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08-14-2007, 10:23 PM   #1
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Raw File Procesing

I was experimenting with the raw file format and wondered how others would typically process raw files. What is your process to produce an image using RAW?

Does anyone use automated processing from photoshop or tweak the settings manually? I'm only asking because the initial drawback is the number of options for me, at this moment.

I'm using Lightroom 1.1 and tried Pentax 1.00 under camera calibrations- does this make any difference?

08-14-2007, 10:33 PM   #2
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Lightroom is a great program. I use it exclusively now. Here is my (highly variable) workflow

Import image as DNG.

Straighten horizon

Set WB, usually As shot is fine but sometimes I'll tweak. There are two main philosophies of WB, accurate and creative. I tend to be creative, if it looks good it is.

I then play with exposure and highlight/black point until there are no clipped highlights or shadows.

Off to the curves dialog to open up midtones, or whatever needs it. Followed by vibrance/saturation.

Then I crop. I crop fairly late because when you start adjusting an image different things become apparant.

I tweak the image after cropping a bit.


Export as Highest quality jpeg.

I tend to use certain settings a lot and have them saved as presets.
08-14-2007, 10:34 PM   #3
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I use Lightroom also. Outside of that I don't know what else to report. For me each photo gets treated differently unless they are in a series. I start with minimal changes and add until I have gone one step too far, then undo that step. I experiment with LR's presets from time to time, just as a base to build on. My portrait work goes into Photoshop where it gets retouched. Scenics rarely leave LR until time to print or share.
08-14-2007, 10:36 PM   #4
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Oh, yes, I have to agree with Steve... Curves is where it's at, always has been, and Lightroom makes it easy to get great results.

08-16-2007, 12:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. It's neat to see how others process raw files. And, even though it's a little sad, the review of the K10D and its in-camera jpeg processing on dpreview was really telling. I think raw really opens up the potential of the camera.
08-16-2007, 07:44 AM   #6
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Once you start using RAW you'll never go back. I use a program called SilkyPix Developer Studio. I have no experience with Lightroom but I have a feeling the adjustments are very similar. My workflow is very similar to arbutusq's except I wait until I've adjusted the WB, color, and dynamic range before straightening and cropping. That way, if I'm working with a series taken with the same camera settings I can copy the development parameters from one to another without effecting the rotation of the next shot. Cropping does not copy over but straightening does. This ability to copy development parameters greatly increases workflow. If I need to do further post proccessing I export 16 bit TIF and head to photoshop for contrast mask and adjustment layering. I'll then apply benjikan's sharpening technique before going to print. Also, as I tell my wife, use the histogram when adjusting the overall dynamic range. It for me is one of the most important processing tools that is available. There are some good web articles on this topic if you are not yet familiar with the histogram.

08-16-2007, 08:49 AM   #7
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I use Photoshop's default RAW processing for now but once I get more experienced with the settings and editting, I'll do it manually.
08-16-2007, 10:40 AM   #8
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I agree with the other's Lightroom is great, or if you are using a Mac Apple Aperture is also really nice.


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