Preparing Photos for Dreamstime
Before I submit any image to Dreamstime these are the steps I take:
1. First I select the best photograph of each subject series based on composition, lighting and sharpness. If it is not sharp already I don’t consider submitting it.
2. Next I straighten and crop it in Photoshop to fit the rule of thirds.
3. I then slightly reduce the shadows, if necessary using the Photoshop Shadows/Highlights function and a Shadows Amount of around 5-8.
4. Next I enhance the lighting and colours using the Curves and Saturation functions.
5. Last I check for noise and sharpen every image using the Noise Ninja plugin. If the noise index is above 19 I click on the filter tab and adjust only two settings: Smoothness I set as low as possible either 0 or 1 and the USM amount not higher than 70 and typically 60-70. Many people recommend this as the first step but I have more success using it last.
6. Then I re-check the noise index with Noise Ninja to make sure it is below 19.
I would be very interested to learn about other contributors’ preparation steps and workflow.
Photo credits: Nigel Spiers.