I'll be honest with you here, post processing isn't my strongest point as a photographer. I really enjoy going out and taking photos, but when it comes to editing my images I'm competent, not too imaginative, and want to be better.
The difficulty is that there are so many options in Lightroom and Photoshop that it can be tricky knowing where to start, especially if you're also not sure about where you want to end up with the look of your photographs, and this is why the new Tiffen DFX v4 Lightroom Plug-In is so, so useful.
I need you to understand that to use the term Plug-In to describe DFX v4 does it no justice whatsoever. DFX is incredibly powerful, giving you the option to apply its numerous effects in layers, using masks and applying different opacities. DFX v4 is almost a complete editing solution in itself, so don't balk at the $149.99 price tag, it really is worth it in the way it simplifies and improves your Lightroom work-flow.
The headline feature for me is the traditional film simulation presets. There are hundreds to choose from - black and white, colour, slide, instant, lomo and more in all your favourite manufacturers. Fancy some Tri-X? It's here. A taste of Kodachrome 64? Done. Ilford FP4? Of course. All of these presets are customisable too, and as I show in the above video, you can apply them to your image in a layer, change the opacity or strength, add masks, and then add other effects too.
Tiffen are known for their glass filters for your lenses, and the selection available here is exhaustive, with everything from colour-correcting to photographic effects. You simply have to give the simulated polarising filter a try on any photos with a nice blue sky - it works very well indeed.
These words aren't really good for describing the power of DFX, the video is better, but I recommend you download the free trial and give it a go yourself. Take a look at the free tutorials available on the Tiffen site too, and play with the different parts of the software.
I tend to fire up Lightroom, import the photos, do a little straightening and lens correction, then edit the images in dfx v4. I normally cycle through the film stocks, then add a little contrast and effects, then I round-trip back to Lightroom to key-word, geotag and export, but you'll come up with your own workflow.
Give DFX v4 a go, I'm sure you'll find it as powerful as I have, and you'll fall in love with post processing all over again.