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08-10-2015, 03:44 AM   #1
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Lens: 18-135 WR Camera: K50 Photo Location: Cape Cod, MA ISO: 400 Aperture: F11 

Day 4 with my new K50 and really enjoying this.

I'm completely new to Raw so have the K50 set to Raw+ so I can compare them to JPG's. I was hoping to get some comments on the below JPG's which were exported from Picasa from the original Raw file.

First is the unedited except for whatever Picasa does when it imports the file. The second one is some tweaking I did with Picasa's sliders.

Let me know what you think.

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08-10-2015, 04:24 AM   #2
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One of the advantages of using RAW as against JPEG is you have much greater flexibility with shadow detail, perhaps 1.5 stops or more.

So I prefer the dramatic horizon with the dominating sun's rays and after-glow against the dark sky. You might even be able to reduce the highlights so the sun is more pronounced as well.

While there's more shadow detail in the second processing there's not much of interest. The beach reveals some details. But they now point away from the sun to the far shore, neutralising the strong sunset and losing it in a brighter sky. It's a better exposure but your picture should pop, rather than be flat, in my view.

You need a raw editor, with a masking and tone curve function. This helps retain the drama of the sunset sky, while upping the beach shadow. You could also increase the contrast in the shadow as well. Even vignetting around the sunset on the left is worth exploring.

What are you trying to achieve? Is it meant to be a record shot? In that case, the second image has more to offer in disclosing the look of the beach and buildings at sunset. If you want to convey some of the drama, then it's worth playing with it some more.

Last edited by johnhilvert; 08-10-2015 at 04:32 AM. Reason: Grammar.
08-12-2015, 10:17 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnhilvert Quote
One of the advantages of using RAW as against JPEG is you have much greater flexibility with shadow detail, perhaps 1.5 stops or more.

So I prefer the dramatic horizon with the dominating sun's rays and after-glow against the dark sky. You might even be able to reduce the highlights so the sun is more pronounced as well.

While there's more shadow detail in the second processing there's not much of interest. The beach reveals some details. But they now point away from the sun to the far shore, neutralising the strong sunset and losing it in a brighter sky. It's a better exposure but your picture should pop, rather than be flat, in my view.

You need a raw editor, with a masking and tone curve function. This helps retain the drama of the sunset sky, while upping the beach shadow. You could also increase the contrast in the shadow as well. Even vignetting around the sunset on the left is worth exploring.

What are you trying to achieve? Is it meant to be a record shot? In that case, the second image has more to offer in disclosing the look of the beach and buildings at sunset. If you want to convey some of the drama, then it's worth playing with it some more.
John,
Thanks so much for the tips. I'm trying out some different editors now. The best question you asked me what 'what are you trying to achieve?' It seems that if I ask myself that before each shot things can only improve.

Thanks,
Joe
08-12-2015, 10:45 AM   #4
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The thing about Post Processing, especially in Raw, is that once you have the scene recorded then you can produce a picture that expresses how you feel about the scene. I did some quick adjusting with your JPEG to get what I like, you may like or not.

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08-12-2015, 01:28 PM   #5
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You might be able to just lift the shadows a little bit to see more of the foreground and not lose the dramatic sunset.
08-12-2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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I'd decrease your shadows slightly then add some ND to the sky. Ease up on those saturations though. They can really make an image look cheap if you don't know what your doing. I'd consider investing in Lightroom and following a few tutorials on YouTube. The real potential of RAW will shine and you will understand just why RAW is used and how we can achieve what we really saw (with maybe that extra punch if needed).
08-12-2015, 01:59 PM   #7
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It's a surrealistic shot anyway so I thought why not take some liberties with it?

I divided the sky and land into two layers and PP them separately and then blended them together again.

However to do properly I would need a RAW file to get a really interesting tone out of it.

Last edited by wildman; 08-17-2015 at 05:40 AM.
08-12-2015, 06:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
It's a surrealistic shot anyway so I thought why not take some liberties with it?

I divided the sky and land into two layers and PP them separately and then blended them together again.

However to do properly I would need a RAW file to get a really interesting tone out of it.
Wow. I love this.

08-13-2015, 05:21 AM   #9
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Thanks again for all the tips. I'm using all the educational tools I can find. Our library just started offering Lynda.com (Best use of my tax dollars that I've seen!) which has quite a bit in the photography area.

Also, here is a link to the DNG of this image if anyone is interested -->> https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/75329239/IMGP0026.DNG
08-13-2015, 06:23 AM   #10
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Here's my surrealistic interpretation:

08-13-2015, 06:55 AM   #11
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That makes it look like an early winter evening, with some fragile blowing snow and frozen lakefront.
08-13-2015, 10:04 AM   #12
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Wow, nice job. I'm off to learn some post processing skills.
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