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05-28-2012, 11:36 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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I have discovered RAW with this shot - My jaw is on the floor!!

So I was in Sequoia National Park. There were mountains, scattered to dense clouds to sun seeping in. The JPGs came out with either the clouds exposed right, or the mountains exposed right. I did not have a tripod so couldn't do HDR.

Here is shot I took, and for "fun" decided to save RAW data.

JPEG -


Then with CS6 and a bit of playing around with basic settings in RAW editor, got this
RAW -


I tried playing around with the JPG with HDR toning, and other settings but couldn't get anywhere close.

I wish I had shot more RAWs. Would have had a lot more better pictures. Shooting RAW for most important stuff from here on out.

05-28-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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Wow, that again shows the impressive dynamic range of K5.
05-29-2012, 12:27 AM   #3
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My impression is that when an image is well exposed, the RAW is not necessary. You can get a little extra out, but not worth the effort imho. But when you stuff up or the exposure range is nearly impossible to "fit in", then RAW is a major benefit and gives a significant addition dynamic range into the highlights and shadow (particularly the shadows, so perhaps best to underexpose and recover those areas). I shot RAW+JPEG, and then PP only those RAW that warrent the effort.

There are also a few other PP routes that you can use with this type of problem.
1) Multiple exposure compensations of 1-RAW image and then HDR
2) Dual exposure compensations for highlights and shadows and then splice at horizon. (In OP post, the tree might be a problem, but the rest might work well without the slightly unnatural sky hues.)
05-29-2012, 03:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KevinR Quote
My impression is that when an image is well exposed, the RAW is not necessary. You can get a little extra out, but not worth the effort imho.
You're definitely mistaken in your belief. Shooting RAW provides significantly more headroom, a wider color range and exposure latitude compared to jpeg.

05-29-2012, 03:22 AM   #5
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I shoot nothing else but RAW format because I like how I get so much more control over my images in LR and PS, I used to do RAW+ but I STILL ended up in PP for the same amount of time just trying to delete the JPEG images, I hate trying to work on JPEG images in LR because it seems like I can never get it to where I want it like I can with RAW. My wife shoots JPEG though but that is because she is opposite of me and hates using the computer, I fine with that though, I just want her to enjoy photography and not sweat the small stuff. If I want to do something with her images I can still work on them even though they are more work in JPEG format.
05-29-2012, 03:41 AM   #6
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RAW versus jpeg is one of the biggest arguments out there. People who shoot jpegs complain about the "amount of time" it takes to process RAW files, but since lightroom is available, it is a non-starter for me.

There are certain things where RAW is definitely better. The K5 has such a wide dynamic range that it allows for recovery of shadow areas that I never dreamed of with previous Pentax cameras. Unfortunately, I have tried the same things with jpeg and results aren't as good -- too much data pitched in the process of making the jpeg I guess.

(my example of wide dynamic range)



05-29-2012, 05:47 AM   #7
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I also thought JPG would be "good enough" because of some opinions out there in the blog world. After shooting raw, I see the power and potential are much greater. It is possible to open a JPG in ACR to manipulate it (and it is super convenient, BTW), but the adjustment range just isn't there. With batch processing in ACR or LR, you can quickly adjust a whole day's worth of shots and export to JPG, if desired. It definitely is worth the small amount of effort.
05-29-2012, 05:51 AM   #8
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I recently got my k5 and haven't explored the RAW files yet.
I can see a big difference from the jpegs of k5 compared with my k10 though, so seeing these RAW shots here I'm eager to get stuck in.

Good shot of the mountains that.

05-29-2012, 06:04 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteQuote:
My impression is that when an image is well exposed, the RAW is not necessary. You can get a little extra out, but not worth the effort imho.
The extra effort is vastly over-stated. Using Aperture, at the beginning of a sequence I use one of my presets, whichever one gets close. I just click down the list and pick the closest one. Then I make the final changes. Before I start the individual controls, if the number of changes is different from my normal presets, I save them as a preset. I use that preset for the rest of the pictures. Or if I don't think I'll use it again I save the changes and apply them without saving them asa a preset.

FOr example my BIrds preset, has fairly heavy setting on definition and contrast to bring up feather detail, as well as sharpening, saturation, and edge sharpening. So not only are those setting automatically applied. The slider bars are in my adjustment menu for fine tuning. I have presets for fall colours, for boosting shadows, etc.

SO really, I apply a preset, then do a couple of fine tuning adjustments, use the spot tools for problem areas. Usually it doesn't take me more than two or 3 minutes per image at the most. Many times I go out and shoot 200-399 images and spend less than 2 hours processing. For a "roll of film" 36 shots, less than 20 minutes.

You simply cannot get the most out of your images without spot controls, and that was also true in film. You have to dodge, burn, etc, and nothing messes that up worse than trying to do that on a jpeg. Nothing feels worse than when I have an image good enough to sell shot on a point and shoot and realizing that if everything isn't just perfect, I'm probably not going to get it to the "next level".

Jpegs are like polaroids. They give you an impression, and every now and then you see a really good one. Most of the time, you just see hints of the picture you could have had. But hey, I seen people with their fridges covered with polaroids. For some, an extra 5 minutes to work on a great image into a magnificent image is too much. And really , if you have a young family , lots of kids to keep up with no time to breath forget about process pictures, just like polaroids, jpegs are a great thing.
05-29-2012, 06:11 AM   #10
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If the shot is in good lighting, I don't think raw or JPEG makes much difference. A sunny day in the park and either will be fine. The interior of an old church where no flash is allowed or pictures in the 500-year old convent that is now a museum, and also allows no flash, is a different matter. In poor lighting, raw is great no matter how well you expose. Of course, no matter what, a proper exposure beats an improper exposure.
05-29-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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Another, related, issue: When shooting RAW, I never worry about white balance since it can be fixed in "post." I shoot exclusively in RAW on my K20 and use Lightroom to import and process all my photos. There have been many, many pictures where the WB was off, but since I shot in RAW, I could set it after the fact. And, as stated, the ability to tone down overexposed areas and (especially) to pull of details in the shadows make shooting in RAW more than worthwhile to me. Of course, your mileage may vary ...
05-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The extra effort is vastly over-stated. Using Aperture, at the beginning of a sequence I use one of my presets, whichever one gets close. I just click down the list and pick the closest one. Then I make the final changes. Before I start the individual controls, if the number of changes is different from my normal presets, I save them as a preset. I use that preset for the rest of the pictures. Or if I don't think I'll use it again I save the changes and apply them without saving them asa a preset.

FOr example my BIrds preset, has fairly heavy setting on definition and contrast to bring up feather detail, as well as sharpening, saturation, and edge sharpening. So not only are those setting automatically applied. The slider bars are in my adjustment menu for fine tuning. I have presets for fall colours, for boosting shadows, etc.

SO really, I apply a preset, then do a couple of fine tuning adjustments, use the spot tools for problem areas. Usually it doesn't take me more than two or 3 minutes per image at the most. Many times I go out and shoot 200-399 images and spend less than 2 hours processing. For a "roll of film" 36 shots, less than 20 minutes.

You simply cannot get the most out of your images without spot controls, and that was also true in film. You have to dodge, burn, etc, and nothing messes that up worse than trying to do that on a jpeg. Nothing feels worse than when I have an image good enough to sell shot on a point and shoot and realizing that if everything isn't just perfect, I'm probably not going to get it to the "next level".

Jpegs are like polaroids. They give you an impression, and every now and then you see a really good one. Most of the time, you just see hints of the picture you could have had. But hey, I seen people with their fridges covered with polaroids. For some, an extra 5 minutes to work on a great image into a magnificent image is too much. And really , if you have a young family , lots of kids to keep up with no time to breath forget about process pictures, just like polaroids, jpegs are a great thing.
Well put Norm

there is a reason Adobe raw is called Digital NeGative
05-29-2012, 10:26 AM   #13
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If you don't adjust the in-camera settings and shoot JPEG, it is truly less effort, and truly less reward.

And I can see JPEGs *seeming* like less effort for the average shot if you are someone who is actively adjusting the JPEG settings all the time in-camera -- then you get what you want when you shoot (or fail) and you're done. (Which is not actually less effort, just effort shift. But you don't have to fuss with the computer later.)

For the first type of person (the never adjuster), it seems smart just to shoot RAW, or RAW+JPEG, and then use a conversion preset on the computer to batch process everything to JPEGs without any decisions. This is pretty easy, and hardly any extra work -- same results most of the time. But then when you do find you've got something with more potential than the JPEG brought out, you can actually do something about it.

For the second type of person -- the constant in-camera adjuster -- I can see the impatience they might feel shifting that whole process to the computer. But for them, I would suggest RAW+JPEG, but maybe they figure if they can't get it in-camera, forget it. But they are missing out of a lot of opportunities like the OPs shot showed -- to do single-shot HDR to get an all-around good exposure that just might not be possible in-camera. Which generally involves shooting to not blow the highlights and then bringing up the shadows later -- you just can't do that in JPEG (well).

Personally, I just can't get my head around spending all this money on good gear and shooting JPEGs only, unless it is truly appropriate to the task (you need a high-volume of shots, and you need them fast, for instance; or you are just not getting paid enough to fuss with them later, etc). Even when I was picking out a second camera to be an always-available pocket point-and-shoot, I immediately disqualified all cameras that didn't provide RAW shooting. (Landed on the Canon S90, which is a fine cam, but since its dynamic range is much less than the SLR makes RAW even more important.)
05-29-2012, 10:56 AM   #14
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I am firmly in the RAW camp here. I used to do JPEG, and I blew too many and could not recover them. That was with my Kx. After I switched to RAW+, then straight out RAW I never looked back and my pictures have never looked better.
05-29-2012, 11:02 AM   #15
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yea the DR on k5 makes it excellent to "solo" HDR.
simply boost the highlight/shadow and contrast will already make it look amazing.
it will sometimes bring back a totally black image (forget to turn on flash) into a usable web image.
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