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Author Topic: Starting to work with RAW. Help?  (Read 3185 times)

Rocguy

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Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« on: January 24, 2013, 08:43:35 PM »
I've just started to shoot in Raw format and am lost as to what to do with the files.  :o I'm hoping someone can help point me to somewhere with some links or tutorials for beginners?

I use an iMac and am right now just using iPhoto. Which can do some basic editing of the raw photos. And I can save them as jpg's. That's about the extent of my knowledge! I see a lot of people here use Lightroom for editing. But I was thinking of purchasing Apple's Aperture. Any thoughts on using one over the other? I'm very used to the Mac software but really would want whatever can help me learn how to make my photos better in the easiest way.

I hope this isn't too open ended a question but any help would be appreciated.

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Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« on: January 24, 2013, 08:43:35 PM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 09:05:30 PM »
Aperture is cheaper and probably a more logical progression from iphoto, however lightroom is more fully featured and adobe are more on the ball at keeping their raw codecs fresh (important if you are buying a new camera) there is a third way, which is photoshop elements.

If you are happy to do the heavy lifting as raw and save as jpeg then elements is great value.

robbymack

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 09:22:38 PM »
There is little to no difference between Lightroom and Aperture in their current forms as far as their ability to process raw and also the adjustments you can make. If you are used to the Mac interface aperture 3 will be the one for you.  Aperture is my personal choice, others swear by other RAW converters whether it be canon's dpp, or dxo, etc., they are all good and have their place just depends what you want. Personally I like having it all in one place hence the reason aperture works for me. My only gripe with aperture is that I wish it had more effective noise reduction. I think Lightroom handles nr better. 

agierke

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 09:25:13 PM »
i would suggest just picking up Lightroom. its a fairly inexpensive program and is really pretty easy to learn. never was all that impressed with Aperture....and i love most of what Apple does. had high hopes for it....but no one is gonna outdo what Adobe does in the realm of photography.
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jdramirez

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 09:58:52 PM »
I have lightroom and here's what I do.

I import the raw file into lightroom.  Then I export as a jpg after adjusting the file.  As a raw file it looks like crap, but you adjust the basics:  Luminance, contrast, sharpness, exposure, etc.  If you focus on only those four, you'll be fine.  But you need to learn the program.
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trygved

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 10:12:41 PM »
Aperture handles all my RAW needs just fine.
While I have a tiny bit more control in LR, the workflow of Aperture is more my taste.

My only qualm in dealing with RAW is it doesn't use picture profiles.
I like a flat contrast with the vibrancy turned up a bit, and I can nearly get that out-of-camera using the Technicolor Cinestyle with the vibrancy turned up.
RAW doesn't use this picture profile however, and Aperture renders the RAW files very contrasty.

I can use a preset to quickly adjust the imported files, but it is an extra step that always irks me a bit.
This is more related to how RAW files are recorded than how Aperture reads the file, so my point is sort of moot.

In any case, I endorse Aperture. It's my bread and butter.
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jdramirez

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 10:45:50 PM »
I got a video series, Lightroom 3 for Digital Photographers, and that helped quite a bit.  It's the type of thing that you have to go through a few times, but if you don't care about the sorting and archiving... you'll be just fine skipping ahead to the photo editing.
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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 10:45:50 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 10:57:05 PM »
Get Lightroom 4. Adobe is more consistent with making software than anyone else and I trust that.

Aglet

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 12:26:49 AM »
Aperture is cheaper and probably a more logical progression from iphoto, however lightroom is more fully featured and adobe are more on the ball at keeping their raw codecs fresh (important if you are buying a new camera) there is a third way, which is photoshop elements.

If you are happy to do the heavy lifting as raw and save as jpeg then elements is great value.

BUT BEFORE YOU SPEND ANY MONEY..
Why not install and use the FREE DIGITAL PHOTO PRO that comes with your Canon camera?!?

It's an excellent piece of software for what it does, which admittedly is limited.
But it will allow you to play with your raw files, make adjustments to exposure, white balance, color, contrast, etc.

With it you will learn to appreciate the amount of post-processing latitude a raw file provides.
DPP also provides that "Canon look" better than the other software and I find that it can also wring the most detail from a properly exposed raw image as well.

LIGHTROOM is an excellent next step, does an awful lot of more creative things than DPP.  Can handle hi ISO noise much better and will take you to the next step in image processing.

My workflow includes DPP, Lightroom, Photoshop, DxO, Graphic Converter (Mac only) and occasionally other specialty software.  before I had all this I used DPP as my main raw converter and it did a great job.  Canon is always updating it and it's been kept free so far so install, update, dive in and have fun learning! :)

Harry Muff

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 02:13:00 AM »
Just use the 30 day trial for LR4. That's plenty of time to see.
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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 02:18:44 AM »
Most of the time, it's DPP for me (around 80-85%).  It can handle most of the basic adjustments, cropping and sometimes HDR.  For the most serious work, it's LR + photoshop + DXO.

eml58

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 04:56:46 AM »
Used to use Aperture, but once Lightroom came onto the scene I've never gone back, Lightroom 4 is not only an excellent choice for processing your Photographs, but it's a pretty good Organiser as well.

My general process is to bring all RAW photos into LR4, make basic adjustments and generally this means about 60% of my Photos are done ready for Printing. Anything extra I will bring into Photoshop CS6 and make other adjustments either in CS6/On One/ NIK etc, depends on what I want to finish with.

But as a start out, I don't think you could go wrong with Lightroom 4, I haven't used Aperture for several years now but I own pretty well everything Apple have made, great gear, love Final Cut Pro X, so I imagine the new Aperture is pretty good as well.
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FunPhotons

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 07:32:13 AM »
LightRoom isn't too expensive and is full featured, but they built it on Lua which was a mistake, it should have been native code with a Lua side car but oh well. Because of this the UI can be a little clunky I think. Aperture is faster but more limited. It doesn't support camera calibrations which I love to use, so it's LR for me.

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 07:32:13 AM »

dstppy

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 08:33:46 AM »
I started out with Aperture (suffers from the same problem all Apple software does: they like to hide things in non-intuitive places or exclude it altogether because 'no one uses that').

Moved to LightRoom3 when I got a deal on it and haven't gone back since.

Workflow for me generally is:
1) Lens correction
2) If color temp needs changing for the whole set, figure out what makes the most sense and apply it (by hand) to each photo - I'm sure there's a better way to do that . . . exposure the same
If necessary:
3) Straighten and crop
4) adjust the better ones slightly with noise reduction - play with the highlights and shadows if you have any issues (bright sunlight with dark shadows etc)

All and all, if you're working on a batch and you've got any OCD issues (I think we may all have a bit) limit yourself before hand by time.  My rule is 1 minute per shot, 3-5 if it's going to be bigger than a 5x7
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Rocguy

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 10:07:04 AM »

BUT BEFORE YOU SPEND ANY MONEY..
Why not install and use the FREE DIGITAL PHOTO PRO that comes with your Canon camera?!?



I'll admit I have not even installed the stuff that came on the disc with my t4i. I never installed it with the old Xsi I had either 5 years ago. I should probably start there! At least to play around. Thanks for that suggestion.

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Re: Starting to work with RAW. Help?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 10:07:04 AM »