Afraid to shoot in RAW

10 years 1 month ago #119701 by Jen0block4
I am REALLY afraid to shoot in RAW... I tried it once... and I couldn't find the raw file to edit it... then I couldn't figure out what the best file format was to save it as since I know that JPEG can sometimes mess things up... Also, I didn't really notice that much of a difference between the original jpeg and the raw version of the picture either...

Can anyone give me like a step by step on shooting in RAW? Like as far as what to save it as to upload online, what the main things are that need to be adjusted in PP on RAW files... All that good stuff

I would like to get over this fear as I get more serious with photography... I'm doing some "free" work for friends. Once I have my portfolio built up a bit, then I plan on going further with it...


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10 years 1 month ago #119707 by Baydream
Begin by shooting RAW+jpeg. That will give you the immediate advantage of seeing the "camera-adjusted" version and the RAW. Depending on your camera, the suffix will vary (Nikon NEF, Canon CR2, etc.)
You must use software that identifies your version.
First step, SAVE a copy to another folder. Once you edit and save, it will NOT be a RAW file. Save intermediate edits as TIFF or similar that do not lose data. Once you have your final version, save as jpeg for printing or web.
Remember, once you save the RAW will. it will no longer be RAW and data is lost.

Adjust white balance, contrast, colours (saturation/hue, etc.) and sharpness.

Shoot, learn and share. It will make you a better photographer.
fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-g-schickler.html?tab=artwork

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10 years 1 month ago #119708 by MLKstudios
I convert RAW files to Adobe's DNG format. Then edit those in Lightroom.

HTH

www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/extend....2.html?promoid=DNRIB

Matthew L Kees
MLK Studios Photography School
www.MLKstudios.com
[email protected]
"Every artist, was once an amateur"

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10 years 1 month ago #119709 by Ba3b3
RAW just offers more flexibility. Just make sure you have the right plugins for what ever software you use. It's pretty strait forward, find files on memory card, download, edit, save as jpg


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10 years 1 month ago #119714 by Jen0block4

Baydream wrote: Begin by shooting RAW+jpeg. That will give you the immediate advantage of seeing the "camera-adjusted" version and the RAW. Depending on your camera, the suffix will vary (Nikon NEF, Canon CR2, etc.)
You must use software that identifies your version.
First step, SAVE a copy to another folder. Once you edit and save, it will NOT be a RAW file. Save intermediate edits as TIFF or similar that do not lose data. Once you have your final version, save as jpeg for printing or web.
Remember, once you save the RAW will. it will no longer be RAW and data is lost.

Adjust white balance, contrast, colours (saturation/hue, etc.) and sharpness.


Ok thats a good idea, shoot raw + jpeg. I'm a little confused about the other part... once I save raw, it will no longer be raw? I heard a raw file is untouched. Like I can't edit/save to a raw.


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10 years 1 month ago #119716 by Baydream

Jen0block4 wrote:

Baydream wrote: Begin by shooting RAW+jpeg. That will give you the immediate advantage of seeing the "camera-adjusted" version and the RAW. Depending on your camera, the suffix will vary (Nikon NEF, Canon CR2, etc.)
You must use software that identifies your version.
First step, SAVE a copy to another folder. Once you edit and save, it will NOT be a RAW file. Save intermediate edits as TIFF or similar that do not lose data. Once you have your final version, save as jpeg for printing or web.
Remember, once you save the RAW will. it will no longer be RAW and data is lost.

Adjust white balance, contrast, colours (saturation/hue, etc.) and sharpness.


Ok thats a good idea, shoot raw + jpeg. I'm a little confused about the other part... once I save raw, it will no longer be raw? I heard a raw file is untouched. Like I can't edit/save to a raw.

Correct. That's why you save a copy of the RAW file BEFORE you start editing. Think of it like your negative, once you alter a negative, you can not go back and "undo" it. Photoshop, Corel, etc. have looseless format in which to save as well as TIFF. Jpeg is called "loosey" since it compresses that data (finds 500 pixels of white and stores am algorithm that indicates that). Each edit and SAVE compresses the data further, so your FINAL save should be in pjeg.

Shoot, learn and share. It will make you a better photographer.
fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-g-schickler.html?tab=artwork

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10 years 1 month ago - 10 years 1 month ago #119717 by MLKstudios
RAW is actually two separate files. One is the image data (pixel color and brightness) and the other includes the camera settings and "adjustments" made while editing.

To output a RAW file for web or print, the two need to be combined (typically as a JPEG file).

The original RAW image data remains untouched.

Matthew :)

Matthew L Kees
MLK Studios Photography School
www.MLKstudios.com
[email protected]
"Every artist, was once an amateur"

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10 years 1 month ago #119720 by Jen0block4

Baydream wrote:

Jen0block4 wrote:

Baydream wrote: Begin by shooting RAW+jpeg. That will give you the immediate advantage of seeing the "camera-adjusted" version and the RAW. Depending on your camera, the suffix will vary (Nikon NEF, Canon CR2, etc.)
You must use software that identifies your version.
First step, SAVE a copy to another folder. Once you edit and save, it will NOT be a RAW file. Save intermediate edits as TIFF or similar that do not lose data. Once you have your final version, save as jpeg for printing or web.
Remember, once you save the RAW will. it will no longer be RAW and data is lost.

Adjust white balance, contrast, colours (saturation/hue, etc.) and sharpness.


Ok thats a good idea, shoot raw + jpeg. I'm a little confused about the other part... once I save raw, it will no longer be raw? I heard a raw file is untouched. Like I can't edit/save to a raw.

Correct. That's why you save a copy of the RAW file BEFORE you start editing. Think of it like your negative, once you alter a negative, you can not go back and "undo" it. Photoshop, Corel, etc. have looseless format in which to save as well as TIFF. Jpeg is called "loosey" since it compresses that data (finds 500 pixels of white and stores am algorithm that indicates that). Each edit and SAVE compresses the data further, so your FINAL save should be in pjeg.


Well I never developed a negative so I don't know how that works, but here I thought you can edit a raw and later down the road open that same raw and edit it again. But from my understanding of what you are saying, that is not possible?


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10 years 1 month ago #119724 by Jen0block4

MLKstudios wrote: I convert RAW files to Adobe's DNG format. Then edit those in Lightroom.

HTH


What is DNG?

Oh and what is HTH?...is see you have that in alot of your posts.


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10 years 1 month ago #119727 by MylilAngel
The real problem is understanding that you’re not working in PP. You’re working with what is essentially a digital negative. What you can do to make this simpler is to play with .jpeg images on your camera with both the supplied software and with PP if you have it. Once you understand the basics, it’ll all come together. Plus, as mentioned above you do have way more flexibility.


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10 years 1 month ago #119729 by MLKstudios
DNG is Adobe's Digital Negative format. See the link above.

HTH = Hope This Helps :)

Matthew L Kees
MLK Studios Photography School
www.MLKstudios.com
[email protected]
"Every artist, was once an amateur"

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10 years 1 month ago #119734 by KCook

I tried it once... and I couldn't find the raw file to edit it... then I couldn't figure out what the best file format was to save it as since I know that JPEG can sometimes mess things up... Also, I didn't really notice that much of a difference between the original jpeg and the raw version of the picture either...

My initial RAW trials were pretty much the same outcome. Very disappointing, especially after all the wildly pro RAW topics I had read online. That initial editing effort seemed pointless because the editor I was using was so basic, lacking most of the features of Adobe's Elements. This forced me to do a TIF conversion almost immediately in the PP workflow. TIF works nearly as well as RAW, but expect enormous file sizes!

Short version: my old editing software was not up to the job. That era is coming to a close, as even the freebie editor downloads can now handle RAW. Which was not always the case.

Typically the RAW version will not look any better than the JPG version. The RAW version yields to PP better than the JPG version. Run a JPG through some heavy duty PP and the result becomes muddy (on close examination). Not so much of a problem with RAW. If you keep the PP light, less benefit from RAW. More casual photographers may do very little PP, and could well be perfectly happy with JPG.

Try RAW+JPG as a transition phase. Once you have the PP side of your game up to RAW speed, expect to just shoot RAW alone. At least that was my experience, I now shoot RAW only. But it was a rough curve to climb, due mostly to my lame software. So I don't blame anybody for sticking with JPG, I cannot walk in their shoes!

Kelly Cook

Canon 50D, Olympus PL2
kellycook.zenfolio.com/

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10 years 1 month ago #119747 by Henry Peach

Jen0block4 wrote: ...I thought you can edit a raw and later down the road open that same raw and edit it again.


That is correct. I go back and reprocess raw files all the time. As MLK said the raw ingredients remain untouched, they are assembled from scratch each time according to the attached recipe file. The recipe file can be changed or reset at will, but the original raw data stays the same. If you save the file as a tiff or jpeg after processing you are making a copy. I've never used software that would overwrite the original raw file.

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10 years 1 month ago #119755 by robbie
In my Raw converter the last processing will remain intact when the image is re-opens but you can discard that info quite easily thus reverting to the original raw file.


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10 years 1 month ago - 10 years 1 month ago #119763 by Henry Peach

Jen0block4 wrote: ... I couldn't find the raw file to edit it...


You will need software that can read your camera's raw file. Hpefully it came with the camera or is available from you camera manufacturer's website. Raw is not a specific file format like jpeg or tiff. It can vary from model to model even within the same brand line. Some processing software can be upgraded to accept more recent cameras. Some can't; Adobe stops providing new raw support when they move on to the next version of Photoshop. They will give you the Adobe DNG Converter for free, and as MLK said it can be used to convert raw to dng (Adobe's attempt to standardize the raw file), and almost all raw processing software will work with dng. I just bought a Sony NEX-3, and my old CS4 Photoshop won't process it, so I convert it to dng, and then delete the original raw files. CS4 will still read the raw files from my other cameras.

Jen0block4 wrote: ...then I couldn't figure out what the best file format was to save it as since I know that JPEG can sometimes mess things up...


I save as jpeg as my final step. If I can do all the processing in the raw processor then I export as a jpeg. If I have to go into some other sort of processing software, and need to save before finishing or at a particular step I save as tiff to avoid jpeg compression. A little jpeg compression isn't even noticeable. The problem occurs when the same file is saved as a jpeg, opened and processed, re-saved as a jpeg, opened and processed again, re-saved as a jpeg again, etc...

Jen0block4 wrote: Also, I didn't really notice that much of a difference between the original jpeg and the raw version of the picture either...


Then it was processed similarly as the in-camera software was processing it. The raw processing software that came with your camera probably has settings to make it duplicate the in-camera processing. For instance Canon DPP has the same picture styles as their cameras. I can click one and it processes the raw file just like if I had the camera set to jpeg and that picture style. The thing about raw is that it gives me more room to make my own picture style if I want to.

Jen0block4 wrote: Can anyone give me like a step by step on shooting in RAW? Like as far as what to save it as to upload online, what the main things are that need to be adjusted in PP on RAW files... All that good stuff


It's going to depend on your software. Just google "raw processing tutorial {insert your software here}". I highly recommend Adobe Lightroom. I think it's affordable for what it provides. I think it's pretty easy to figure out, and there are a billion resources for learning it out there. I've heard Adobe Elements now offers raw processing, and I think it's even cheaper, but I've got no experience with it.

Jen0block4 wrote: I would like to get over this fear as I get more serious with photography...


Raw processing is like learning to develop your own film instead of dropping it off for the automatic lab machines. At first you probably won't do as good of a job as the machines do. The reason why doing it yourself is better is because there are a lot more options, and with practice you should be able to out-perform the auto-machine. Another advantage is that if you are using a calibrated monitor then what you see is what you get. You can just adjust until it looks good to your eye. Doing the processing in-camera requires setting the processing parameters before you make the exposure. At least with older cameras. I think some of the new cameras have a process on command feature.

On the other hand if you are content with the provided in-camera processing software there is nothing wrong with using it. I like Adobe Camera Raw because it allows for a whole lot more control and options than the processing software that comes installed in my Canon cameras. But there are plenty of excellent photographers who are content with the in-camera processing and shoot jpeg. Just like with film there were plenty of serious photographers who dropped their film off at the lab to be finished by machines rather than doing it themselves in the darkroom.

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