This is the most difficult part of the learning plan as there are so many possibilities.
We have listed the basic Post Processing (PP) done by most photographers.
After that it is up to you own creativity and research.
You will use a computer to do two things with your images.
First, store and catalogue them.
Secondly, Post Processing of images.
As your images are important to you it is important the your computer environment is safe (eg. backed up etc.).
We have this thread on Safer Computing to help you.
Apple Aperture, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Lightroom, Irfranview (free) are good catalogue tools.
Setting up a catalogue and directory structure that will let you manage thousands of images is important.
We photographers create many images in a year.
AP has a forum dedicated to tutorials on post processing.
Most people do some post processing of their images. Typically the steps that are part of a workflow include:
- Raw conversion and white balance adjustment - see: Appendix B - Raw (and White balance)
- straightening of horizons
- noise reduction - see: Noise reduction; where does it fit in the workflow?
- levels adjustments - see: Levels Tutorial
- dodge, burn and sponge (these three terms come from the old wet darkroom days) - see: dodgeing and burning selective contrast tutorial
- sharpening - see: Why all Digital images need SHARPENING
Post Processing (PP) is where some creativity is needed. It is very easy to over process an image.
Some argue that PP (a.k.a. Photoshopping) is 'cheating' but in fact it is simply the digital darkroom.
In fact you must do some PP to publish anyway, sharpening is required at minimum.
These processes necessary for taking, processing and publishing photographs are called a workflow.
A workflow is the best way to keep your photographs organised and safe with a backup.
Please have a look at the suggested workflow here Workflow - Putting it all together
So experiment; always keep your original image and make copies to edit; and Have fun!