Starting out with
So, you are shooting in JPG and might be interested in changing to shoot in , this tutorial is written to give you a bit of an overview of processing.
A few things about
When you take a photo, the sensor transmits data to the camera about what each pixel-site “saw”. This data is the information. A file is the equivalent of a negative, in film terms.
files need to be opened in software that can read the data and present it on your monitor. There are numerous programs, often called Converters, available. Which you chose is entirely up to you, but they all allow you to do similar things.
files are much bigger than JPG files, so you might find you will want larger , if you decide to shoot in all the time.
Some of the advantages of . Edits to a file in your Conversion software are ‘non-destructive”, they can be un-done, changed, redone without any degradation to your file. White balance can be changed, can be changed, along with many other advantages. For a good description of - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAW_image_format
Things you need to do
- To shoot in , you will need to use your camera’s menu system and select
- You will need to have some converter software installed on your PC.
- You will need to have uploaded the files from your camera to your PC.
This tutorial will use Adobe Camera (ACR), you can choose other converter software, the basic instructions will be the same, and you will just have to interpret them for your software.
There are several ways to open a file into ACR, one of the easiest is to use photoshop and File > Open and locate your file on your hard disk and double-click it. Photoshop will automatically open ACR when it detects a file.
On the above screen capture, there are a few things to look at.
- Above top left of the photo are several tools, these include a crop tool, a straighten tool and more. These are worthwhile experimenting with in your own time.
- Down the right side is a histogram, some more tools and sliders. (to understand how a histogram works, which is worthwhile to learn as you can use the histogram on your camera's LCD to check etc at the time of shooting, read this)
We are going to look at some of those sliders.
White balance can be altered by clicking on the drop down menu and choosing another setting, or you can move the sliders for temperature and tint. You can also type a Kelvin temperature into the box next to the temperature slider.
, you can adjust the of your file. Note how on the histogram for this photo, there is a lot of bunching on the left hand side (the left hand side is the shadows of your photo, the right hand is the highlights). You can adjust the slider to compensate and correct this photo and produce a better histogram.
Recovery, allows you to recover some of the highlight area, and reduce their brightness. Note that blown highlights are very difficult to recover effectively and its better to get that right in camera, rather than try to repair a blown out sky etc.
Fill , works on the shadow areas, to bring more brightness to the darker areas of your photo. Over use of this can create noise in the photo.
Blacks, gives the shadow areas (blacks) a rich deep black. Use carefully.
Brightness and contrast, these sliders adjust, well the brightness and contrast, amazingly enough.
Clarity is , you can sharpen now, though convention says that should be one of the last things you do in your work flow, and Photoshop (other editing packages) give you more control over .
Vibrance and saturation, both adjust the intensity of colours in your photo.
So, these are the main controls you can use when processing a file, feel free to have a play with the other settings, to see the results of using them. Remember to watch your histogram as you adjust the settings.
Below is the same file, with the sliders changed to show you the results of adjusting them.
Once you are complete with your processing you have a couple of choices, you can click Open Image, which will open your processed file in Photoshop for further editing, or you can click Save Image, to save it in DNG (adobe ), TIF, JPG or PSD format, for editing in Photoshop at a later time.
This tutorial only breezes over the entire process, but following it you should get a basic understanding of how conversion works.
Below is the same photo, processed with a change of white balance, and some further processing in Photoshop, to show you the scope of what can be achieved from shooting in . It is worth comparing the photo below, to the first one in the tutorial above, to see what shooting in allows you to do.