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02-06-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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The Power of Raw (Before and After)

Here's a shot i took today while i had my camera set to raw. The sky is very cloudy / bright and it's raining. The tree is closer to me and a little dark. If i focused on the tree then sky will be washed out and overexposed. Viseversa is also true if exposure is not properly set. It's an issue many users face ignoring the importance of Raw and how easily this can be fixed with post processing.

Below is a before and after. In This photo i focused to the sky without underexposing the tree or washing out the colors. It is very important that you do not underexpose or overexpose parts of the picture, otherwise you won't be able to bring back thedetails. Pentax K7 does a very nice job flashing areas on the LCD showing you what parts of the photo is washed out (overexposed / underexposed).
Using Photoshop Camera raw, fixing took 20 seconds.

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02-06-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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Nice sample... shows why in most cases you shouldn't blow a sky.
02-07-2010, 10:27 AM   #3
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I love the data pentax machines can store at shadows. When you amplify them it can become a bit noisy, but noise is managable by software.....overblown highlights are not.
02-09-2010, 11:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for this great example of the power and raw. I thought I might (somewhat) hijack this thread to ask a question that I've been contemplating for sometime about RAW and workflow with RAW.

I am a relative newcomer to photography (my K-x is my first DSLR). To begin with I shot RAW+ because (after a lot of pre-purchase reading) I understood the advantages of RAW but wanted the instant gratification of JPG also. I have recently switched to shooting RAW only and my (temporary) workflow consists of using Lightroom 3 beta, Noise Ninja and PTLens.

I've been wondering at what point am I best of converting RAW files into TIFFs (16 bit) from Lightroom to edit in Noise Ninja and/or PTLens. To date, I have tended to:
a) do any white balance, exposure and brightness/blacks/recovery/contrast etc, in Lightroom first then
b) export into Noise Ninja for noise removal then
c) edit in PTLens for barrel distortion corrections then
d) final changes in Lightroom (hue, saturation, sharpening etc) then
e) crop and export for printing/uploading.

The Noise Ninja documentation states that it is best to use it as early as possible in the workflow. I thought it would be best to make the changes to exposure, brightness etc to the RAW file in Lightroom before exporting to a TIFF to open in Noise Ninja. Is this the best approach?

Would it be better to export as a TIFF into Noise Ninja before making exposure/brightness changes to the TIFF? Is it possible to take a shot like the "before" shot (above), convert it to a 16 bit TIFF and still be able to achieve the same quality "after" shot?

One final, and somewhat related question, is to do with colour space. If my monitor is not capable of 100% of the AdobeRGB colour space but is capable of 100% of the sRGB colour space, I thought it made the most sense to shoot in sRGB. When I export files to TIFFS in Lightroom it still recommends using AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB. If the image was shot in sRGB, and for the final export I use sRGB, is there any argument for using AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB for TIFF files created to edit in Noise Ninja or PTLens?

02-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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Ok this tread might get moved but I can help on some of these questions:

AdobeRGB(aRGB) is a 'better' colour space, however, the entire work flow needs to be aRGB. If the printer, monitor or software you use at any step is not aRGB, you are working within sRGB and the colours will end up someplace between close and not at all what you thought depending on how they are translated between the two pallets. If your process can carry aRGB from beginning to end, use it, if not sRGB is fine.
02-09-2010, 11:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
AdobeRGB(aRGB) is a 'better' colour space, however, the entire work flow needs to be aRGB. If the printer, monitor or software you use at any step is not aRGB, you are working within sRGB and the colours will end up someplace between close and not at all what you thought depending on how they are translated between the two pallets. If your process can carry aRGB from beginning to end, use it, if not sRGB is fine.
Great. That's what I thought. Given my monitor is only capable of sRGB I thought it made the most sense to just operate within that space (from start, camera, through to end - printed or uploaded onto the web). I couldn't understand Lightroom's argument that working in ProPhotoRGB for just a portion of the workflow would produce superior results.
02-10-2010, 01:46 AM   #7
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Nice work.
Have you tried adding a little more contrast to the shadow recovery elements?
They seem a little flat on my monitor.

I use the term contrast, but if I had to use a better one it might be better described as structure.

See: Nik Software, Inc. | Viveza 2
02-10-2010, 06:43 PM   #8
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by GingerBeer Quote
Thanks for this great example of the power and raw. I thought I might (somewhat) hijack this thread to ask a question that I've been contemplating for sometime about RAW and workflow with RAW.

I am a relative newcomer to photography (my K-x is my first DSLR). To begin with I shot RAW+ because (after a lot of pre-purchase reading) I understood the advantages of RAW but wanted the instant gratification of JPG also. I have recently switched to shooting RAW only and my (temporary) workflow consists of using Lightroom 3 beta, Noise Ninja and PTLens.

I've been wondering at what point am I best of converting RAW files into TIFFs (16 bit) from Lightroom to edit in Noise Ninja and/or PTLens. To date, I have tended to:
a) do any white balance, exposure and brightness/blacks/recovery/contrast etc, in Lightroom first then
b) export into Noise Ninja for noise removal then
c) edit in PTLens for barrel distortion corrections then
d) final changes in Lightroom (hue, saturation, sharpening etc) then
e) crop and export for printing/uploading.

The Noise Ninja documentation states that it is best to use it as early as possible in the workflow. I thought it would be best to make the changes to exposure, brightness etc to the RAW file in Lightroom before exporting to a TIFF to open in Noise Ninja. Is this the best approach?

Would it be better to export as a TIFF into Noise Ninja before making exposure/brightness changes to the TIFF? Is it possible to take a shot like the "before" shot (above), convert it to a 16 bit TIFF and still be able to achieve the same quality "after" shot?

One final, and somewhat related question, is to do with colour space. If my monitor is not capable of 100% of the AdobeRGB colour space but is capable of 100% of the sRGB colour space, I thought it made the most sense to shoot in sRGB. When I export files to TIFFS in Lightroom it still recommends using AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB. If the image was shot in sRGB, and for the final export I use sRGB, is there any argument for using AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB for TIFF files created to edit in Noise Ninja or PTLens?

You do not necessesary have to do all those adjustments unless you took a very bad picture. In most cases lightroom or photoshop camera raw will do the job for you. If Photo taken at high iso, then you can use noise ninja after you do your raw adjustments . I personally like niksoftware dfine plugin for photoshop. I use photoshop camera raw becasue i like to work with layers.

Raw adjustents do not add noise to your image. You can always use noise ninja afterwards if needed.

Use sRGB

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