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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Image Management Software

Photography Question 
Michelle B. Prince
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/16/2004

Shooting Raw - Vs. JPEG

I just took my first few photos in studio raw. They look weird. They were really overexposed, although the JPEG of the same shot was exposed OK. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The person's skin also looked really muddy.

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5/15/2005 8:38:34 AM

Ryan Jones
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2005
  Hi Michelle,
What I've read about RAW is that it is an un-processed exposure of the camera's digital sensor. When you take a picture using any quality JPEG, there is some amount of image processing and enhancement. The camera may be optimizing your settings in JPEG while everything is up in the air with RAW.

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5/16/2005 12:38:07 AM

Michael H. Cothran   RAW files and JPEGs will always look different, and the JPEGs will usually look better - IN THE CAMERA, and before editing. The reason being is that your camera "edits" the JPEGs to whatever settings you have chosen on your camera (or to default if you have not chosen any settings), whereas the camera does NOTHING to RAW files. RAW files are exactly what the name implies. They need full editing in something like PS, but after editing, will produce the largest and finest quality file - providing you edited well!! If your RAW files look over-exposed, check your histogram to confirm. If it is skewed to the right then they are, indeed, over-exposed.
Dial in a -1/2 or -1 exposure compensation when shooting. It is much easier to work with a slightly under-exposed image than an over-exposed image in digital photography.
In a nutshell, RAW files need full editing after shooting, while JPEGs do not. If you are going directly from your camera to the printer or to a CD, then choose JPEG. If you intend to do your own post-editing, then choose RAW. If you have a camera that will create both files simultaneously, then expect them to look quite different from each other.
Michael H. Cothran

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5/16/2005 11:17:10 AM

Michelle B. Prince
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/16/2004
  Thank you both. I want to be able to shoot raw so I guess I better learn a little more about image editing.

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5/16/2005 11:43:16 AM

Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  When I got Adobe Photoshop 7.0 a while back I knew absolutely nothing about how to use it. I had just fiddled. I have learned a lot through fiddling :) I'm proud of it. Anyway, after I had photoshop, I was browsing in the local Borders and I found a huge section dedicated to graphics software. The book that I found was Adobe's book on PS 7.0. It starts you with the basics. The only problem was since it was at Borders and it was by Adobe, it cost around $40. I think you can find similar books by other authors/publishers that don't cost as much. Try to find one that might be geared more towards photography since it's also used for advertising, webdesign, all that fun stuff, which may take up more than that it may help in those sections. Although, it's always nice to know that extra stuff. Hope this helps a little bit.

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5/16/2005 10:24:34 PM

My name is Gary. I have been doing photography for Aprox. 30 years, and working with Digital since 1993.
I was a Combat Photographer in the Marines. I now work as a contract photographer for the Army, and I teach
Digital Photography at the local college.
Shooting Raw. will look different than shooting JPEG, or TIFF. Raw is an unprocessed image or photograph. Their
has been no in camera adjustments - such as - Color, Hue & Saturation - contrast, and Brightness, Sharpness,
and maybe a few other adjustments.
Both JPEG & TIFF have been processed in the camera with the above mentioned adjustments, and a few others.
When shooting RAW the Photographer makes all the adjustments - after shooting. This is usually more time consuming. But in many cases gives you a better image. If you have or develop skills in processing your images.
You can save your files as 8 bit or 16 bit TIFF. Saving 16 bit TIFF will increase your color depth and File size.
Example in 8 bit you might have a 14MB file. In 16 bit it would become a 28 MB file. This is why a lot of Pros shoot in TIFF or JPEG, and do not bother shooting TIFF images. It is also why Digital SLR cameras may give you the choice of shooting RAW or JPEG. Some give you all 3 choices.
One method that is faster is to shoot JPEG files, and convert them to TIFF before doing anything with them. Set up a folder on your computer in My Documents or wherever you chose. If you are using a Card Reader down load your photos from - which I strongly suggest -
then go to my computer click on the folder you made open it. Then go to the
drive that contains your images. Select all, right click and drag to the folder.
A menue pops up - chose COPY - as opposed to Move. Never move the originals until you are sure you have them all. Burn a CD right away, as a backup. Then convert all images to TIFF, before any editing or printing.
This will give you an 8 bit TIFF file to work from.
AS for shooting RAW here is some starting adjustments you might try, and make your own as each photo shoot is different.
Color balance - Your eye only here -
but try starting at 5000K and adust from there. Tint set to 0 to start with.
Shadows start with 10 an adust from there. I usually stay between 10 and 5
with a few exceptions.
Brightness I find somewhwere between 60 and 50 looks good for most photos with a few exceptions. Contrast 50 - 40, again with a few exceptions. Sat. about about 15 plus or minus 5 depending on the photo.
I also use the unsharp mask in Photoshop, as well as Curves, and Hue & Sat, for fine tuning my Images after using the Raw processor.
Hope this helps some.
Have a Great Photo Adventure:)

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5/22/2005 10:06:02 AM

Fool Stop   Hi Michelle,

If you are the kind of adventurous people, and willing to start from basic, I highly recommend you to read the book written by Bruce Fraser named Real World Camera Raw with Adobe, it is not expensive at all.

After I read this book, I have a much better understanding of what is going under the hood of RAW. By knowing this, you will get the direction of how to take the advantage of shoot RAW. Not only the advantage in post processing but also take it into consideration when you shoot.

Bruce Fraser also tell you when should you modify the parameters, i.e. before or after you have converted the RAW to photoshop/pic formats, really useful.

By the way, people in the Canon site suggest to increase the satuation by 10-20% as a routine during the RAW convertion, if you are shooting with one of the Canon SLR, that may one of the reason why you think the photos looks muddy.

As I have suggested in this forum before, go and check out the Whitbal from the, this little gadget help me a lot in working on the white balance.

Hope this help.


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5/26/2005 7:29:14 PM

Michelle B. Prince
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/16/2004
  thank you all so much.

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5/26/2005 7:41:03 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Raw requires converting to a tiff, and you could say the regular sharpening that's needed for the noire for digital, but it dosen't require anything else. If the same attention to exposure etc. is done when shooting, their shouldn't be a need for anything afterwards. Trying to view an unprocessed RAW file with photoshop looks funny, but a Raw that's shot right once converted to tiff dosen't necessarily have to have anything done to it.

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5/26/2005 9:45:03 PM

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