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03-07-2014, 01:42 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
That brings up an excellent point. Often lack of mid tone contrast is mistaken for a need for sharpening, resulting in over sharpened images. Sharpening should always be the last operation, but even if you don't make it the last, do it after you get the curves adjustment right.
This is very important. I seldom bump sharpness, but almost always adjust curves. I have also found that judicious use of the color sliders for saturation and luminance for complementary colors may be used to enhance local contrast for many images. In all cases, it is important to do the bulk of your curve or color manipulation before changing the sharpness (USM) or noise reduction settings. Breaking that rule is an invitation for artifact.

For Lightroom this flow is part of the interface design. Simply put, the Develop tab in Lightroom is designed to be used "top-down". The controls at the top should be used before those underneath. The order or precedence for my version (v3.6) is:
  • Cropping/retouch
  • White balance
  • Global exposure/contrast/clarity/saturation
  • Tone curve
  • Color manipulation (sliders for hue, saturation, and luminance for each of the eight color channels)
  • Split toning
  • Sharpening/noise reduction
  • Lens corrections
  • Special effects (vignette and such)
You may, of course, make your adjustments in any order you please, but at the greater risk of artifact.


Steve

03-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Cropping/retouch
White balance
Global exposure/contrast/clarity/saturation
Tone curve
Color manipulation (sliders for hue, saturation, and luminance for each of the eight color channels)
Split toning
Sharpening/noise reduction
Lens corrections
Special effects (vignette and such)
That looks about like mine other than I apply the lens corrections first.
03-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This is very important. I seldom bump sharpness, but almost always adjust curves. I have also found that judicious use of the color sliders for saturation and luminance for complementary colors may be used to enhance local contrast for many images. In all cases, it is important to do the bulk of your curve or color manipulation before changing the sharpness (USM) or noise reduction settings. Breaking that rule is an invitation for artifact.


For Lightroom this flow is part of the interface design. Simply put, the Develop tab in Lightroom is designed to be used "top-down". The controls at the top should be used before those underneath. The order or precedence for my version (v3.6) is:
  • Cropping/retouch
  • White balance
  • Global exposure/contrast/clarity/saturation
  • Tone curve
  • Color manipulation (sliders for hue, saturation, and luminance for each of the eight color channels)
  • Split toning
  • Sharpening/noise reduction
  • Lens corrections
  • Special effects (vignette and such)
You may, of course, make your adjustments in any order you please, but at the greater risk of artifact.


Steve
Thanks...I always wondered when I should do lens correction if I use PTLens for a lens that's not available on LR or DxO.

---------- Post added 03-07-14 at 12:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
That looks about like mine other than I apply the lens corrections first.
D'oh...
LOL.
03-07-2014, 01:51 PM   #34
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It doesn't matter when you apply the lens correction... is whatever is good for you!
The info is not lost either way - you can always reset to the original settings.

03-07-2014, 01:52 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I would point out that the Pentax .PEF file (raw) can not be over-written accidentally
??? I assume you are referring to the non-destructive editing that is inherent in working with RAW files. The PP manipulation is applied as settings used by the RAW converter and is never written to the .PEF or .DNG file. The original RAW output is maintained unchanged until the file is physically removed or overwritten by the operating system.

Lightroom is able to do something similar with .jpg files in that the PP is only applied on export with the output being written to a location specific to that purpose. The original file is always treated as read-only.


Steve
03-07-2014, 01:52 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Thanks...I always wondered when I should do lens correction
I'm not sure it matters when it's applied. I just do it first because, well, I just do it first.
03-07-2014, 02:04 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
That looks about like mine other than I apply the lens corrections first.
The problem with applying the lens correction early is that distortion correction usually involves extrapolation to build new pixels and/or selective sampling for removal of original pixels. My understanding is that the regions where this is applied are more vulnerable to artifact on later edits. I should note that my version of LR does not support automatic distortion correction, so things may be different in versions that do support that feature.

In regards to CA correction, I am not sure how that works, though in practical terms, I have noticed that the false color associated with CA is often intensified by changes to contrast or color balance. Doing the CA correction last helps make sure that the correction is adequate and lessens the possibility of haloing artifact.

All that being said, I must confess that I often apply both distortion correction and CA correction fairly early in the process. Though with PT Lens, it is always the final step when I use it since it is always an edit on a non-RAW source.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-07-2014 at 02:10 PM.
03-07-2014, 02:06 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The problem with applying the lens correction early is that distortion correction usually involves extrapolation to build new pixels and/or selective sampling for removal of original pixels. My understanding is that the regions where this is applied are more vulnerable to artifact on later edits.
Okay, that makes sense.

03-07-2014, 02:14 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Okay, that makes sense.
What makes sense and what is actually important are often two different things. I suspect that the good folk at Adobe anticipate some of our usage quirks and manage the processing in such a way to make everything work.


Steve
03-07-2014, 04:37 PM   #40
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WOW, thank you all so much for the clarity of explaining what RAW is. I knew it had to do with storing ALL the photos information, but I also thought that the photo would look WAY better than Jpeg's. That's why I posted this post. I wondered why it wasn't so. Now I know that I should take my RAW images and use Photoshop to enhance them to what I think best and then save that file as a Jpeg. My other question would be, should I keep the RAW image even after I obtain the output I desire? Sure it may benefit me to keep it, but the HD storage space it takes is like "OUCH". Any opinions on that?

---------- Post added 03-07-14 at 05:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Bert, if you bought some flour, eggs, butter and sugar then stuffed it all in your mouth would it be the same experience as eating a pre baked sponge cake?
No.
RAW means you are the cook.
STEVE: Love your description...it made me laugh, and it is so clear to me in the scenario you posted. Thanks for the chuckle & the clarity of your message.

..Bert
03-07-2014, 05:06 PM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bertminator Quote
My other question would be, should I keep the RAW image even after I obtain the output I desire? Sure it may benefit me to keep it, but the HD storage space it takes is like "OUCH". Any opinions on that?
Do not delete your raw files. As your PP skills progress you will, in the future, want to revisit your earlier work. You'll look at pictures that you had done previously and realize that you've learned new techniques, and perfected others since you processed them and want to redo them. This isn't something that could happen, or might happen. It WILL happen and you are going to want the raw files to work with.
03-07-2014, 06:04 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
??? I assume you are referring to the non-destructive editing that is inherent in working with RAW files.
I'm talking that you can't save a file you are editing as a PEF file. It is saved as a different format (jpg, PSD, TIFF) etc. So, you can not overwrite the original and lose it, as you can with a jpg.
03-07-2014, 06:40 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
I'm talking that you can't save a file you are editing as a PEF file. It is saved as a different format (jpg, PSD, TIFF) etc. So, you can not overwrite the original and lose it, as you can with a jpg.
Yep, that's true and I think that is what I said. Thanks for confirming.


Steve

---------- Post added 03-07-14 at 05:47 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Do not delete your raw files.
1+ to this advice. When I first got my Canon G2 some years back, I processed the RAW files to TIFF and then threw them away. Big mistake! I basically threw away the ability to revisit my interpretation of the image. Now I treat my RAW files in much the same way that I treat my old film negatives.


Steve
03-07-2014, 08:44 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Bert, if you bought some flour, eggs, butter and sugar then stuffed it all in your mouth would it be the same experience as eating a pre baked sponge cake?
No.
RAW means you are the cook.
My personal problem is that I don't know any good recipes and this kitchen is baffling and unintuitive.
03-07-2014, 09:47 PM   #45
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I'm sure I'm doing it wrong but...

I shoot in RAW+ because the RAW file gives me access to an uncompressed image I can edit. I just use the Pentax utility to extract a TIFF image with the same settings as the JPEG and then go to work in Photoshop on it. That's probably not optimal but it works well enough for me.

I'm just not anal enough to need to squeeze the absolute best possible quality and definition from my images. I'm looking at this stuff on less than perfect screens anyway, so it doesn't need to be tip-top. Instead, I try to work on things like getting it as close to right as possible right out of the camera. Since metering, white balance, etc. aren't perfect, if an image looks a bit sad I can spiff it up. Otherwise, if it's mostly ok, then I just roll with the JPEG from the camera.
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