Searching the web about the subject, i found what it seems to be a quite detailed description of a photography workflow here
. What bugs me about this, and all the other articles i found on the web, is that no one cares to explain why a certain operation is done, why that way, why at that certain moment in the sequence. And all the workflows i found differed from each other, irregardless of the gear used, the type of photographs, or the subjects. Every workflow looks like a "magic recipe". There are many things i don't know about how to deal with the processing of a picture for artistic purposes, and i'm eager to learn more about it.
I want to learn the basics, for example: raw converters give us the option to tune almost everything in a picture, from white balaance, to sharpening, to noise reduction, to curves, everything. And so do the raster pic editors, like Photoshop. What are the advantages and disadvantages in doing any of this operations during raw conversion? Which ones should i do during raw conversion, which after? Why are there so many different functions and algorithms for sharpening? And why should i use one over the others in any given situation?
I would like to learn these, and many other things about image processing, from a scientific point of view. I want to learn facts, not magic recipes. Is there a book (or several) that can help me quench this thirst for knowledge?