Any work that we process in general, is completed following a particular workflow in order to achieve efficiency. A workflow is a sequence of processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.
Although there is no standard workflow that applies to photography, all photographers develop their own depending on how they work and what is convenient for them.
Once you have created an effective workflow that works best for you, stick with it as it will ensure that you handle your images the same way every time and not miss out on any post processing steps.
Post processing, to be honest, is a smaller part of the bigger photography workflow, but it has its own workflow like the one you see below. This is where you fine tune your images.
- Pre-visualise and post process the image.
- Make basic adjustments in Lightroom or in Camera RAW (White balance, exposure, shadows) and import images to Photoshop for working with curves, HSL, etc. as these adjustments can be done non-destructively in Photoshop using adjustment layers.
- Use layers and Adjustment Layers while working on Curves and HSL. These help you to change the look and feel of the images.
- Curves are very important tools that help get the correct tonal range in your images.
- Experiment with different Blending Modes to get different moods in the images as these modes have control over how the current layer blends with the layers beneath it.
- Adjust the opacity of layers to fine tune the effects of layers and get the right look/feel in the images.
- Apply finishing touches like sharpening, removing noise.
- Export images in the required size, ready for delivery to the clients or for printing purposes.
- Back up your exported files.
Create your own workflow, save time and enjoy more time behind the camera rather than the front of the screen. With practice, one can master the art of post processing and create stunning images in a matter of few seconds or minutes.
Of course, there are a thousand ways to skin this particular cat, so if you want to dive deep on developing a post processing work flow that suits yourown style, then take a look at Mitchell Kanashkavich's excellent guide on post processing.