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10/13/2009 03:13:01 PM · #1
I always shoot in RAW when I do photo shoots. But I haven't shot anything in a while (since hurting myself and surgery) and it's really been months since I have done anything in the studio.

Last night I was just doing some light test shots..etc.. but seem to have lost my edge when processing the photos.

So wondering what steps you guys use when you process. Normally I pull them up in Adobe Bridge, make the adjustments as far as exposure, light, etc... then open in CS3 and do more tweaks. I sharpen last. I worked on some photos today that looked fine when I saved them, but when I uploaded them on a website they looked FLAT to me (and different than on my saved files) so wondering if I did something wrong??

any tips would be so appreciated!
10/13/2009 03:21:14 PM · #2
Be sure you are editing in the sRGB color space.

That is usually the issue when you see a color shift on the web.
10/13/2009 03:22:11 PM · #3
Check the color space being used. For web it needs to be sRGB.

EDIT: Ah, beaten to the punch.

Message edited by author 2009-10-13 15:22:43.
10/13/2009 03:48:36 PM · #4
The more processing you do in RAW, the better. Lately, I only use jpeg processing for resizing.

Here's my workflow, in this order:

White balance - use the little white balance tool (eye dropper half full of 18% grey "ink") and click a nearly-white area of the photo. NOT fully white, and NOT a spectral surface.

Exposure: Pulls/spreads histogram to the right. Turn on shadow/highlight clipping warnings (triangles in the top of the box), use exposure to pull the histogram until it clips on the right. It's ok that the image looks too bright at this point.

Recovery: pulls back those parts of the image that are clipped on the right (too bright). do this until most of the clipping warnings you got are gone.

Blacks: pulls the dark areas of the image left on the histogram. do this until you get clipping.

Fill light: reduces shadow clipping. use this until shadow clipping is mostly gone

Brightness: shifts entire histogram right or left without really changing the shape

contrast: spreads out the histogram (use if it comes to a peak in the middle)

clarity: increases contrast of the midtones

vibrance: better than saturation; less destructive. raises the value of the color channels rather than adding more color

sharpening: make sure you are at 100% - camera raw does not apply the changes visually if you arent at 100%. radius and detail should usually be lower than amount. USE MASKING - generally higher than any of the other options - removes sharpening where it isnt needed (i.e. broad, flat tones)

noise reduction: camera raw has great noise reduction. again at 100%. some refer to it as the 5th and 6th tools for sharpening.

EDIT:

every digital file should be sharpened. while it is true that you should also sharpen just before export, this is because different export devices treat sharpening differently, and if you dont understand how this works (i dont) it's better to not mess with it.



Message edited by author 2009-10-13 15:50:49.
10/13/2009 04:13:20 PM · #5
Originally posted by robshookphoto:

Here's my workflow, in this order:

Nice rundown, thanks.
10/13/2009 04:22:30 PM · #6
Originally posted by robshookphoto:

The more processing you do in RAW, the better. Lately, I only use jpeg processing for resizing.

Here's my workflow, in this order...


Whoa, EXCELLENT rundown. I have several observations to make;

1. I NEVER process in JPG; from RAW I go to PSD, and process whatever else I need to do in that, with layers. I only make JPG after resizing.

2. For best quality, be sure to set RAW to export to PSD in 16-bit. Do as much work in 16-bit as you can in photoshop. JPG conversion will automatically force 8-bit at the end.

3. If you are planning to use Topaz, tone mapping, LucisArts, anything like that, the image you export from RAW to PSD will work better for that purpose if you intentionally make it a little flatter than seems optimum to the eye.

R.
10/13/2009 04:30:13 PM · #7
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by robshookphoto:

The more processing you do in RAW, the better. Lately, I only use jpeg processing for resizing.

Here's my workflow, in this order...


Whoa, EXCELLENT rundown. I have several observations to make;

1. I NEVER process in JPG; from RAW I go to PSD, and process whatever else I need to do in that, with layers. I only make JPG after resizing.

2. For best quality, be sure to set RAW to export to PSD in 16-bit. Do as much work in 16-bit as you can in photoshop. JPG conversion will automatically force 8-bit at the end.

3. If you are planning to use Topaz, tone mapping, LucisArts, anything like that, the image you export from RAW to PSD will work better for that purpose if you intentionally make it a little flatter than seems optimum to the eye.

R.


TIFF vs PSD?
10/13/2009 04:32:22 PM · #8
Originally posted by ikopanas:

TIFF vs PSD?


PSD makes smaller files. Layered TIFF files are absolutely huge. Since PSD is photoshop's native format, that's what I use. I've never seen an advantage to TIFF. I can always save the file as a TIFF if I need one somewhere down the road, as a deliverable.

R.
10/13/2009 04:39:53 PM · #9
yeah i shouldve phrased that better. by "jpeg processing" i just meant processing in photoshop outside of camera raw.

the only files i have on my computer as jpegs are final images for export (usually to flickr). I usually print from .psd

for a little while i converted to .dng because i shoot both nikon and canon, but i dont really care anymore.
10/13/2009 04:48:27 PM · #10
Originally posted by robshookphoto:


sharpening: make sure you are at 100% - camera raw does not apply the changes visually if you arent at 100%. radius and detail should usually be lower than amount. USE MASKING - generally higher than any of the other options - removes sharpening where it isnt needed (i.e. broad, flat tones)


I did not really got this step. Could you help me please?
10/13/2009 04:58:09 PM · #11
Originally posted by ikopanas:

Originally posted by robshookphoto:


sharpening: make sure you are at 100% - camera raw does not apply the changes visually if you arent at 100%. radius and detail should usually be lower than amount. USE MASKING - generally higher than any of the other options - removes sharpening where it isnt needed (i.e. broad, flat tones)


I did not really got this step. Could you help me please?


When you are sharpening in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) there is a "sharpen" setting. There is a preview window that by default shows the entire image. Sharpening at default setting, the preview does not show the effects. You can zoom the preview to 100%, and then drag the image to see the part you are interested in, and apply your sharpening; the effect will be visible at 100%

R.
10/13/2009 05:00:41 PM · #12
So, I never sharpen in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR). I tweak my RAW file using ACR, export to 16-bit PSD (sometimes to 16-bit TIFF). Then, in Photoshop CS3, I resize to what I need the release version to be and then (and only then), I sharpen.

In other words, I resize before sharpening--and then I do not re-save the PSD. I usually never save the PSD with a resized image. I prefer to keep the image in it's original size (or cropped size).

10/13/2009 05:02:05 PM · #13
Originally posted by AperturePriority:

So, I never sharpen in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR). I tweak my RAW file using ACR, export to 16-bit PSD (sometimes to 16-bit TIFF). Then, in Photoshop CS3, I resize to what I need the release version to be and then (and only then), I sharpen.

In other words, I resize before sharpening--and then I do not re-save the PSD. I usually never save the PSD with a resized image. I prefer to keep the image in it's original size (or cropped size).


That's my approach too. I keep ACR sharpening at zero.

R.
10/13/2009 05:05:48 PM · #14
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by ikopanas:

Originally posted by robshookphoto:


sharpening: make sure you are at 100% - camera raw does not apply the changes visually if you arent at 100%. radius and detail should usually be lower than amount. USE MASKING - generally higher than any of the other options - removes sharpening where it isnt needed (i.e. broad, flat tones)


I did not really got this step. Could you help me please?


When you are sharpening in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) there is a "sharpen" setting. There is a preview window that by default shows the entire image. Sharpening at default setting, the preview does not show the effects. You can zoom the preview to 100%, and then drag the image to see the part you are interested in, and apply your sharpening; the effect will be visible at 100%

R.


Same thing for noise reduction.
10/13/2009 05:07:14 PM · #15
if you really want excellent control, try Nikon NX2 with non-destructive editing/adjustments to the raw nef files... although i am not sure NX2 works with other RAW formats. regardless, it also does non-destructive adjustments to JPEG and TIFF, too, and you can save as many "versions" of the photo as your heart desires without have to save each variation as a separate (large) file.

just my 2 cents.
-mefnj
10/13/2009 05:09:46 PM · #16
Originally posted by mefnj:

if you really want excellent control, try Nikon NX2 with non-destructive editing/adjustments to the raw nef files... although i am not sure NX2 works with other RAW formats. regardless, it also does non-destructive adjustments to JPEG and TIFF, too, and you can save as many "versions" of the photo as your heart desires without have to save each variation as a separate (large) file.

just my 2 cents.
-mefnj

Adobe Camera RAW's edits are non-destructive. All edits are placed in the XMP (sidecar) companion files.

10/13/2009 05:17:40 PM · #17
Originally posted by robshookphoto:

The more processing you do in RAW, the better. Lately, I only use jpeg processing for resizing.

Here's my workflow, in this order:

White balance - use the little white balance tool (eye dropper half full of 18% grey "ink") and click a nearly-white area of the photo. NOT fully white, and NOT a spectral surface.

Exposure: Pulls/spreads histogram to the right. Turn on shadow/highlight clipping warnings (triangles in the top of the box), use exposure to pull the histogram until it clips on the right. It's ok that the image looks too bright at this point.

Recovery: pulls back those parts of the image that are clipped on the right (too bright). do this until most of the clipping warnings you got are gone.

Blacks: pulls the dark areas of the image left on the histogram. do this until you get clipping.

Fill light: reduces shadow clipping. use this until shadow clipping is mostly gone

Brightness: shifts entire histogram right or left without really changing the shape

contrast: spreads out the histogram (use if it comes to a peak in the middle)

clarity: increases contrast of the midtones

vibrance: better than saturation; less destructive. raises the value of the color channels rather than adding more color

sharpening: make sure you are at 100% - camera raw does not apply the changes visually if you arent at 100%. radius and detail should usually be lower than amount. USE MASKING - generally higher than any of the other options - removes sharpening where it isnt needed (i.e. broad, flat tones)

noise reduction: camera raw has great noise reduction. again at 100%. some refer to it as the 5th and 6th tools for sharpening.

EDIT:

every digital file should be sharpened. while it is true that you should also sharpen just before export, this is because different export devices treat sharpening differently, and if you dont understand how this works (i dont) it's better to not mess with it.


This is really great!! I have a dumb question now. What do you mean by clipping. I probably know and am over thinking it....
10/13/2009 05:24:57 PM · #18
Originally posted by gwe21:


This is really great!! I have a dumb question now. What do you mean by clipping. I probably know and am over thinking it....


Clipping is when an area of the image is moved beyond the tonal range of the histogram, either to the right (pure white) or the left (pure black). If you use an extreme contrast adjustment, for example, you can push near-whites into pure whites and pull near blacks into pure blacks, robbing those areas of any trace of detail; you are *clipping* highlights and/or shadows when you do this.

If you have an image, as shot, with clipped highlights, you can try to rescue it in RAW by reducing exposure, but when you do that you may clip the shadows. By adjusting the "fill light" you can then try to rescue the shadows from the state of being clipped. That's just one, simplistic, example.

R.

Message edited by author 2009-10-13 17:25:38.
10/13/2009 06:05:01 PM · #19
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by gwe21:


This is really great!! I have a dumb question now. What do you mean by clipping. I probably know and am over thinking it....


Clipping is when an area of the image is moved beyond the tonal range of the histogram, either to the right (pure white) or the left (pure black). If you use an extreme contrast adjustment, for example, you can push near-whites into pure whites and pull near blacks into pure blacks, robbing those areas of any trace of detail; you are *clipping* highlights and/or shadows when you do this.

If you have an image, as shot, with clipped highlights, you can try to rescue it in RAW by reducing exposure, but when you do that you may clip the shadows. By adjusting the "fill light" you can then try to rescue the shadows from the state of being clipped. That's just one, simplistic, example.


And on the flip-side, you can attempt to "unclip" highlights (blown-out areas of an image) by using the highlight recovery feature (Recovery slider), which works well in many cases.

Back to Robert's "fill light" recommendation--I find that after using this feature I usually have to add a couple of units from the "Blacks" slider to keep the image from looking too washed out.

Tip: to emphasize the clipped areas (highlights or shadows), you can click on the small triangles at the top of the histogram. The right triangle for showing the clipped highlights, and the left triangle for showing the clipped shadows.

10/13/2009 08:13:11 PM · #20
I am editing in sRGB and I still have that washed out look when I upload..

okay here is one I uploaded. How does it look? I have about 200 more baby photos to process through. this was just the first one I grabbed. I actually saved this photo for web for here.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/85000-89999/85097/120/827612.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/85000-89999/85097/120/827612.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Message edited by author 2009-10-13 20:19:23.
10/13/2009 08:43:45 PM · #21
Originally posted by AperturePriority:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by gwe21:


This is really great!! I have a dumb question now. What do you mean by clipping. I probably know and am over thinking it....


Clipping is when an area of the image is moved beyond the tonal range of the histogram, either to the right (pure white) or the left (pure black). If you use an extreme contrast adjustment, for example, you can push near-whites into pure whites and pull near blacks into pure blacks, robbing those areas of any trace of detail; you are *clipping* highlights and/or shadows when you do this.

If you have an image, as shot, with clipped highlights, you can try to rescue it in RAW by reducing exposure, but when you do that you may clip the shadows. By adjusting the "fill light" you can then try to rescue the shadows from the state of being clipped. That's just one, simplistic, example.


And on the flip-side, you can attempt to "unclip" highlights (blown-out areas of an image) by using the highlight recovery feature (Recovery slider), which works well in many cases.

Back to Robert's "fill light" recommendation--I find that after using this feature I usually have to add a couple of units from the "Blacks" slider to keep the image from looking too washed out.

Tip: to emphasize the clipped areas (highlights or shadows), you can click on the small triangles at the top of the histogram. The right triangle for showing the clipped highlights, and the left triangle for showing the clipped shadows.


Alternatively, if you have a camera with a built-in histogram, you can look at your camera's histogram of the image. If the histogram shows clipping, adjust exposure and shoot again. Getting a correct exposure in-camera is often the best method, rather than having to adjust improper exposures in software.
10/13/2009 09:06:35 PM · #22
Originally posted by nfessel:

Originally posted by AperturePriority:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by gwe21:


This is really great!! I have a dumb question now. What do you mean by clipping. I probably know and am over thinking it....


Clipping is when an area of the image is moved beyond the tonal range of the histogram, either to the right (pure white) or the left (pure black). If you use an extreme contrast adjustment, for example, you can push near-whites into pure whites and pull near blacks into pure blacks, robbing those areas of any trace of detail; you are *clipping* highlights and/or shadows when you do this.

If you have an image, as shot, with clipped highlights, you can try to rescue it in RAW by reducing exposure, but when you do that you may clip the shadows. By adjusting the "fill light" you can then try to rescue the shadows from the state of being clipped. That's just one, simplistic, example.


And on the flip-side, you can attempt to "unclip" highlights (blown-out areas of an image) by using the highlight recovery feature (Recovery slider), which works well in many cases.

Back to Robert's "fill light" recommendation--I find that after using this feature I usually have to add a couple of units from the "Blacks" slider to keep the image from looking too washed out.

Tip: to emphasize the clipped areas (highlights or shadows), you can click on the small triangles at the top of the histogram. The right triangle for showing the clipped highlights, and the left triangle for showing the clipped shadows.


Alternatively, if you have a camera with a built-in histogram, you can look at your camera's histogram of the image. If the histogram shows clipping, adjust exposure and shoot again. Getting a correct exposure in-camera is often the best method, rather than having to adjust improper exposures in software.


In addition, many Canons have the "Highlight Alert" option, where the clipped regions blink when you are previewing the image in the LCD screen.

Also, if you have a modern Canon EOS camera, you can use the built-in "Highlight Tone Priority" mode (HTP). The purpose of HTP is to minimize blown (washed out) highlights when taking photos in brightly lit scenes. HTP is said to bring out more detail and dynamic range in highlighted areas. The gradation between grays and highlights become smoother. According to Canon..."Highlight Tone Priority mode gives wedding and landscape photographers the option to boost dynamic range for highlights when shooting above ISO 200 reproducing more tonal detail from wedding dresses, clouds and other light colored objects..."
10/14/2009 03:46:32 AM · #23
Ligthroom VS ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) any opinions?
10/14/2009 12:17:42 PM · #24
Originally posted by AperturePriority:

In addition, many Canons have the "Highlight Alert" option, where the clipped regions blink when you are previewing the image in the LCD screen.

IIRC, Highlights are measured on the JPG image, even if you shoot RAW. So even if you have a few blown areas, your RAW file may be ok.
10/14/2009 12:21:00 PM · #25
Originally posted by hankk:

Originally posted by AperturePriority:

In addition, many Canons have the "Highlight Alert" option, where the clipped regions blink when you are previewing the image in the LCD screen.

IIRC, Highlights are measured on the JPG image, even if you shoot RAW. So even if you have a few blown areas, your RAW file may be ok.

I agree since (even when shooting RAW), the embedded JPG file is what is displayed on the LCD. That said, if you have blown-out (or under-exposed) areas in a JPG, your chances are high that the RAW file will contain similar effects. Nevertheless, the RAW file will give you a higher probability of recovery from that.

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