RAW Conversions, Before & After

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AxelMonkey, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. AxelMonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Oregon
    #1
    I'm starting this thread as a RAW conversion show-and-tell. No Photoshop-type manipulations allowed, but use your converter of choice (DPP, Lightroom, ACR, Aperture, etc) to show us how much we can achieve! This is not a put-down or rejection of Photosop or other pixel editors -- in fact, we tend to keep PS, etc, on hand for things that we need pixel editing for, but the field of Raw processing opens up the richness of our photos to give us at least a "starting point" and often an end result as well! So, in this thread, let's demonstrate all we can do with our Raw processors!

    I'd like a balance here between "fixing in RAW", "enhancing in RAW", and "I'm having trouble -- what can I do?".

    Granted, it can be a dramatic relief to bring an under-exposed or an over-exposed shot into our Raw processor and "bring it back to life". But, to me, there is a broader use of Raw processors: take a well-exposed shot, that would come out nice as an in-camera jpeg, and bring out "Pop" in that shot that would go beyond that in-camera jpeg -- that's to me what Raw processing is all about.

    Or, a very important aspect of shooting in Raw: take a shot with a large dynamic range that is overall well-exposed but has, say, highlights that would "blow out" in a jpeg, but that can be recovered in a Raw processor.

    show us your stuff -- pushing exposure to the right, both with the "base exposure" of aperture and shutter speed and using your ISO to ampify the brightness to push that exposure to the limits, then in your Raw processor bringing that bright photo down to a fine, clean image...

    So, this thread is about getting the best out of our shots using these powerful tools and then sharing this with others so we all can learn.

    The format would be to post a shot straight from the camera with only your converter defaults applied -- no DPP picture styles (other than Neutral or, if stated Standard), no special presets, we want to see the bare bones output. And please post your before (and after) shots at full-siz, not shrunken or part of a screen shot -- we need to see the full image.

    Then, do your thing in your RAW converter and post the result.

    The next request is to post a screen shot of any relevant converter edits that made the shot what it was. Basic tonal/contrast/saturation adjustments of course, tonal curve if applicable, noise reduction and sharpening if you did a significant amount of these things (other than, say, just snap the sharpening slider up). This thread is not about showing off, but is about sharing and learning about a basic but invaluable set of tools that are not only available for Raw shooters but for jpeg shooters (and tiff developers) as well. Please, show us your stuff, and if you don't we'll remind you!

    Lastly, especially if you want help, but maybe just for others to play with, you could post a link to your RAW file through a hosting service if you have access to one. You could also, if you wish, post a "final" version that has had Photoshop applied, but only if you first give us the Before and After straight out of your Raw processor.

    I hope we get some activity on this! It would be very cool to see the low level work that leads to others' success!


    Ill start.

    Before:[​IMG]

    After:[​IMG]


    After:[​IMG]Wanted to go for that gold effect, just for fun.
     
  2. Kronie macrumors 6502a

    Kronie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    #2
    Here is a couple.

    For most of my portrait/nature stuff, I don't get into heavy processing just levels, curves, saturation and sharpening. I might clone out certain things like acne whatever.
    Before:
    [​IMG]
    After:
    [​IMG]

    Before:
    [​IMG]
    After:
    [​IMG]

    Some of my landscapes are VERY heavily processed. Exposure blended, sometimes stitching together three to seven shots for a pano, all kinds of little tweaks to curves, levels, saturation, I have cloned out buildings, power lines, people...

    Before:
    [​IMG]
    After:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. AxelMonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Oregon
    #3
    ^^^ im digging tht save with the landscape thats really good.


    I havent shot much in RAW, but knowing the possibilities that it could do are AMAZING.
     
  4. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #4
    I'm a bit confused. You want to see images that were captured in a RAW format, period? Images that only went through ACR (Lightroom, Aperture, Capture One, etc)? Or images that were shot in RAW, processed, and then edited afterwards?
     
  5. AxelMonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Oregon
    #5
    That right there.

    But not just for me to see, but everyone! I dont want this to be just my thread I want people to be able to show everyone what they did to there photos. This was some of the n00bs around can get a glimpse of how shooting in RAW works.
     
  6. Gold89 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I think it's just that the OP just wants to see how people post process.

    Great processing on the landscape Kronie. :)
     
  7. camgrant84 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney
    #7
    Not a particularly nice photo - but I just processed this otherwise throw away photo to give an example of RAW
     

    Attached Files:

  8. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #8
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A little older image, but something captured in RAW and lit with knowledge of the post-processing to be applied later.

    Edit: Okay, now I see the OP has been changed around a bit. So... okay, yes. I used Photoshop to put this together. I tend to treat the initial RAW conversion as the point to flatten out my captures (0 contrast, no bumping on either side of the histogram, no additional clarity, etc) and then pull them into Photoshop for masking. Seems much more efficient to me by it being local.
     
  9. AxelMonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Oregon
    #9
    ^^^ I did something like that once, it was like me, yelling at myself(there where to copies of me) while I was cowering.
     
  10. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #10
    RAW plus a bit of PhotoShop for those vexing wires.

    [​IMG]

    Dale
     
  11. Mad Mental Jock macrumors newbie

    Mad Mental Jock

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    #11
    Great work from all !!

    I have been shooting with my dslr (Nikon D5000) since november but avoided raw as my aging acer laptop is generally pathetic.

    I am now on the verge of replacing it with a nice new shiny MBP, any advice on what software route to take would be welcomed.

    Basically would Aperture 3 be enough on it's own or do you need photoshop as well, and if photoshop is essential is elements enough or do you need full photoshop ??

    Cheers :confused:
     
  12. Joe King macrumors 6502

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    Mar 22, 2009
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    Dublin, Ireland
  13. adamvk macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    How do you all process RAW? Is it automatic? Is there a guide or something someone can give me a link to?

    I'm sorry for my lack of knowledge, I just know very little when it comes to RAW or HDR. My DSLR shoots RAW, but I've never really done it. I think I might start though, being that my camera has an option to shoot in both RAW and JPEG at the same time.

    Is Photoshop required to process RAW? I have Photoshop, but I'd prefer to use Aperture 3 if necessary. I like it much better.
     
  14. AxelMonkey thread starter macrumors regular

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    Somewhere between Heaven and Hell, Oregon
    #14
    Aperture 3 is possible, Ill leave the RAW explanation to someone else that can explain it better than me, I suck at explaining things verbally.
     
  15. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #15
    Wait, I'm confused.

    You're asking for us to

    1. Take a picture in RAW
    2. Upload to whatever software we'd like (Aperture for me)
    3. Make no adjustments
    4. Export
    5. Post here
    6. Return to your software
    7. Make adjustments as desired
    8. Export
    9. Post here
    10. Allow us to compare the differences between the two shots

    @adamvk - RAW simply means that the camera records all the data that the sensor gathered at the time you made your image. Nothing is lost, no sharpness, contrast, brightness, etc., is applied in the camera, as it would be if you saved as a jpeg. The file is obviously larger because more data is contained within it. The biggest benefit of RAW is that there's more room to manipulate a RAW file than there would be with a jpeg. Let's say you happen to have underexposed some and your subject is a little too dark. Usually, a RAW file will tolerate an increase in the brightness adjustment better than a jpeg one might, in that there should be less noise created.

    Aperture is great for RAW, you do not need photoshop. If I were you, I'd consider shooting entirely RAW, and not both RAW and jpeg at once. After you're done processing your RAW file, you can always export it as jpeg if you'd like.
     
  16. rouxeny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    #16
    First shot - straight from the camera
    Second - Processed
     

    Attached Files:

  17. adamvk macrumors 65816

    adamvk

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #17
    Ok, cool. Thank you very much for the explanation.
     

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