Sasuo Writes on DP Review about his Work flow and I have to question some things about this:
Firstly- in your initial run where will the image be going? These days, for me it will be facebook and the processing will be on a little super portable netbook (eventually a tablet when the software and processors are up to it).
So I would actually reduce SIZe first then work on the smaller JPEG at even VGA size: this is all you need for FB and probably flickr but even then it may get compressed further and shown in about 500x 400 maximum anyway!
Why FB , why not eleswhere? SOme of my pals are really talented photographers and everyone appreciates a nice album amongst the "brushing my teeth and mega late for work" posts. The best shots will get worked up elsewhere and to 10mpx, comparing a RAW processed image once I like the worked up jpeg at full size, just to see if there is more detail and nuances ( very rareley: Olympus has a fantastic JPEG engine built in which would be one reason for a photo journalist to get an E5 or PEN 3- no POST required!)
WHy? it is a shed load faster. However I do take the best images
Sosua writes on dpreview:
My workflow is process in lightroom, I will often shoot bracketed shots to blend for dynamic range (after years of experience with GNDs, blending is preferable for me), in lightroom I tweak:
Balance individual colour channels (awesome tool)
Image rotate and crop
Noise reduction and capture sharpening
Then in CS5 (some images will go through PTGUI or exposure fusion):
Local micro contrast adjustments
Dodging and burning as required
Print sharpening and sizing as required
For the record, here are Reuters guidelines for image manipulation (not that I am a documentary journalist anyway):
Interesting reading, and far more liberal than I imagined. I'm seeing more stitched images in Nat Geo these days too.
But really as Ray says, you can do anything you want if you feel it adds to the image.
After all, we are trying to communicate three dimensions, emotion, sound and smell into a two dimensional medium and the camera as a tool is inherently limited to achieve that.
I get everything right in camera, its just how I choose to develop the colour and tone of those images which is my choice, rather than an irreversible decision made by a hunk of metal, silicone and plastic