RAW Shooters, how much processing do you do?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by glocke12, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    Jan 7, 2008
    #1
    A I usually only shoot RAW with my D90, but once in a while I will shoot both RAW and JPEG just to compare.

    The JPEGS I get from this camera usually look over processed, colors look too saturated, etc. The RAW files I get usually have a more natural look to them. Usually I dont have to do anything to my RAW photos at all. The only exception is if there is a photo that I really like I will go into CS5 and do some sharpening, but thats basically it.
     
  2. Clark Kent macrumors member

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    Mar 31, 2009
    #2
    I have a Nikon D40 and I find the JPEGs generally look too saturated and have a bit too much red in the skin tones for my liking under artificial light. Pictures taken outside in daylight look fine.

    I only take RAW pictures, but I don't do a lot of processing to them. I prefer a more natural look. I correct white balance, add a bit of saturation/vibrancy, get the exposure perfect, sharpen, and adjust levels. I use Aperture to do these things. Since most of my pictures involve young children (mine), I often don't get the camera set exactly right before I need to start snapping (just stop moving for 1 second!). I'd rather get the shot and need to adjust it later than miss it because I'm changing the settings on the camera.

    Unless I really mess up a shot, it doesn't take much to get it looking good.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    I only shoot raw, as that gives me the control on processing the images. Shooting in JPG means that the camera will decide on processing image, and the data that was captured will be lost. Memory cards are large enough now a days that if your camera handles RAW, then it makes no sense to shoot in JPG imo
     
  4. atmenterprises macrumors regular

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    #4
    Depends on the shot. If it's a bit drab, I'll bring up the saturation. If it's a bit underexposed, I'll bring up the exposure. It's really a shot-by-shot case.
     
  5. mono1980 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I shoot in RAW all the time. It's just so much better as you can easily correct any white balance or exposure issues. I generally only do minor tweaks in Lightroom, such as saturation, exposure tweaks, and noise reduction or sharpening.
     
  6. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #6
    I shoot 100% RAW. The amount of processing depends on the shot. The only edit that is on every shot is sharpening (done in LR3).
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #7
    At the very least, RAW images need sharpening due to the anti-mosaic filter that's applied as part of the RAW process.

    Here's what I will normally look at, but not all photos will need this...
    - Rotate
    - Crop
    - White balance
    - Exposure which may include any of exposure, recovery, black level, highlights, shadows, and/or contrast
    - Saturation
    - Vibrancy
    - Sharpening
     
  8. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #8
    How much processing?

    I use a UniWB white balance setting in camera so every shot needs to have its white balance adjusted, usually via sampling from a reference shot taken with a gray card. I also have ingest level defaults that I use for clarity, vibrance, saturation, post import sharpening, and camera calibration profile. If I have a lens profile for the lens I shot with then I will use it. I normally adjust exposure, recovery and fill, and noise reduction for individual photos.

    (FYI: Lightroom 3)
     
  9. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

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    SF Bay area
    #9
    I shoot 100% RAW. Adjustments depend on the shot and the purpose. Because I shoot RAW I don't worry too much about the exposure. As long as the histogram is in the middle somewhere and the focus is good I'm good to go.

    Some indoor product shots need a fair amount of tweaking of WB, exposure, contrast, cropping. It's rare to use a picture with no processing.
     
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #10
    I do almost no processing. I shoot raw and give a small contrast and sharpening boost or maybe do a little bit of white balance adjustment but if I don't get it right in the camera I generally trash it.
     
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    I too use UniWB on nearly every shot, making a bit of extra work for me when processing, but it's worth it. I process very carefully, adjusting nearly everything manually. I change settings for each photo in just about every palette of Lightroom's develop module. I work especially carefully with curves to make sure that I maximize the spread of my histogram on a given image. I then take most of my photos through Photoshop, where I finesse the images in ways that I can't with Lightroom.

    I do a lot of processing because I don't believe there is such a thing as "reality" or "how it looked" in photography. It's all subjective. I believe the onus is on the photographer to 'make' an image and to take responsibility for its aesthetics. Everything from exposure to white balance and beyond is a creative decision, in my view.
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #12
    I only shoot RAW. I process everything from WB to distortion to lighting... I do what I can to make things presentable.

    I process pictures I will be printing and sharing immediately. The rest, I either archive unprocessed or I do it later when I'm bored. Like using the john, etc.
     
  13. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

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    #13
    I ALWAYS shoot in raw, don't even bother using the jpeg engine. Perhaps out of necessity, with the more narrow dynamic range of my Olympus E-3 and propensity for noise at all but the lowest ISO sensitivities... I spend an average of five minutes per shot doing the pp, gotten it down to an efficient routine in CS4. I custom sharpen, saturate, contrast and noise reduction when necessary in Adobe Raw Converter and then finalize sharpness and contrast and do any resizing with Photoshop.

    Rumor has it that my next body, the E-5, may not require as much babysitting to get best results.. we'll see. I still love the pp but now that my client list has grown it would be nice to sell the jpegs straight from camera when possible.
     
  14. trjwv macrumors regular

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    #14
    Raw shooters:
    Do you shoot in Raw only or Raw + jpeg?
    and why?
    Thanks....
     
  15. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #15
    I shoot RAW. I'm sure I could create some Aperture pre-sets, for PP, but I prefer to treat each image individually. Adjustments are slight: often just a small increase in contrast and colour saturation. I try to get thing as good as possible in-camera; I have the patience to stand around, waiting for the light to get 'interesting'... but I don't want to spend much time staring at a computer screen, wondering how to make a drab pic better...

    I try not to crop (hell, I've paid for those pixels... ;)). About the only thing I do in PS is straighten buildings which 'lean', zap dust-spots and prepare pix that I'll be submitting to picture libraries...
     
  16. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    #16
    My main photography is people, and I usually add some contrast, just a pinch of vibrancy and about half the time a vignette as default. Most of the "heavy" work would be done on highlights that need to be toned down and getting rid of dust spots. Aperture has some default sharpening setting that I've never worried about adjusting, whatever it applies is find as I'm pretty darn happy with how sharp most images turn out.

    I don't really ever shoot JPG unless it's completely not important like taking pictures of something I'm selling. The only reason I'd shoot JPG is to save space, and I'd rather go to sRAW for that.
     
  17. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #17
    Jpg

    I see no reason to shoot JPG other than being a cheapskate.

    RAW has saved my butt soooo many times with the exposure bumps alone, and the white balance adjustment is killer.

    Trying to save a JPG is wasted time, it will probably look like crap.

    My normal processing (Aperture 3) includes sharpening bump, definition bump, raise black point and exposure a tad, lower contrast a tad, add a tiny bit of vignette. Of course it differs from photo to photo though.
     
  18. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #18
    Raw only. I haven't shot a JPEG in years. I'll never use them, so I don't let my camera generate them.
     
  19. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #19
    Raw only.

    I began using Lightroom several years ago when version 1 came out. Prior to its release I used several different programs to manage my photos - Cerious ThumbsPlus on a Windows machine, then IView Media Pro when I moved over to the Mac in 2004 (edit: I bought my first DSLR in late 2003, a Nikon D100. Its raw capabilities pretty much sucked and it was mostly a jpeg camera. I didn't start shooting a lot of raw files until I bought a D2x early in 2005.). I have also used Adobe Bridge to rank and cull photos before bringing them into Photoshop for post-processing. At the time it was easier to work with jpegs for the proofing steps then switch over to the raw file for those photos I wanted to work on further.

    Lightroom changed all that and made it easy to work only with the raw file from proofing until I needed to export it to another format as required. There is no upside in my work flow for capturing jpegs - they just increase the amount of data I need to process at each step, from the moment I click the shutter to when the files are stored on my hard drive.

    I can think of situations where capturing jpegs might be essential, but those situations don't apply to me.
     
  20. svndmvn Guest

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    #20
    once processed do you store the photos in jpeg and delete the original?
     
  21. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    SE Michigan
    #21
    At first when just reading the thread title w/o even opening the thread I wondered to myself.

    What is the OP looking for here?

    -Does RAW take that much more "clean up" time vs straight jpg (and accept that jpg for what it is)
    or
    -This is a RAW support thread for those who've let Photography overtake their life and shoot many picts then many hours doing PP
    or
    -??

    I've read thru all the comments and then I realized I was overthinking, so I'll just type away....

    For me, 99% of my RAW photos need some PP.
    Only those few that I've got spot on composition and exposure, even then I apply some sharpening. Of course what I notice is a group(stack) of photos taken in similair exposure conditions need almost same PP, with slight tweaks, so once I get the first one dialed then the other(s) I usually semi-automate the PP and then step back and fine PP each one individual.

    Honestly, my wife says I spend too much time doing Photography, it's overtaken my brain, and the kids and dog miss their daddy...............so part of me was hoping this was the "RAW PP'ers Anonymous thread"....:eek:
     
  22. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #22
    If your question was aimed at me, then no. I keep the raw files and delete the jpegs after they've served their purpose.
     
  23. svndmvn Guest

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    #23
    At you as well, thanks!
    The RAW files you keep are the ones you've processed, right?
     
  24. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    Jan 7, 2008
    #24
    Yeah, I wasnt looking for anything deep. I primarily shoot RAW, but every now and than Ill shoot RAW+JPEG and am always surprised at how oversaturated my jpegs look compared to a properly exposed RAW image. 90% of my RAW photos look much better than my JPEGS, and usually only require a little sharpening..
     
  25. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #25
    I'm not familiar with your camera, but you can probably tweak the JPEG in-camera processing so that your JPEG's either look more natural like your RAW's or add just a bit of saturation and sharpening so they will reflect how your RAW would look after a bit of post processing.

    On my Canon 7D, I have the JPEG processing set this way (sharpening 4, saturation 1) so I can get a feel in the preview for how the picture will look after my typical PP. Even though I don't use JPEG as a general rule, it also enables me to hit the RAW+JPEG button and get a reasonable looking JPEG if I ever need to share a picture before I have an opportunity to do PP.
     

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