Icons on the Desktop

Photo Post-Processing Workflow

The desktop on my laptop looks pretty much like those on my other computers. There is a reason for that. My collection of photo post-processing tools has grown over the years, I have some favorites that do some things especially well or in a manner that makes them easier to use than the big photo editors. Many of these tools are plugins, some are stand-alone programs. I like to have handy access to make my post-processing smooth.  The shortcut icons are mostly along the right edge as shown in the illustration here.

When using a “host photo editor”, like PaintShop Pro, there is a menu to reach the various plugins. That makes using them quick and easy. But I don’t start out in that editor, rather my “goto” is Photo Gallery because it has the best import tool, allows file organization very much like File Explorer, but only shows image files, searching by text or tag is really easy, and it provides some nice basic enhancement tools. When I need another tool I just drag the file from Photo Gallery to the appropriate icon on my desktop. Quicker, easier, more powerful than working from inside one of the big editors.


Import images

Let’s go through my typical procedure for post-processing photos. When I have some new images I connect my camera with a USB cable to the laptop.

Open Photo Gallery (the bottom shortcut icon on the desktop).

Turn on the camera. It will show up in the folder pane.

We won’t go through the details of importing here, but it is a simple step by step process. One or more new folders are created in my New Photos folder and they are ready for post-processing in short order.

I do have another step that I take, I rename the new photo files, most people don’t do that. (Just for my most curious readers, that icon with the two gears next to the Photo Gallery shortcut is my tool for that. If you wish to know more, ask me.)

Making working copies

To me the RAW files from the camera are precious and I keep them as untouched as possible. I make working copies (using the resize tool in Photo Gallery with the size set to 9999. This makes 100% quality JPG  conversions). For much of what I use my photos for those JPGs are sufficient for most of the post-processing I do, much of that right inside Photo Gallery.

“Star treatment” post-processing

Every so often I come up with a photo that is really good. It might get the “star treatment” using PaintShop Pro to provide access to wide variety of tools, both within that powerful photo editor, as well as my quiver of plugins.

Getting the photo into PaintShop Pro is just a drag and drop with the mouse.

The finished image is saved from PaintShop Pro right back to the folder and will show up back in Photo Gallery. For my illustration here I made a sub-folder for the processed image. From here I can quickly drag the image into another app. I couldn’t be any easier.

Final touch – resize and sharpen

Oh, you want to see it? I resized it in Photo Gallery down to 1200 pixels wide, then dragged it over to Nik SharpenerPro – my usual finishing touch for images that go on the internet. Disclaimer: This image is a “star” not because it is exceptional – it isn’t, it got this designation because it “starred” in this article.


.:. © 2019 Ludwig Keck

About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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2 Responses to Icons on the Desktop

  1. I thought PaintShop Pro was a thing of the past as every time I mention it, people look at me like I’m inventing a myth of a program… I’m glad to see someone is using it!! I’ve had so much fun with It!
    🎨😊 🎨

    • Ludwig says:

      Oh yeah, I have been using this mythical program forever and just upgraded to the new edition, PaintShop Pro 2021. It is even featuring AI inside. As Annie Oakley would have sung, “Everything is up to date in PaintShop Pro”, with all due apologies to Kansas City.

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