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RAW images - why and how to...

This is a discussion on RAW images - why and how to... within the Podcasting forums, part of the Education & Technical category; Hey Marko, I was thinking that maybe RAW images could be a good subject for a podcast. I don't know ...

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    Default RAW images - why and how to...

    Hey Marko,

    I was thinking that maybe RAW images could be a good subject for a podcast. I don't know much about RAW or how to process a RAW image.

    What do you think ?
    Lovin

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    Hmm - not sure about that one since it's so basic and depends on the software used to process the image. Basically RAW is just a really good file format because it captures so much information (more than JPEG).

    That's really all you need to know. PROCESSING the raw file in a program like lightroom, bridge or other programs is where the magic happens, and talking about different programs to process the file, just doesn't seem like good teaching. These programs must be played with by the photographer IMO. There are many online free tutorials that would serve this task much more effectively than my doing a podcast on it.

    If there's something more specific to this that I am missing, please let me know.

    many thanks,
    Marko
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    Hmm this is from another thread with good info from Ben H

    Originally Posted by Lovin
    How should I process RAW images? Is anything special about this post-processing?

    Ben H answered
    When a camera takes a picture in JPG mode (ie, not RAW), the camera does the following:-

    - Grab the data from the sensor
    - Adjust the colour temperature (white balance) according to its own settings (or user settings)
    - Adjust the contrast according to its own settings (or user settings)
    - Adjust the colour according to its own settings (or user settings)
    - Sharpen the data according to its own settings (or user settings)
    - Save/compress to JPG according to its own settings (or user settings)

    So given this, RAW data is just the data from the first step above.

    Once you have that, then you may want to adjust those other things in a manner similar to how the camera would. RAW images in general are often flat and soft, so they do benefit from contrast adjustments and definitely sharpening. You sometimes may need to adjust the white balance too.

    But as always, these things are down to you, and depend upon your tastes and the image in question.

    I do agree though that at first it's difficult to assess what you "should do" to a RAW image - a podcast on this would be beneficial to a lot of people I think, so it's a good idea.

    But as always, the more images you do, the better you develop your understanding and experience to make good decisions.
    Question - what program will you use to process your RAW images?
    thx Marko
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    I'm using Adobe Lightroom 2, and Photoshop CS2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marko View Post
    Hmm - not sure about that one since it's so basic and depends on the software used to process the image. Basically RAW is just a really good file format because it captures so much information (more than JPEG).

    That's really all you need to know. PROCESSING the raw file in a program like lightroom, bridge or other programs is where the magic happens, and talking about different programs to process the file, just doesn't seem like good teaching. These programs must be played with by the photographer IMO. There are many online free tutorials that would serve this task much more effectively than my doing a podcast on it.

    If there's something more specific to this that I am missing, please let me know.

    many thanks,
    Marko
    Indeed, fair enough to me.

    Thanks,
    Lovin

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    Hi, Lovin

    One thing I would definitely recommend is that you convert a copy of the RAW file of any image that you are particularly fond of and think you may be holding onto for more than just a couple of years to the TIFF format.

    Why? Because RAW files are not constructed to any industry standard, yet. I know that it’s being kicked around, but to date each manufacturer insist on a proprietary format that can, and probably will, create issues in the future. Hardware, operating systems, and imaging software change at a rapid pace and in the future it may be impossible to find a combination of the three that will allow you to open and work with the RAW files you create today.

    Why the TIFF format? The biggest reason is that it suffers less from editing. Each time you open, edit, and save a JPEG the quality of the image is degraded. TIFF’s aren’t perfect in that regard, but they’re probably the next best thing to a RAW file that the average person will work with. I know storage can be an issue as they tend to be much larger than JPEG’s so I wouldn’t recommend you do this with every image you create in RAW, but that irreplaceable shot of Aunt Em or Toto is one that I’d try to find some room for somewhere as a TIFF.

    What make of camera do you shoot with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    One thing I would definitely recommend is that you convert a copy of the RAW file of any image that you are particularly fond of and think you may be holding onto for more than just a couple of years to the TIFF format.
    Actually, the DNG format is probably a better choice.

    You keep your pristine RAW data + all meta data in a non-vendor-specific open format, without needing to burn in things like white balance settings as you would when exporting as a bitmap image.

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    I’d agree provided that when the manufactures finally agree on a standard, that standard is the DNG format. If the powers that be (i.e. Canon and Nikon) should happen to agree upon a standard that is different, who’s to say that DNG won’t fall by the wayside, as unlikely as that may be? The two aforementioned makes have less motivation to jump on board the DNG wagon because they know that software vendors will have to support their proprietary formats no matter what. All I’m saying is that for archival purposes, I feel like TIFF’s will always be supported.

    Sorry , I need to shut my mouth about things I know so little about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    The two aforementioned makes have less motivation to jump on board the DNG wagon because they know that software vendors will have to support their proprietary formats no matter what.
    Well on the flipside, they also have a vested interest to come away from the proprietry camera formats, because new cameras *will not work* with existing software until that software is upgraded.

    Let's say I bought a Canon 5D MK2 when it came out. Awesome! Great camera, and I have Lightroom and Photoshop. Except... oh. I can't use my thousand pounds worth of awesome software because they can't read the 5DMK2 raw files. Crap. Oh well, I'll shoot *shudder* JPEGs and hope that, maybe next week, they'll make an update that supports my Camera. Or the week after that...

    If I use Aperture, I'd have to wait for an OSX update that hopefully includes the camera I just bought. When will that be? Who knows?

    See what I mean? An open format means that new cameras are automatically supported, and gives an incentive to buy a new camera, rather than waiting until all my software natively supports the the RAW file formats.

    Anyway, just being argumentative to get across the point...

    Quote Originally Posted by Barefoot View Post
    All I’m saying is that for archival purposes, I feel like TIFF’s will always be supported.
    Sure. You always have the option of doing that too. Bottom line, do what makes sense to you and you feel comfortable with.

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    <humor>It’s not fair of you to use Canon as the example <humor> All kidding aside, Canon is much more open to helping software vendors than Nikon, as Nik Software turns a fair profit with some of their products. I’m using Capture NX 2, and can’t imagine anything being as good or better. That “U-Point Technology” is awesome. My only beef is that it should have come bundled with the camera instead of me having to pay extra to get it.

    Canon did announce at this years Photokina that they would be “migrating” towards DNG while Nikon would only say that they “would study the matter”.

    I really don't know what I'm talking about, and maybe I should look into some software that supports DNG conversion. Thanks for your views on it.

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