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12-03-2012, 02:04 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
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.
I'm using Elements 7 myself, and was largely shooting JPG, but I've started shooting raw (DNG) and I've quickly become hooked. For a start the sensor of the K-x is 12 bit as opposed to 8 bit with JPG, which means data to work with when recovering highlights or shadows. Also Adobe Camera Raw, which Elements uses to import RAW files has a handy tool which indicates areas of blown highlights and blacks, which makes it very easy to adjust to correct lighting. There are sharpening and de-noising sliders amongst other controls, and I've found that since I've been using ACR, I often don't need to do much in Photoshop Elements once I've imported the file. The downside to ACR with Elements is if you change your mind you have to go back and import the file again, as there's no undo, but consistently better looking photos is worth the modest effort.
Frequently, but not always when I post photos online on Flickr or wherever (I've only just signed up to Pentax forums!) I try to make some comment on what post processing I've done, and maybe that would be a good habit to get into as learning from other photographers how to get the best out of an image in post is just as useful as knowing how they captured it. EXIF data is fine for the technical information about the capture, but says nothing about what was done afterwards.

12-03-2012, 05:22 PM   #32
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I used to be JPEG shooter until I've realised couple of years ago that I need to invest time into my PP skills if I wanted to take my photography to the next level.
When I've switched to Lightroom the interface just clicked with me and the speed of my progress improved. It just felt right to me, not to mention there's lots of great tutorial on youtube on how to get the most out of it.
With every photo I process which can last few seconds to few minutes, I learn something new and sometimes I go back to my favourite photos and redo them in few different ways.
I really like the way I can make virtual copies of the photos to try new techniques I've learnt.

If you want your photos to pop I would say learning a bit about postprocessing is a good investment.
12-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #33
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Thanks, Kiwizinho, that was some useful info. I think I will try RAW for a bit to see what I can do with it.

I'd like to add, just for the thread's sake, that I have a friend who is a CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) and who posts-process to the degree that her photos are paintings. Digital paintings built on the framework of a photo. I find that fascinating, although I prefer a range: straight photos (no post processing) if they don't need it all the way up to placing my subject in an entirely new background. Still honing that skill in PS Elements 7.
12-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #34
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One thing I find convenient is to shoot RAW + JPEG 2MP. That way I always have small easily uploadable JPEGs for facebug or mailing to friends if I've taken a lot of photos somewhere and also the RAW files for those pictures I want to do something extra with.

12-03-2012, 08:02 PM   #35
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As an aside, one of the best feelings in the world is to snap a shot, hit 'auto' for the RAW and have it do almost NOTHING because you nailed the shot perfectly as far as exposure and colors go.
12-04-2012, 10:34 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
I think I will try RAW for a bit to see what I can do with it.
Raw processing has a learning curve. The first few frames will probably look worse than in camera JPEGs, but practice and time makes perfect.
12-04-2012, 11:43 PM   #37
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Like scot aka snostorm. I shoot exclusively JPEG, I do not let the camera however make all the decisions, as I constantly adjust contrast and color balance settings to get the exposure right.

I will push the RAW button occasionally, if I know that the shot is a one of a kind opportunity, but not often. I find JPEG is perfect for me. Having said that I will occasionally adjust shots when posting, but I only declare post processing in the lens sample archive, ow when discussing the optical quality of lenses, because the, I feel people have a right to know what can come right out of the camera vs being post processed. For artistic shots, I don't make any claims. I think this is the right balance
12-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #38
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I agree; people often want to know what can come right out of the camera.

12-06-2012, 10:45 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
I agree; people often want to know what can come right out of the camera.
I am not so sure about that and the reason is that "what comes out of the camera" is the muted JPEG version that nobody uses to present. If you upload whatever the camera manufacturer set for default, than you simply let the manufacturer do the PP for you. If you change settings for the JPEGs, you actually do PP, but a very limited one, which doesn't utilized the full potential of the camera.
Since PP is anyways being done, why not use it to it's most potential?
12-06-2012, 11:34 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Euronitzan Quote
I am not so sure about that and the reason is that "what comes out of the camera" is the muted JPEG version that nobody uses to present. If you upload whatever the camera manufacturer set for default, than you simply let the manufacturer do the PP for you. If you change settings for the JPEGs, you actually do PP, but a very limited one, which doesn't utilized the full potential of the camera.
Since PP is anyways being done, why not use it to it's most potential?
Even my old K100D has some basic settings for JPG processing, contrast, saturation and sharpness. It also has natural or bright image tone. Couple that with white balance and you have the 5 most common things you do when processing a RAW on the computer. The K-5 is in a whole different league for on camera processing, but is still nowhere close to what I can get if I do it in Darktable.
12-07-2012, 01:37 PM   #41
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Never bothered with it on my K5... maybe when it will sync with a mouse, but until then, the computer will stay much more convenient.
12-07-2012, 09:53 PM   #42
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My Certified Professional Photographer friend works in JPEG and TIFF without ever concerning herself with RAW. She is making a nice living with her portrait photography. I think the issue is immediacy; people want photos quickly. Shooting/Processing in Raw would be an extra step for her.
12-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
My Certified Professional Photographer friend works in JPEG and TIFF without ever concerning herself with RAW. She is making a nice living with her portrait photography. I think the issue is immediacy; people want photos quickly. Shooting/Processing in Raw would be an extra step for her.
When dealing with portraits she is probably often in full control over lighting, which is not always the case in photography. Sometimes you're making the best out of what light you are given, RAW helps you do that.
12-08-2012, 07:43 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
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.
Even with Kodachrome you had a little latitude. Even in developing it. Changing your top and bottom exposures would yield different results in the final slide.

QuoteQuote:
I agree; people often want to know what can come right out of the camera.
If you want to see that look at an unprocessed Raw. That's right out of the camera with no processing so to speak.

I started developing my own film in 6th grade.Had my own darkroom in 7th. Everything that was done had some post to it.

Whether it was the paper I chose. The development times I used. The developer I used. The actual enlarger and lenses I chose all affected the final print. Dodging. burning, Composites (We had "layers" way before photoshop. Just had to be willing to hand cut them. And when you screwed up you started over.) I use to spend days cutting masks to get a photo that you couldn't tell was a fake. But I got pretty good at it and even was called as an expert witness as a teen a few times. All that said I shoot raw + jpeg. I like having a fairly decent shot to just print and put in an album. Not every picture needs to be "perfect" It's taken me a long time to realize that.
There's a pretty good chance that you've never seen a shot "right out of the camera" since so many things will change its appearance. Including the light it's viewed under.
Here's one for you. I do PP for a few different photogs. Try coming up with different "styles". It's not easy.
12-17-2012, 05:45 PM   #45
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great read!

i purchased a K5 late last year with 18-55mm and had my old sigma 28-200 lying around from my MZ50. been shooting in jpeg because i've been travelling for a few years and my dell 10" laptop doesn't have the guts to run any decent processing program. now i'm home i'll be picking up an iMac of some description and getting hold of one of the programs mentioned above.

i consider myself a bit better than an intermediate shooter and i think this is part of what's required to take it to the next level.
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