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What to do after shooting in RAW?
#1
Hello All

I have heard many times, that shooting in RAW gives you significant control in post-editing. But it makes me wonder, what exactly do I get in terms of control if I do so?

If you could share some of your experiences with maybe comparable sample images taken in RAW, with pre-edit and post-edit side by side, and explain a few points of what you were able to achieve in RAW and would not be able to do so in JPEG?

Cheers
Samy
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#2
Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you do not need to set white balance prior to shooting, if you shoot in raw. When you shoot raw, all the color information is in the file, so you can adjust the temperature to your taste after you took your photo. Other than that there's better Dynamic Range, and more control over noise reduction. If you intend to postprocess, always shoot raw. If you want a sample, take a look at my sad dog diptych from the Cats of San Antonio thread. That was shot in extremely low light conditions, at ISO 6400, and in a very yellow light. If I didn't have shot it in raw, the quality would have made the photo unusable.
Here's the link to the thread: http://www.shuttertalk.com/forums/Thread...e-Portmany

If you have Adobe Lightroom just try importing a raw file and a jpeg file and try changing the white balance. That will surely convince you of the benefits Smile
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#3
Thanks for the inputs VLAD. I think unless I actually don't go around shooting in RAW and then checking them during post processing I won't understand the full use of why one should try and shoot as many photos in RAW than in JPEG. This weekend I intend to go do some night photography and landscapes in and around San Francisco, so will make it a point to shoot it in RAW.

Also another factor that was holding me not shoot in RAW is that up until now I still have not got myself to get rid of other post-editing tools and work only with Adobe Lightroom or Elements to start with. That's the reason I had another thread setup to gather information on any good Adobe Lightroom / Elements tutorials which I can easily follow.

I have always found Adobe tools to be very overwhelming + the low processing power I have on my laptop kind of sucks every time I want to edit a batch of photos in Adobe.

Will have to be disciplined with myself I guess to : Shoot in RAW + Use Lightroom for post processing! Smile

Cheers
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#4
Go for it!
You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
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#5
You'll find out that LR4 is just about all you need for postprocessing. It's a great tool, and not that hard to use. If you have any questions regarding LR, just ask.
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#6
Paintshop Pro also processes Raw files.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#7
(May 9, 2013, 11:33)samyshah Wrote: Hello All

I have heard many times, that shooting in RAW gives you significant control in post-editing. But it makes me wonder, what exactly do I get in terms of control if I do so?

If you could share some of your experiences with maybe comparable sample images taken in RAW, with pre-edit and post-edit side by side, and explain a few points of what you were able to achieve in RAW and would not be able to do so in JPEG?

Cheers
Samy
hi samy, dont want to burst your bubble but, the minute you start shooting raw pics, your time spent processing and costs both increase.
Even so i couldn't imagine not shooting raw. My camera has the option to shoot raw and a jpg together. I don't know how many cameras do that but i find it handy. I keep small jpgs as quick reference.

A jpg and a raw look much the same from the camera if you haven't setup your camera to sharpen, saturate the jpgs etc. by their nature jpg files lose a lot of info straight from the camera and aren't as capable of manipulation. Raw files are the complete data straight from the camera sensor.

I use lightroom to edit. I find i also need photoshop in conjunction for the things that lightroom doesn't do. I import into lightroom in dng format, adjust in lightroom, then complete in photoshop.

I save the completed image from photoshop in formats of psd, jpg (full size) jpg (for email) jpg (for web) all edits saved to separate folders under my original pics folder. I save in psd (photoshop format) so i can go back and change any part of the edit. Photoshop saves the various editing steps in psd and is non destructive so you can go back and make changes anytime.
It takes disk space and sounds complicated but i like having the different formats ready to use. Far as i know lightroom doesn't have those saving functions.

Editing takes time. I edit keepers only. The rest of the boring stuff sits in backup hard drives. I don't delete the balance of pics as they jog my memory and eventually become a record of what took place.
The above applies to me personally when i look back on past travels and acquaintances. If a photographic record isn't there, a lot of experiences i won't remember. Hmm... my photographic diary.
.. Sure everyone has vastly different ideas on editing That's my 2 bobs worth.
hoo roo jim


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#8
Hi Jim

Thanks a lot for the great detailed feedback. I think I will be starting with the same concept of saving pics in both the formats and then working on the RAW files using Lightroom.
I also will have to review the lightroom tutorials to get myself acquainted with the tool though.

Cheers
Samy
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#9
All raw files have a basic quality jpeg embeded in them. You can use a free and simple tool called Instant Jpeg From Raw to extract them as separate files. It saves your camera processing time and memory card space if you only shoot raw and extract the jpeg afterwards.
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#10
(May 9, 2013, 11:33)samyshah Wrote: Hello All

I have heard many times, that shooting in RAW gives you significant control in post-editing. But it makes me wonder, what exactly do I get in terms of control if I do so?

If you could share some of your experiences with maybe comparable sample images taken in RAW, with pre-edit and post-edit side by side, and explain a few points of what you were able to achieve in RAW and would not be able to do so in JPEG?

Cheers
Samy

Yo Samy,
Basically when you shoot your images in RAW you're getting what could be described as the 'full Monty'...as in every last aspect of light, shade and everything in between is captured exactly as it was at the moment you pressed the button...warts and all!
Where JPEG subtly tinkers with your photograph 'in-camera' RAW doesn't touch a thing....it lets you do the tinkering via whatever program you've installed on your computer.
The tinkering thing is, admittedly, somewhat daunting when you're not sure of what you're doing, but there's a simple solution. Take one photograph in RAW and load it into your editing program...then pick a button in that program and see what happens to the image when you do. If you don't like the result, you can undo it...and press another button instead and etc.
Read about your program for sure...but click on some buttons and observe what happens...you'll begin to understand what's happening as you 'play' with the various settings. Eventually you'll begin to grasp it more fully, and realise just how damned cool and versatile it is!
I'm writing this as one who, like you, wasn't confident at all about shooting RAW and playing with the results on my P.C to begin with. But I took the bull by its horns and went for it...
...Now I only shoot RAW.

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#11
Shooting RAW is awesome but sometime when you kinda overdo it on some exposure you'll lose that details. It's better to go a little under expose to see some details in highlights than losing it. And YES Lightroom will give you heads up when doing post processing. Just make sure you to shoot in RAW and do go over exposed on the highlights and you'll recover those when processed in lightroom.
PhotoPlay Photography
What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
~Eleanor Powell
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#12
Shooting in the raw is awesome, but you should only do it with very close friends and not in public.
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#13
(May 12, 2013, 11:45)jim truscott Wrote:
(May 9, 2013, 11:33)samyshah Wrote: Hello All

I have heard many times, that shooting in RAW gives you significant control in post-editing. But it makes me wonder, what exactly do I get in terms of control if I do so?

If you could share some of your experiences with maybe comparable sample images taken in RAW, with pre-edit and post-edit side by side, and explain a few points of what you were able to achieve in RAW and would not be able to do so in JPEG?

Cheers
Samy
hi samy, dont want to burst your bubble but, the minute you start shooting raw pics, your time spent processing and costs both increase.

jim;

I have found neither to be true. I shot some HS football and volleyball in jpg, just to get the file size down and make continuous shooting easier. What a mistake!
Trying to get a white balance, color saturation and tone correct on those has been a bloody nightmare compared to my 'normal' RAW shooting. It's cost me WAY more time than I know I would have spent in RAW.

And I don't know what 'costs' would increase, except that you won't get as many shots on a memory card. Memory is cheap. Buy more memory! I just wish I could buy more for my brain! <VBG>
Valley of the Sun, Arizona
D2Xs, D200's, D100's, LightRoom, CS-CC
2HowardsPhoto.biz
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#14
Yup, for me the main drawback in RAW is the size of the files...I can get hundreds of files on a card, shooting in jpeg, but down to about 80 (on a 1gig card) with raw...on the other hand, I can pretty much easily do what I want for any result with RAW, but it gets limited when editing jpeg...another (but minor hassle is saving them at reduced size to upload to the web, but even that's not a big deal
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#15
You have to get software compatible with raw processing. Then you find you have a wide range of adjustment and control way beyond what you get with jpg processing.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#16
(Sep 25, 2013, 13:21)Don Schaeffer Wrote: You have to get software compatible with raw processing. Then you find you have a wide range of adjustment and control way beyond what you get with jpg processing.

Even Picasa will render a RAW file.

LightRoom is not expensive. Straight up, it's under $150 US.
For people who are getting paid, compare that to the time saved x your hourly rate, over a year. I save an hour or more PER SHOOT. And at $50/hr, it only takes me a couple of weeks to make that up. Anything after that is 'gravy' (US colloquialism).
And the things it can do still astound me.
Valley of the Sun, Arizona
D2Xs, D200's, D100's, LightRoom, CS-CC
2HowardsPhoto.biz
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#17
(May 12, 2013, 11:45)jim truscott Wrote:
(May 9, 2013, 11:33)samyshah Wrote: Hello All

I have heard many times, that shooting in RAW gives you significant control in post-editing. But it makes me wonder, what exactly do I get in terms of control if I do so?

If you could share some of your experiences with maybe comparable sample images taken in RAW, with pre-edit and post-edit side by side, and explain a few points of what you were able to achieve in RAW and would not be able to do so in JPEG?

Cheers
Samy
hi samy, dont want to burst your bubble but, the minute you start shooting raw pics, your time spent processing and costs both increase.
Even so i couldn't imagine not shooting raw. My camera has the option to shoot raw and a jpg together. I don't know how many cameras do that but i find it handy. I keep small jpgs as quick reference.

A jpg and a raw look much the same from the camera if you haven't setup your camera to sharpen, saturate the jpgs etc. by their nature jpg files lose a lot of info straight from the camera and aren't as capable of manipulation. Raw files are the complete data straight from the camera sensor.

I use lightroom to edit. I find i also need photoshop in conjunction for the things that lightroom doesn't do. I import into lightroom in dng format, adjust in lightroom, then complete in photoshop.

I save the completed image from photoshop in formats of psd, jpg (full size) jpg (for email) jpg (for web) all edits saved to separate folders under my original pics folder. I save in psd (photoshop format) so i can go back and change any part of the edit. Photoshop saves the various editing steps in psd and is non destructive so you can go back and make changes anytime.
It takes disk space and sounds complicated but i like having the different formats ready to use. Far as i know lightroom doesn't have those saving functions.

Editing takes time. I edit keepers only. The rest of the boring stuff sits in backup hard drives. I don't delete the balance of pics as they jog my memory and eventually become a record of what took place.
The above applies to me personally when i look back on past travels and acquaintances. If a photographic record isn't there, a lot of experiences i won't remember. Hmm... my photographic diary.
.. Sure everyone has vastly different ideas on editing That's my 2 bobs worth.
hoo roo jim

Wholeheartedly agree about shooting in Raw plus basic jpeg for email etc and having embedded folders for different formats. I had a lot of trouble getting my head round Lightroom's cataloging to start with but have now started adding keywords and that really improves things, also I have just got a GPS unit for my DSLR and Lightroom brings up the location on Google earth in the metadata which is phenominal, so changed my opinion of lightroom. Do the initial tweaks in lightroom which allow you to apply the same changes to a number of images, then edit in Photoshop to finish.

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#18
RAW is usually the best way - my camera is set to RAW as the default. I use GIMP as my RAW processor - it has the advantage of being free and works on Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
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