Aperture and RAW files

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by whodareswins, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. whodareswins macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #1
    I have been using Aperture for my photos of which I always shoot RAW but have a few questions.

    1. I have alaways wondered why when importing them the thumbnails look bright and vibrant but then quickly change to a more dull tone?

    2. Also, how do people post process their RAW images? I only tend to make changes if I am not happy with exposure, WB, cropping etc. Although I do sometimes up the black point. Using the sharpness and noise reduction sliders dont seem to make any difference.
     
  2. dipm06 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    #2
    The thumbnail that it originally shows, as well as what is showin the the LCD of your camera is only the jpeg preview. The actual raw file is dull, and thats what you see in aperture. If you're going to shoot it RAW, be ready to make adjustments. You can use a preset if you want fast editing, but most raw fils should be edited. That's why you're shooting in raw in the first place :p
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    If the preview while importing is bright or not depends on the exact camera you own. I don't notice this effect with my Nikon SLR.

    Processing? Lately I've become much more selective about what I keep so I rate and stack first. Then I almost always crop. I almost always change the aspect ratio. Then processing depends on the photo. The processing I do in Aperature is very much the same things as I used to do when I selected a type/brand of film. I used to use Agfa portrait film or Fiji Velvia or even Tri-X depending on what I wanted.

    The best images get more work in Photoshop. I'm never afraid to modify them but never so much that it is totally obvious. For example I might mask the subject and make the background slightly less "vibrant" and I will darken the edges on many photos but in both cases keep it believable. The goal is always to tell a story even if the story is so simple as "hey look at that tree".
     
  4. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #4
    There's no intrinsic reason why RAW files should be "dull" (although they won't have any crazy contrast/saturation boosts that your camera may apply to its JPEG output).

    Equally, there's no intrinsic reason why a RAW file will need editing, other than a mild sharpening (which Aperture will do by default unless you turn it off).

    Photos may (sometimes) look better after some editing, but there's no reason why a straight-out-of-camera RAW shouldn't look stunning.

    Do make sure your monitor is calibrated, it makes a huge difference.
     
  5. Mr.Noisy, Mar 18, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012

    Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™
    #5
    1. RAW files do appear as Dull thumbnails, all the data stored in that file will make for a good image once you tweak the exposure, WB and sharpness but make sure your using a calibrated system, so much better for processing and printing, but a jpg developed from a RAW file is richer in detail than a jpg produced by the camera itself, thus always shoot in RAW if possible.

    2.my process flow - import from CF card (cr2 files) to one of my raid 01 systems, then use DPP (digital photo professional) to check RAW files and tweak the keepers, then export tiff versions ready for photoshop/Nik then once the image is finished I import it into Aperture (aperture library is also on a raid 01 system) for showcasing and exporting wherever I need it to go.

    basic tweaks after DPP are usually sharpness, contrast and saturation, then just cropping, luckily the 5D2 produces some very sharp files to start with limiting processing work to the end result.

    thanks ;)
     
  6. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #6
    Yes, RAWs are dull, a neutral beginning for you to work on. There is tons of information lurking there, unseen, for you to bring out.

    Some people crank up the settings in their cameras and so have less post processing to do. JPEGs can be set to give damned good results with minimal PP.

    I just shot a colorful plant outside my window and downloaded it into the newly available Aperture 3 RAW for the Sony Nex-7. Dull city! I have the in-camera settings to neutral and they certainly are. If you saw this as the "end result" of this camera you certainly wouldn't buy it!

    But, a touch of edge sharpening, saturation, definition...and that plant is now quite the sharp and vibrant vision, glistening in the rain just as I see it.
     
  7. whodareswins thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #7
    Thanks for all the comments guys. How do I calibrate the monitor?

    Also, how do I get aperture to automatically sharpen images?
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    You use a hardware calibration tool such as a ColorSpyder or a One Eye from Xrite.
    I think you still have the wrong idea about how to work with RAW files: you sharpen at the end when you have decided on an output format (size, medium, etc.). There is a reason, Aperture and Lightroom sort the controls the way they do: you're supposed to work your way from top to bottom. Noise reduction, for instance, is applied before sharpening.
     
  9. whodareswins thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    #9
    Thanks for you help, gladly appreciated.
     
  10. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #10
    That's not quite correct. You certainly do need to apply output sharpening which will depend on your intended output media and size, but you also want to use some sort of "capture sharpening" on the original RAW files to compensate for the effects of your camera's antialiasing filter. This capture sharpening is automatically added by Aperture and you can adjust/remove it in the "RAW Fine Tuning" panel at the top of the "Adjustments" pane.

    I'm very happy with the results of the ColorMunki Display for monitor calibration.
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #11
    You're right, I forgot about that.
     

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