How to use / store .raw files ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by FrenchPB, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #1
    Hey all,


    I'm kinda new to digital photography, and was wondering how I should store and use my raw digital photos.

    Should I purchase Lightroom or Aperture to work on my photo. As off now, I only use iPhoto to store and do some light work on my photos. However, since I just got a ver good Canon EOS Rebel camera, I started to shoot in RAW + JPEG.

    I'm a little bit confused by what I should do with those files. For example, should I put the RAW files on an external harddrive just in case I'd need them one day ? Should I put the raw files in aperture (for instance, create a library that would be on an external harddrive), and the jpeg in iphoto ?

    Can you guys please advise me on how to store my raw files and jpeg, and if I better use aperture or lightroom to learn how to do some post production work on the photos I'll take with my new digital camera.

    Thank you
     
  2. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #2
    Watch you raw files; those are like the negative in good old film days.

    I also shoot raw+jpg for speed reason.
    For each time or event I create a folder like 20110815_Event. Inside this folder I create two sub folder, CR2 and JPG. First I copy all jpgs into the folder and after that I copy the raw files into the other folder. When I don't forget I mark the files even read-only to make sure. The files storage is a NAS with 4 TB connected via GigaEthernet.

    While theraw files getting downloaded I an already preview the JPG.

    Actually I'm using Bibble Pro for raw files post processing; because it was also running under Linux. I don't us iPhoto for my stuff. Only developed picture might find the way in iPhoto.

    In Bibble i can post process the raw files and create the JPG or PNG as I want. I thing the same you can do with Aperture or Lightroom. Just make sure he raw file dont get changed in post processing. But I think no raw converter is changing them, they put their meta data in seperate files.
     
  3. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    #3
    If I understand correctly, jpeg should only be used as a "result" format, and not a source format. Basically, it's better for me to shoot only in raw, put those files on aperture or iphoto, then work on the ones I prefer and export them as jpeg only when needed (print or web if I understand correctly).

    How do you guys manager libraries on aperture ? Do you have only one library, or one per year, one per event, etc. ?
     
  4. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #4
    You understood correct. JPG is a destructive file format squeezing each color into 8bit and apply additional compression. Each time you save a JPG this compression happen again and the quality of your file goes down. You could save in TIFF format as that one is uncompressed you don't loose quality. But you use a hell of diskspace, TIFF files tend to be HUGH.
    Out of camera JPG also have sharpening already applied. You can not change that afterwards anymore.

    You can shoot only raw; that's perfectly fine. Raw+jpg is a convenient function as you can a first review on your result without post processing or special software.

    The big advantages in post processing of raw files are that you can apply white balance very easy and have the chance to correct the exposure by some +- 2 stops. The raw fils actually contain 12, 14 or 16 bit for each colored pixel ( remember: JPG only 8). This become very helpful if you have underexposed areas where you could selective correct the exposue and so use the additional information in the bigger bit range to recover information

    Also keep in mind that raw files NEED sharpening by some extend. Raw files come more or less direct form the sensor and are supposed to not been sharpened (there are diffent opinions out there on this topic). So put that into your workflow at the end.


    So yes, shooting raw cost you a bit more time in ports processing and storage. But it gives you much more flexibility.

    Sorry, can't help with Aperture direct; don't have it. I would not make one library also not one for a year. Sounds risky if something get messed up. One per event sounds ok for me. But again: I really don't know what the libraries contain. If they only contain meta data it doesn't matter. If they are a container for my raw files: no way. Or at least have a second copy of the raw files. Risk to loose would be too high for me.
     

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