at this. Taught myself photoshop just two-three years back and have learnt by trial and error. But I haven’t done too badly – even if I say so myself. I’m still learning (and think I always will be) so your tutorial – the first one I’ve ever bought from anyone is a milestone in itself. I plan to printout via a Indigo printer and add to my library of technical knowledge. I’ve always been an admirer of your work – specially your portraits, one of which even inspired the creation of the logo of an NGO that I am a founder director of. I will upload that pic, along with the logo on my flickr for you to check out. Will certainly appreciate your comments.

  35. Friday Catch Up Says:

    […] by Mitchell Kanashkevich. This is  Mitchell’s second e-book. His first was titled “Understanding Post-Processing“. Both are available on Mitchell’s blog HERE. Mitchell is an amazing photographer, he […]

  36. Friday’s Grab Bag Says:

    […] times I Tweet from my Mac and this might be handy. We’ll see. Be sure and check out this blog entry by our good friend Mitchell Kanashkevich (Why do the really good guys have hard names to pronounce? […]

  37. New Year thoughts and whereabouts | JacobImages Says:

    […] always wanted to learn this program, but came to the realization that I must use this after reading Mitchell’s ebook and watching Lynda.com Photoshop Lightroom Essential Training videos. Processing my RAW files is […]

  38. Phil Says:

    Hi Mitchell,

    Any chance for an Aperture version or it doesn’t really matter?
    I just like it better than Lightroom… (personal preferences).

  39. Ken Knott Says:

    Where are the images to work along with the book?

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  47. New Year Thoughts And Whereabouts | Travel Photographer Jacob Maentz Says:

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