Working the Trees
I have been slowly developing an image enhancement workflow I call, The 10-channel Workflow. This is a flexible image enhancement strategy extracted from the ground breaking work of Dan Margulis. Dan’s working method, originally called the Picture Postcard Workflow, was designed to quickly generate the kind of enhancements that would be appropriate for attractive travel pictures, landscapes, and other scenes where bright color and image detail were desirable. As it turns out most of the highly evolved techniques that Dan developed have application for a wide range of image types. My goal has been to simplify the sometimes complicated techniques into a raw-through-final Photoshop workflow for the photographer working with their own images. The most important aspect of this workflow is a basic understanding of the channel structure of the main color workspaces in Photoshop: RGB, Lab, and CMYK. Understanding the idiosyncrasies of the individual grayscale channels, and how they relate to the whole color image, allows for some very powerful techniques for re-shaping the tone and color of an image.
As one example of the kind of things that are possible, I will work through one possible interpretation of this image – shown here in an almost unaltered-from-the-camera state: