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03-08-2014, 01:51 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
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.
Not much more to add in addition to the great advice here, and Steve's perfect analogy.

But the above from Parallax is excellent advice and I'd like to echo it. Some of my best (most iconic?) shots were when I was first starting out thanks to the weather and lighting doing all the work for me - all I had to do was be there and click the shutter. Those images do not have any raws anymore, and thus I will never be able to improve on my initial PP skills, which at that time were EXTREMELY lacking compared to what I am capable of now.

Along the same vein, back up your files in multiple formats. I had a very successful photojournalism project from my deployment time in Afghanistan from Feb '12 to Feb '13. I learned my lesson and saved my RAWs from the entire deployment. During the final week, in the flights back, both my laptop and my external harddrive were corrupted by a virus and the entirety of the data was destroyed. Since then, I have been even more vigilant in my data, and I follow the military redundancy formula of "One is none, two is one, three is two." Another one is PACE, or your Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency plans (critical for stuff like communication mediums during mission ).

Regarding shooting itself - RAW is initially daunting. I started as JPG and then RAW+, and now I'm a 100% RAW only shooter. At first it was extremely time consuming, but now that I have a workflow and know what I'm doing, I can process a photo up to high enough standards to qualify for facebook in under 20 seconds. If it's a great shot and I really want to get it right, then I'll spend a few minutes on it in Lightroom. But no longer does it take me minutes upon minutes for each individual image (which adds up on a shoot of 50 images, much less 200+ shots), because I know what the sliders do, where they are located, and how to technically use the software to get the effect I want and visualize in my mind. Just like cooking (to use the same metaphor Steve used) - it takes me a WHILE to cook because I'm still figuring out what the hell I'm doing and what goes well with what. Just the other day I made meatloaf from scratch (and meatloaf is something I've never done before). Took me almost two hours! My wife? Before ingredients are even out of the refrigerator she can announce "Dinner will be ready in 20 minutes!"

One is none, two is one...

-Heie


Last edited by Heie; 03-08-2014 at 01:59 AM.
03-08-2014, 02:51 AM   #47
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For me, RAW is essential because I use the expose to the right method for my serious shots. So I end up PP all of my shots anyway.

I agree with some of what was said before, if you're happy with JPGs, then that's probably a good enough reason to keep doing that. If you want to 'future proof' the image then RAW+ is probably best.

I enjoy getting the best out of my photos and hopefully my best keeps getting better, so RAW is for me. If you don't enjoy fiddling with your pictures and you just want to get a good result and move on, JPGs might be a good answer.
03-08-2014, 06:09 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadMathMind Quote
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.
Why do you take the extra step of extracting an image in one program then processing it in PS? Why not just open the raw file in Photoshop? To continue the cooking metaphor - That's like cleaning a fish in one kitchen then taking it to another one to cook it.
03-08-2014, 08:25 AM   #49
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The problem I have with RAW plus is that I don't have an easy way to compare to the two photos without first developing the RAW file, at which point I might just as well have shot RAW only.

03-08-2014, 08:59 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The problem I have with RAW plus is that I don't have an easy way to compare to the two photos without first developing the RAW file, at which point I might just as well have shot RAW only.
What do you mean compare the 2 photos? There numerous viewers that will let you see the unprocessed raw photo (unprocessed as in camera settings not applied, as opposed to the embedded jpg).
03-08-2014, 09:24 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
What do you mean compare the 2 photos? There numerous viewers that will let you see the unprocessed raw photo (unprocessed as in camera settings not applied, as opposed to the embedded jpg).
The problem I have is the viewers just show an undeveloped photo and I don't know until I work on it, whether it is worth keeping the RAW or not. If I know I am going to just shoot and I won't be taking time to develop the photos anyway, then I shoot jpeg. If I know that I am going to be post processing the photos anyway (shooting landscape mainly), then, I shoot RAW.
03-08-2014, 10:45 AM   #52
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Faststone and Irfanview can be set it to show either the raw, or the embedded jpg.
03-08-2014, 10:58 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
The problem I have with RAW plus is that I don't have an easy way to compare to the two photos without first developing the RAW file, at which point I might just as well have shot RAW only.
I don't know much about other software but Lightroom shows the raw photo developed with the same settings the camera would use to make the jpeg. I think the Pentax bundled software also behaves this way but I haven;t used it much so not sure.

I generally find that if I export the jpeg from Lightroom without touching any settings the JPEG it produces is almost indistinguishable from that produced in camera, and it is also almost identical to what it shows on screen when browsing through the raw images.

PS: the exception to this is when I set Multi-AWB on the K-3 - the white balance can turn out very different in LR compared to what the camera produces.

03-08-2014, 02:14 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
I don't know much about other software but Lightroom shows the raw photo developed with the same settings the camera would use to make the jpeg.
No, it doesn't. Very easy to show… set your camera to do raw+jpg and set the JPG to black and white, the raw will show in color in lightroom. It will default to the "as-shot" white balance, of course, and whatever basic exposure level you took the photo at, but by default it won't even use the embedded color profile, it will use the adobe one. Shooting in "natural" and using the "embedded" color profile gets closer to a match, but it still probably won't be an exact jpg to raw match in any version of LR I've used, anyway (3-5).
03-08-2014, 04:42 PM - 1 Like   #55
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When it comes to comparing the RAW image to some standard for reference (i.e. did I get the shot right?) I think the best standard you could use is your mind's eye. When you do your post processing you will no doubt remember how the scene appeared to you. You know how it's suppose to be. Shadows will always look darker than they should be. Highlight could be blown out. White balance may be whacked. A lot of that can be tweaked very effectively. Load the RAW into your software and make it look the way you think it should be vs. what the camera thinks. The algorithms in the camera are very generalized and have a lot less computing horsepower to drawn upon compared to what you will find on a computer.
03-09-2014, 02:48 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
No, it doesn't. Very easy to show… set your camera to do raw+jpg and set the JPG to black and white, the raw will show in color in lightroom. It will default to the "as-shot" white balance, of course, and whatever basic exposure level you took the photo at, but by default it won't even use the embedded color profile, it will use the adobe one. Shooting in "natural" and using the "embedded" color profile gets closer to a match, but it still probably won't be an exact jpg to raw match in any version of LR I've used, anyway (3-5).
Interesting and good to know. I guess I only ever changed the white balance.
03-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
Faststone and Irfanview can be set it to show either the raw, or the embedded jpg.
+1

I use Faststone and it is extremely handy this way. In fact, the embedded JPG's that my Pentax cameras put in the DNG files are often all I need to use if all I want is a quick and dirty crop to put in an email.

I use RAW+ with my K30 because with a normal shot, it's very difficult to me to "top" the jpg using either Silkypix or PSE. However, I've got the RAW file for problematic shots where the JPG doesn't cut it.

So with FastStone, when I browse directory that was shot RAW+, there's two "identical" copies of each image, one JPG, one DNG. They're identical because FastStone displays the embedded JPG for the DNG file, which
is a lower resolution version of the JPG.

---------- Post added 03-10-2014 at 08:43 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
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.
Perhaps I'm completely misunderstanding how these things work, but I thought that most RAW converters don't actually do anything until you put the image into the processing queue. At that point, I should think that all your adjustments are rationalized, and then applied in a fixed, optimal order.

I remember that this was described in the manual for one of the older versions of RawTherapee, and the order of operations was actually published in the manual as a flowchart. The order in which you applied the adjustments when you were "editing" the image was irrelevant.

Maybe Lightroom does it differently, but if so, I would think that would be a huge design flaw. PSE 9 uses a dumbed down version of ACR. I don't think it matters one bit what order you tweak the controls in. Nothing happens until you click "Open Image". Then ACR processes the image, presumably applying the adjustments in the appropriate order.

I agree that if you are editing a JPG or TIFF image, the order of operations becomes critical.
03-12-2014, 08:42 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
I thought that most RAW converters don't actually do anything until you put the image into the processing queue.
If you're seeing anything at all, the raw converter is doing something. It applies a default raw conversion to an image in order to be able to display it at all.

I definitely don't agree with the statement that things in lightroom develop are in the order you're supposed to do them in… otherwise, I'd expect to see camera calibration and lens corrections on top, and a few other things moved around. It's in a usable order, for sure, but not the ideal order. What would be the point of messing around with the saturation and individual color levels and cropping and so on when you've no idea what the image is going to look like after the camera calibration color profile has been applied (assuming you don't intend to stick with "Adobe Standard") or distortion correction has been enabled?
03-12-2014, 10:10 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by narual Quote
I definitely don't agree with the statement that things in lightroom develop are in the order you're supposed to do them in…
Sorry...that is just one of the first things in the user manual and reflects my experience in several years use (since v1.0). What is important is that the changes that are done in the user interface are identical to those in the eventual exported output (WYSIWYG). I don't care how Adobe manages it under the skin. My experience has been that if you work top-down, the ability to manage PP induced artifact (jaggies, blotchies, banding, halos, etc.) is much enhanced.

Regarding the camera calibration pane, good point. I have always considered it to be an import, not a develop setting per se and why it is not in one of the preferences dialogs is a mystery to me. I suspect that it is at the bottom because it is one of things that should seldom, if ever be useful since more flexible controls are located on the other panes. To be honest, I never use the camera calibration pane and have it set on Adobe Standard (the default). I do, however have a couple of custom presets that represent my baseline changes that I almost always make after cropping, spotting, and white balance adjustment. I suppose I could change the default to one of the other options and tweak the sliders a little and set that to the default, but since I have several cameras as well as scanned files, I just leave that sleeping dog lie.


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03-12-2014, 01:56 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by arkav Quote
Perhaps I'm completely misunderstanding how these things work, but I thought that most RAW converters don't actually do anything until you put the image into the processing queue. At that point, I should think that all your adjustments are rationalized, and then applied in a fixed, optimal order.
This is how I've always understood them to work as well. For example setting Saturation to +100 then Vibrance to +100 will give the same image as first setting Vibrance to +100, then Saturation to +100.

What will be different is the human factor, if you first set Saturation to +100, you might find Vibrance of +80 to be to your liking. If you first set Vibrance to +100, you might find Saturation of +80 to be to your liking. So working in a different order might lead the user to different settings. In this sense, I've also understood the develop module from top to bottom was laid out in the order that the creators felt to be the optimal workflow. At least in a general sense, and certainly not intending to stop people from working bottom to top or moving around whatever way they prefer or applying profiles on import.


(Note: the above saturation and vibrance settings are as an example only not recommended unless you want your eyes to bleed)
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