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12-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ecaterin Quote
As much as presets can give you some great results, I can't recommend strongly enough that you put your photo in your editing program and just....try everything. Tweak every slider, check out every effect, look up tutorials and see how people combine techniques - put your photo through a pretzel of processes and pay close attention to what it looks like at every stage. Try to imagine a way you'd like to alter the photo and then play with effects until you hit on one that works.

This process is really important to developing an eye for color, for contrast, for exposure, for detail, for how post processing works. It's work that's play!
.
I understand what you're saying, however I think many who get into DP quickly discover there's a time committment they are unwilling or unable to make to get those truly good pics. It makes me wonder just how many simply shoot .jpg (for decent but not fully realized potential) and leave it at that, then go back to their camera phone.

12-02-2012, 08:58 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by arcturus Quote
Good stuff, too bad I can't find much if anything for Darktable.
I'm surprised to see another Darktable user, we aren't very common. I only have very specific presets, so anything I've done is useless to you unless you're doing exactly the same thing. Most of the time I'm not using a preset.

QuoteOriginally posted by arcturus Quote
I understand what you're saying, however I think many who get into DP quickly discover there's a time committment they are unwilling or unable to make to get those truly good pics. It makes me wonder just how many simply shoot .jpg (for decent but not fully realized potential) and leave it at that, then go back to their camera phone.
That describes a large percentage of DSLR users in the world, many might not go back to using their phone permanently, but it will see more use than their real camera. Most of them wouldn't think twice about using Instagram to post process their phone pictures, but anything that requires more than just a couple taps of the screen is too much.
12-02-2012, 09:32 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by arcturus Quote
Good stuff, too bad I can't find much if anything for Darktable.
AFAIK you can't export presets from Darktable.
12-02-2012, 09:42 PM   #19
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I have not been shooting in raw yet except for once or twice since I'm still in learning mode. However, I do understand the principles and value of shooting in raw and was quite blown away by the captured detail in raw. My issue is that I'm not real fluent with what to do with the raw file. I have the Pentax utility, Photoshop Elements 7, and Photoshop 7 (the very old program).

Post-processing is a way of life for me since I duplicate each photo, then save that file as a TIFF before doing anything to it. Then I usually clone out things like blemishes, poles that seem to grow out of the subject's head, distractions in the background, etc. Often the photo needs either to be screened (lightened) or multiplied (darkened), so I do that in a layer with sliders. Then I merge the layers, add a bit of sharpening, then save as a Jpeg in the specified size for the upload. Pentax forum requires no more than 1280 x 800, .900MB maximum size; Facebook requires a max of 2048 on the longest side of your photo. If you do not do this to Facebook photos, you will get an awful compression on your once-lovely, sharp photo. I once uploaded an original raw-turned-jpeg on Facebook and barely recognized the final picture. But that was before I got wise and began to resize every Facebook picture to the 2048 spec.

It seems snobbish to post process, but on the other hand there are folks who shoot jpeg and auto on Canon Mark III's and upload without any resizing whatsoever. Think of how good those pics would look with just a little post-processing.

I am all about having some of my macros simply relate what the insect was doing in the environment it was doing it in. Many of those photos need nothing. They are gorgeous. But when it comes to shooting people, I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't benefit from a little retouching.

12-02-2012, 09:43 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
AFAIK you can't export presets from Darktable.
In lighttable mode there is a styles drop down on the right, you can import and export them there.
12-02-2012, 09:53 PM   #21
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Every darktable user needs to have this bookmarked:

resources | darktable

I use styles extensively in darktable. The recently released dt v1.1 is excellent.

Jack
12-02-2012, 09:57 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
In lighttable mode there is a styles drop down on the right, you can import and export them there.
That's styles. User presets are not exportable AFAIK. But I would guess a style is similar to a preset in Lightroom/Aperture.

Last edited by boriscleto; 12-02-2012 at 10:03 PM.
12-02-2012, 10:29 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I would guess a style is similar to a preset in Lightroom/Aperture.
It is, in Darktable styles apply all of the tweaks needed to achieve an image, just like Lightroom's presets. The presets in Darktable apply only to the specific module, like if you had a noise reduction setting that works well at 6400 ISO with your camera you could set that as a preset on one of the denoise modules.

I just call them all presets because Aperture and Lightroom are the most commonly used post processing software and that is the terminology they use.

12-02-2012, 10:31 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
I have the Pentax utility, Photoshop Elements 7, and Photoshop 7 (the very old program).
I would try staying with Elements out of that group. Pentax is cumbersome though I use it to move files and save the exif database. Photoshop does a lot and may be overwhelming. Elements has masks, though only v9 and later has layer masks if you are into them.
12-02-2012, 10:43 PM   #25
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I always missed the ability to have any control over processing when I shot color film, but didn't ever do that myself. I probably learned something about framing and composition that way, but slowly. The annoying part was the automatic exposure of prints even when it wasn't wanted.

When I started shooting with a DSLR, the reason I used software like Elements was mostly to see what I did wrong, not to spend a lot of time fixing it. I could see what the photo would have looked like with a different exposure, why the light meter suggested the exposure I used, what effect I got changing white balance, etc. I think this is important stuff, and much easier on a computer than on the camera. You may be using processing software but you're learning about the camera and lenses. Some techniques and styles can be done in software but if you did it when taking the photo, it is usually better or easier. The point here is, processing is a learning tool too.

Lately another software advantage is lens corrections. Some typical lens issues can be removed with a click. It won't turn a cheap lens into a great lens but it will quickly fix something you couldn't avoid when shooting. Without an unlimited lens budget, this is handy, not every shot requires it though. Processing improves your lenses. (This step could be done by the camera when it's creating the JPG for some lenses.)

I have a hard time going very far with more processing because I'm not that skilled at it. You could draw a line at any point and vow to go no further, but don't expect everyone to agree with your line.
12-02-2012, 11:51 PM   #26
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I shoot a LOT of night stuff. The ability to run the photos through post process is essential for a lot of that as I need to drag latent colors kicking and screaming back out into the open. That said, most of my 'family snaps' of the kids, etc are straight OOC JPGs.
12-03-2012, 10:05 AM   #27
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I know there are a million web-sites out there with information, tutorials, tips etc. on post-processing, but, as a Lightroom user, I have found the Lightroom tutorials on SLRlounge.com to be very useful...
12-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #28
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I would like to try Lightroom since I hear it is easier and more efficient to use than Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, but I'm only operating with 1 gig of Ram on an old processor and motherboard. Be that as it may, I still can post-process, but it is slow.

Hubby and I are going to build me a photographer's computer from a bare-bones kit. Then, I will get Lightroom and give it a try.
12-03-2012, 12:50 PM - 1 Like   #29
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I think that many have answered the OP's question -- all of the shots you see posted have been processed -- to varying degrees.

I'd like to present another side of what has been represented as "jpeg shooting" though. . .

I'm not trying to be contentious, but there is more to jpeg shooting other than "let the camera make all the decisions" and leave it at that. I'm a pretty advanced amateur, and have chosen to shoot jpeg, after weighing the RAW alternative. I've done this with every camera body I've owned -- DS, K10, K20, K-7, K-5, Q, and am starting that process with the K-5 IIs I just received today. I have little doubt that I'll make the same decision that I've made in the past, but we'll see. . .

Personally, I like shooting jpegs, and I spend quite a bit of time with each new camera to set it up so it shoots what I see. You'll notice that there are quite a few parameters that are adjustable in the Custom Image Setting screen, and these only really pertain to jpegs -- These choices (or similar ones) are present in even the highest level of professional cameras. I have to assume that they're not there for the convenience of having these settings available in the RAW converter of choice -- many of them can't or don't import these settings -- They are there for those who choose to shoot jpegs. I don't believe there are any RAW only cameras out there -- I could be wrong, but if there are, there aren't very many.

Even though I shoot jpegs, I prefer to PP my images, so I set up my cameras to shoot relatively bland, then process the images as needed. I especially don't like how in-camera sharpening and high ISO NR works, so I choose to do these operations in PP with preferred programs that were specially designed to accomplish these tasks with the power of a PC. Given a good exposure, I have found that I rarely need more range than the 8 bit jpegs give me, and my favorite plugins for NR and sharpening only work with 8 bits, so any extra bits captured are just -- well -- extra. I've always had the option of shooting RAW+, and have used it on occasion. Since I shoot a K-5, a Q, and now (just got it today) a K-5 IIs, so I have the option of saving a RAW version after chimping a shot if I feel that I might want more data in the base image to work with -- most of the time, I don't. There is a surprising amount of latitude for processing in jpeg -- not as much as in RAW, but easily enough for what I tend to shoot, the great, great majority of the time.

I've been shooting digital for over 12 years for now, and have had RAW as an option for at least 8 or 9 years. Early on, I tried all of the available RAW converters at the time, and have used RAW for challenging scenes when I felt it was necessary throughout the years, but these have amounted to a very small percentage of the shots I've taken. I certainly am not arguing that RAW is not a superior format -- shooting jpegs is just better for me for more than 99% of what I shoot., Of course, YMMV.

I'm not looking to add another RAW vs JPEG debate to the millions that already exist, or will be started on the 'net in the future -- just presenting another side in this thread. . .

Scott
12-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #30
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This is an area that digital has changed a LOT. Reportage and publication work used to involve shooting, then dropping your film with the photo editor, and the publishing department handled the rest. They wanted shooters who could get usable shots that needed a minimum of work to print, so the editors wanted to see contact sheets of negatives and sets of Kodachrome slides to see how well you operated a camera and composed shots. We learned darkroom work more as a way to learn to shoot better than as and end in itself. I still prefer to try to capture the shot as if it were on Kodachrome.
Now with cameras largely taking care of exposure and focus the emphasis is shifted more to creating the imagined image, based on the capture as a starting point. Everyone can capture shots today, and everyone has a camera of some type with them all the time. The need for a staff of shooters has disappeared. There's a lot more imagination and artistry in image making today, using different skills and expectations.
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