Now that you have captured the best image/s, it’s time to consider the workflow that will bring out the potential in your work. Note that it would be a rare shot indeed that could not be improved by intervention between camera and posting on a website (or even more so, before printing).
So here’s a tip: There’s no need to be overly virtuous about working with an image after it has been taken – it’s been happening in the darkroom since photography kicked off in earnest. Indeed, many of the digital post-processing concepts and much of its terminology are direct lifts from the darkroom era. For example, Adobe has a popular RAW format known as DNG. This is a simple abbreviation for ‘digital negative’. Your own camera may be able to save your RAW images in the DNG format, which is able to be read and used by all major photo applications such as those made by Adobe (Elements, LightRoom, Photoshop, etc) and others (eg Paint Shop Pro).
There are some assumptions made about post-processing. The first is that you are accurately perceiving the image captured by the camera.
Is that a safe assumption? Most unlikely, unless you have ‘profiled’ and ‘calibrated’ your computer monitor! Thus, some consideration of ‘colour spaces’ is necessary.
30 June – edits, links added