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04-23-2018, 11:26 AM   #1
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RAW Image Editing Guide

I've started to look more seriously at editing images and making them nicer. I installed RawTherapee and used the .pp3 from SquirrelMafia's thread and it seems to make nicer images, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a good resource/guide on how to use various features in RAW editors and what they do to make a nicer image. Thanks for any help!

04-23-2018, 11:52 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I'm a big fan of Capture One and Phase One, the company, has a lot of tutorials about image processing. It's all done on their software but almost everything ought to translate to other software packages. I mean, adjusting exposure, dodging/burning, contrast, etc are all pretty universal adjustments.
04-23-2018, 01:43 PM   #3
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Hello

In your shoes I would try youtube online tutorials / explanations…

One possibility could be, for RawTherapee, use the following search: RAWTHERAPEE - YouTube.
Spend some time with some of them.

I myself have in the last week being testing Darktable (darktable) and I’m really pleased with the program and considering to move from my ACR actual workflow into this open source solution.
My advice, test it too, and as above check the youtube tutorials and Darktable website own resources, you will not regret it.

Best regards,
04-23-2018, 06:24 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
I've started to look more seriously at editing images and making them nicer. I installed RawTherapee and used the .pp3 from SquirrelMafia's thread and it seems to make nicer images, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a good resource/guide on how to use various features in RAW editors and what they do to make a nicer image. Thanks for any help!
G'day,

Just to add to the confusion I use a different program again to the previous ones mentioned but have also used LIghtroom and of course Pentax DCU for RAW processing.

No matter what you choose to use there should be some basic controls that will allow you to work on tone, colour, noise and sharpness. There are many more beyond that but whatever you use must cover the basics to ensure the exposure and colour balance are correct. If you prefer the minimalist approach to post processing then you may need little other than ensure the white balance, contrast and sharpness are correct.

I follow a simple routine for all images. I ensure I get the maximum out of the dynamic range and ensure the light across the scene is well balanced or meets what I've tried to capture (eg a small area well lit and the rest subdued maybe). To do this I set the white and black points so I have some real black and avoid clipping the whites. I might bring down the highlights if I think they're a bit over the top. I then ensure the exposure, contrast and shadows are where I want them.

After this I look at managing haze if needed and set the WB if I think it's needed followed by adding vibrance if I think the image looks flat. I rarely add saturation, especially globally. The next step is maybe to crop, set lens correction or correct perspective distortion for a wide angle.

It is rare that I will add sharpness across the entire image so due to the way the software I use is set up I go into a different module to finish post processing. This gives me more control through masking so images shot with a wide aperture aren't sharpened where the scene should be soft. Ditto for skies as adding sharpness globally will add noise in areas of constant colour like the sky, a painted building or water.

Beyond this is the personal choice processing where an image can be left natural or changed more for an artistic effect.

In summary, with RAW processing the images do need some work but whether you intend to be artistic or leave an image natural the best approach is to set the exposure correctly with the black and white points and ensure colours are correct and saturated to taste. You will need to sharpen and may need to correct for a lens or composition.

Here's a video of these parts of post processing using the software I use. It really only focuses on the basics mentioned above.


Tas

Edit: Hope the above wasn't pitching the wrong info or aiming too low.


Last edited by Tas; 04-24-2018 at 01:44 AM.
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