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Thread: RAW Processing

  1. #1
    New Member Kevvy's Avatar
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    RAW Processing

    Hi there, I am about to start using my new dslr and have been trawling this site and the net reading processing tutorials and articles.
    One question I can't find the answer to is once I process and edit a RAW photo,when I save the photo is the original changed irrevocably or can I save a copy of the original RAW file and the new processed image with no loss of detail to the RAW image
    Cheers

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    *In theory*

    Any raw image should remain able to be changed back to the unedited state at a future point.
    Anecdotally, there have been raw images that have had proprietary processing software changes that altered the original to conform with the software makers intent that cannot be undone but I think that is a rarity now.

    Realistically, the varying software solutions that are available to convert / process raw images from most camera makers these days will allow totally non destructive editing.

    You may also find that processing is easier if you perform basic white balance and exposure refining on the raw image and then perform further editing on a TIFF image saved from the edited raw conversion.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    There is a basic raw processing tutorial here: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ssing-Tutorial

    Software has updated a bit since I created that, but as Andrew says, your raw file is generally not altered at all. A version of it is displayed on screen and when you then save the file, it is a copy that is saved and the original raw file is left alone. However we often see software now that has an XMP file attached to the raw file, this XMP file contains all the alterations/edits you did and will often re-apply them automatically when you re-open that particular raw file. Depending on your software you may need to learn how to 'reset' a raw file to its base state, if you are intending on editing it again, without the alterations previously done.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Depending on your software ......
    What software and camera brand do you have Kevvy?
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, Sigma 120-400, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    if you rename the raw image after editing, e.g raw1.jpeg, the original is is unchanged. you can then plat with the jpeg file as much as you like.
    cc and enjoy

    Photography is painting with light

    K7, Pentax 18-250mm zoom, Pentax 100mm macro, Sigma 50-500mm
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    Kevvy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    What software and camera brand do you have Kevvy?
    I have a Nikon camera and the software I have is View NX2. I may get Photoshop cs5 and I may also try some of the free software available (Gimp) etc.
    Thanks for all the info guys.
    Cheers

  7. #7
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    download Lightroom (you get a 30 day free trial) and see what you think.

    There are heaps of video tutorials on youtube on using LR and we have a full (extensive) set of videos here on AP, though there are quite a few hours of video to sit through: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...earn-Lightroom

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevvy View Post
    I have a Nikon camera and the software I have is View NX2. ......
    In this case .... YES and NO!
    That is, it is altered, but can be reverted back into an 'untouched state' that is for all intents and purposes original.

    When you open the raw NEF file, on the RHS of the screen you will have an information window(Metadata tab), which also has the basic editing tools above it in the Adjustments tab.

    Any edits made in the Adjustments tab and then saved, can all be undone on a raw file. The process is slightly convoluted, in that there is a reset button, but this reset button only works for the current session if the edits haven't been saved.(hope that makes sense???)

    So if you make a bunch of edits, and don't like the look of the image, BEFORE you press the save icon, you can revert it back to a original raw file as shot in the camera.
    If you press the save icon for a raw file, then to revert the raw file back to original you need to manually reset all the edits made in the Adjustment tab. Sounds hard but is in fact not .. just convoluted!

    Now it must be said tho ... an original untouched raw file should be of the type that can be loaded back onto the memory card and should be displayable on the camera again.
    But one thing that Nikon software do is to slightly alter the metadata in the raw file .. so the image is as shot on the camera, but the images will not display on the camera.
    The only raw files that will display on the camera are the totally untouched raw files(that is, the files not edited and reset back to original state).

    I've never found any reason to load raw files back onto the camera for viewing for any purpose ... so to me the raw files reset back to as shot in camera state are as good as original.

    I don't fuss about the level of originality of the raw files other than I know I can get them into an as shot in camera state if required ... 99.9% of my files have keywording and descriptions embedded via VNX2. This in itself changes the originality of the raw file too.


    There is no need to save a copy of the original raw file ... it's a redundant filing system that wastes space for no advantage.
    Get into the habit of backing up on a regular basis, but back up the files as you have edited them.
    Remember all raw files can be reverted back into an 'untouched state' if need be.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  9. #9
    Never stop learning GerryK's Avatar
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    Being paranoid I tend to back up all 'original raw' files before i start playing. I tend to use capture 1 which has a variant option. This means you can create a variant or two or three or more of the image and then make all you changes. I am confident in software being able to revert to base, but i am paranoid and storage is cheap.

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