Post-processing software, oh my

This morning I took a handful of photographs in our back yard.  I opted to put behind me the trials and tribulations of yesterday (which you can read about here if you haven’t already, and if you haven’t already what the hell is wrong with you?) and move forward as I had a little time this a.m. before I had to go and do stuff.  However, with all the trials and tribulations that came with yesterday I opted to instead accept the warm embrace that is shooting images at home instead of venturing forth into the wilds of southwestern Ohio.

So I finally got around to reviewing the handful of photos this evening and was pleasantly surprised to find some nice ones.  As I had managed to reset my camera to shoot in both RAW and JPEG format simultaneously I was able to quickly review the JPEG images and determine which to keep and which to delete and thus did so to both versions of the given image.  I was about to simply post the JPEG images to Flickr when I decided to open the RAW files in Capture One and it was here that I noticed a distinct difference between the JPEG and RAW versions of many of the files.  On the whole the only difference that was rather obvious was in the treatment of the colour green.  And seeing how every picture has something green in it the colour green is clearly important.

So I tried something different tonight.  Every image I uploaded this evening (all ten of them) was processed from the RAW image file, converted to JPEG and uploaded.  Wow.  This is new to me.  I have done this to one or two uploaded images over the past few months, but never an entire set of images.  And I really didn’t do to much to these images anyway…..some straightening (since I’m lopsided so are my pictures), some cropping, some fiddling with the shadows and highlights….but nothing completely over the top.  And I still have about six images of flowers that I did not upload because I have NOT been able to get them right (the colour red seems to really screw with digital cameras, doesn’t it?), at least not with the software I have on the laptop.  These particular images may have to visit the PC where more powerful software solutions reside.

Still…..this was something of a minor triumph.  Me.  Using photo editing software.  AND getting the results I wanted.  I just may have to pat myself on the back tonight.


9 thoughts on “Post-processing software, oh my

  1. Oh applause, congratulations, salutations!

    Welcome to the wonderful world of RAW!

    So much better than JPEG, though a bit intimidating at first, I’ll readily admit.

    I was converted by mate LifeSpy, who spent ages nagging me to shoot/process in RAW. For which I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

    Having now become quite familiar with shooting in RAW I don’t bother even shooting RAW+JPG, although that can cause a few problems as I recently discovered during my jaunt in Brighton.
    (Took loads of pics of the protest then, at the end of the day, was asked by their media people if I had any pics they could send out to various press agencies. Well, I did… but they simply weren’t geared up to handling RAW, which meant I missed out on an opportunity to get some shots in the national mainstream media!)

    But that minor gripe aside (which could easily have been overcome in fact had I carried my own laptop with me… something all good media activists should do) I don’t think there’s anything that could now persuade me to change back to JPEG shooting.

    RAW offers so much more potential, in terms of both available detail and output options, that JPEG just doesn’t even come close.

    Let’s face it… the only reason we like JPEG is cos its quick and easy (and small files as well, so not as demanding on computer resources). But in terms of quality and detail, RAW wins hands down. And ultimately, as aspiring photographers, isn’t quality and detail two of the things we’re really striving for?

  2. P.S. As an addendum to last comment, its also interesting to note that RAW (as I recently learned) are actually regarded as HDR files… hence removing the need for tinkering with JPEGs to render an HDR image!

  3. You are so right Mike. It is all about quick and easy when shooting in JPEG. But there is something to be said for JPEG when the pictures aren’t quite as important to your work. For instance, sometimes I just want to capture a quick pic of one of the cats or dogs doing something cute, silly, whatever. In the end I really don’t want to have to fiddle with the RAW file; even if it is only to convert it to JPEG. However, I’m beginning to think differently about even that process.

    For the mean time what I think I will experiment with is shooting in a lower sized/quality JPEG in conjunction with RAW. This way I still have immediate access to a JPEG file for review. This way I can quickly breeze through the day’s work and delete those images that simply aren’t right for whatever reason, but by moving to a smaller image/lower quality I’ll save some space on the media card (like that’s a real issue anyway seeing how I have a 2GB, 4GB and 8GB cards).

    As I’ve said before….so much of the software out there for working with RAW is incredibly intimidating. It just does so much and…well….it’s just intimidating.

  4. Pingback: The gods of Flickr have not taken to my burnt offerings and have smited me « Forkboy’s Photographic Travails

  5. A tip for you (cherish it, for I don’t share my tips casually!)… when confronted with any intimidating task (and god/goddess knows, I get more than my fair share of them) I always use the same technique. Break it down into one-step-at-a-time stages, and deal with each one individually, one at a time.

    Means the learning curve is a bit drawn out (a lazy mound rather than a steep cliff if you will), but I don’t care. At least each single step mastered is real progress.


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