Getting raw format from photographer - what's next?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by wadexyz, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. wadexyz

    wadexyz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a set of wedding pictures that a local photographer took for us. We hired him, but chose to just have him send us the files (as opposed to sign up for an expensive photo package).

    So he took the files with a Nikon camera in RAW format. For us, he delivered JPG100's, not raw (which I believe will be fine for our purposes). The photographer did mention that because these files were taken in a raw format, they've gone under no digital processing / alteration whatsoever. He said even cheap consumer cameras will do something upon saving...these files haven't had anything done to them (except straight conversion from raw to jpg).

    We have approx. 114 photos that we're going to keep for a general set of prints. Is there some kind of general process I can apply to the 114 photos? What type of tools would one use for that? And of the few photos that we care to blowup, what type of photoshop work should be done on those? Should I outsource this?

    Sorry for the long narriative. I should not that I am very inexperienced at manipulating images (don't even have photoshop, just gimp)........so when you're answering, talk slowly and use small words.
     
  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    oof. Your photographer must be... um... interesting.

    #1. I can't imagine any photog giving uncorrected images to anyone- that's their credibility being tossed around and poorly processed.
    #2. If he's going to do it, he should at least give you the RAWs as well so you have a hope of getting something decent. Uncorrected JPEGs... >shudder< bad bad bad...

    Unfortunately, no, there is no "universal" way to make this work. You can TRY to do an auto-levels in Photoshop... that's often "good enough for government work" but rarely what I would consider appropriate, and certainly not for wedding work.

    Honestly, I would go back to the photographer and discuss possibly getting the images corrected, even if it means him charging you a bit more. BTW, that being said, I don't have much faith in your photog, so I'd be inclined to get the raws from him (if he has 1/2 a brain, he'll charge you for that) and then pay another photog to correct them.

    I'm sure several folks on this board would be willing to discuss doing the work for you for a fee (myself included).
     
  3. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What...? ...Like to the photogrpher that took them...?
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,087
    Likes Received:
    3,755
    Location:
    UK - England
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For a start RAW do have to be processed into JPEGs, but its not a straight formula for conversion, there is no set method. Instead its like the first stage of editing (if you will) where you can adjust a range of settings (contrast, saturation, darkness) and even adjust some major parts (white balance and exposure (to a limited degree it can be adjusted)). These are all key stages in editing and lead directly into editing the JPEG file so that the person doing the editing will get the image that they want to create.

    I am very confused as to why your photographer is handing over the files for you to edit, especailly as you freely admit that its not an area that you are well versed in and I would have expected your photographer to do all the editing work. That you ask if you should outsource says (to me) that you are prepared to pay for this work to be done so why is your photographer not doing this stage?
     
  5. Peano

    Peano TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you'll excuse the pun, you got a raw deal. The point of shooting raw in the first place is to have maximum flexibility (read: maximum image data) when editing. When the raw files were converted to jpeg, most of that data was thrown out -- and you had no control over what was tossed.

    My advice: For the select few images you might choose for large prints, try to get the raw files from the photographer and then have someone retouch them for you -- "outsource," as you put it.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,216
    Likes Received:
    5,001
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Be sure and get written permission to have the images edited by someone other than the original photographer. Federal copyright law is involved here, unless you're not in the US.

    You don't own those images and you need a document from the original photographer (a Use License or a properly executed Copyright Transfer) defining exactly what you're allowed to do with the images.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  7. Error

    Error TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can edit all those files that the photographer gave you BUT the problem here is when you bring that for printing in the store and make an 8”x10” prints the store will ask you or they going to give you a form with a question that you need to be answer like: You need to check if you’re the photographer of the said photos, etc. signed by you. As per KmH said, you have to get written permission to edit & reprint those file/images from the photographer. You need to play safe if you're from United States.
     
  8. wadexyz

    wadexyz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh wow, thanks for all your answers. Well, he did actually give us permission (verbally) to let someone else edit them. And I may ask him for the RAW format for the select pics we really like.....

    Another question. The photographer implied most consumer cameras do some "in camera" processing, but his camera wouldn't do that as it was capturing RAW.

    So my question is....can I do something to simulate this "in camera" algorithm (to apply to all pictures) so I can at least get them to that level. Actually, here's exactly what he said....

    "Remember, these files have not been enhanced, retouched or corrected in any manner and do need enhancement if you are expecting good prints. Files coming out of professional cameras are not the same as files coming from consumer cameras. With comsumer cameras the files are processed 'in camera' with contrast adjustments, different colour adjustments and sharpening. Files out of pro cameras come out 'raw' with no contrast or colour adjustments, nor are they sharpened. This makes these files look dull and lacking in detail and colour until they are enhanced by the photographer. I will be send these out to you shortly."

    Your comments would be highly insightful to me...
     
  9. Error

    Error TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    First of all, you said that he gave you permission verbally... it would be best if it&#8217;s a written permission to avoid legal issues.
    You don&#8217;t need to have a RAW file to enhance the photograph&#8230; actually JPG file is enough to do the job as long as the size of the file is big and NOT resized.
    Adobe Lightroom is the best software to enhance the photos.
     
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Yes. Most programs will have an "auto-fix" button, or something similar.
    ...That kinda defeats the purpose of shooting in RAW though... You'll want more control than that.
     
  11. Peano

    Peano TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    "...these files have not been enhanced, retouched or corrected in any manner ..." Technically, that's incorrect. The photographer had to use some application to produce jpegs the raw files. That requires some settings for exposure, contrast, saturation, etc.

    In any case, yes it is possible to make further adjustments to the jpegs. If they were all taken in the same lighting conditions (or if you have groups of images taken in similar lighting conditions), the adjustments can be done in batches. But if the images were exposed differently or taken in a variety of lighting conditions, they might have to be adjusted individually.

    Take a look at the Portfolio page on my website to get an idea how many ways there are to alter images. Those were all done with jpegs; no raw files.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Wouldn't it have been easier to just buy a package and not have to worry about all this?

    It sounds like you got unprocessed files because that's all you were willing to pay for. I suppose the photographer could have given you the RAW files...but would you even know what to do with them?...it doesn't sound like it. He was probably doing you a favor, converting them to JPEG, so that you could do your own editing.

    If you have no knowledge of photo editing, my advice is to take/send the files to a good photo lab. They will cost more than Wal-mart or Walgreen's but they can likely do the basic image adjustments for you and give you the prints that you want.
     

Share This Page