Working With RAW

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by tenlientl, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. tenlientl

    tenlientl TPF Noob!

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    Hey, all. I know what RAW is, but I have a question regarding the processing procedure.

    I edited Picture#1 on a computer using Lightroom 2. I exported it as a JPEG that's resized, but I want to print it now but it's too small imo.

    A few months ago, I transfered the edited RAW Picture#1 from computer to an external hard drive then deleted the Picture#1 from computer.

    I open up the Picture#1's original RAW from external hard drive with a different laptop and it is now unedited.

    I assumed the RAW file get's "saved" each time I edit it because when I would exit Lightroom and open it up again, it would have the changes made.

    Is it because it's a different computer that's why the changes made doesn't show up? should I just overwite the edited pictures whenever I finish working on them?

    How does "virtual copy" work? I don't really want to overwrite original RAW for obvious reasons, but I also don't want to have 2 copies of the same RAW with edited versions and non-edited. That's too much space.

    can I "copy" virtual copies to an external hard drive?

    thanks.
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    The problem is likely that you didn't copy the xml sidecar file as well. The proprietary RAW formats that camera manufacturer's develop for each bloody camera model (no, I hold no animosity toward them for it...none at all) don't support a way of attaching the edits you make (exposure, curves, colour adjustments, contrast, etc.) to the file itself. So, Lightroom and other RAW converters like ACR, CaptureNX, Digital Photo Professional (that bloody program has THE WORST interface ever), have to create a separate file alongside the RAW file—an xml sidecar.

    Now, Adobe has developed a RAW file format that supports keeping your edits in the file itself, called DNG. Lightroom can easily convert all of your current images to this format, and doing so will save you this kind of headache in the future.

    In any case, none of the RAW data will ever be modified by a RAW converter. It's just reinterpreted.

    Virtual copy in Lightroom creates just that—a virtual copy of the image in your current catalogue. It saves a new set of edits that you make based on the image you're editing, but doesn't actually duplicate the image. All of the edits are saved as a sort of "recipe"; a set of values for all those sliders, crops, adjustments, etc. You don't need to create a virtual copy to edit an image without modifying the image data that's there; LR2 is completely non-destructive, meaning your edits DO NOT modify the actual image data.
     
  3. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    It depends on your settings in lightroom. I believe that the edit data is just stored in the catalog file unless you change the catalog settings to tell lightroom to write the changes into metadata in the file or write it into a "sidecar" file for opening n another computer or using a different application to open the raw with the changes you made in lightroom.

    If you use adobe's raw format then I think everything is written right into the raw metadata.

    Not sure about the virtual copy question.
     
  4. quikilcri

    quikilcri TPF Noob!

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    bookmarked and b back l8er,i need more info, :)
     
  5. tenlientl

    tenlientl TPF Noob!

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    I use to have to convert the .NEF to .DNG.

    So should I just import from my memory card to laptop as an DNG? And just making sure, editing DNGs automatically saves the changes? Once I transfer these edited DNGs to an external, I can keep the changes once I transfer back and also be able to undo all the changes?

    Or can you guys recommend a good workflow/procedure? Basically, I don't have a lot of room on my laptop, so I tend to import from memory card -> laptop. Edit it on the laptop, save to jpeg. Then I backup the RAW and jpeg to an external hard drive and delete them form the laptop.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  7. pharmakon

    pharmakon TPF Noob!

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    It is my understanding that DNG files are the equivalent to a proprietary raw+sidecar file all in one. Therefore if you convert to DNG when you import (possibly even after?) you could move it to a backup drive, and then later access it off that drive, even on another computer, and all your adjustments/sliders/masks would be just as you left them in lightroom.

    My only disclaimer is that I haven't ever tried it before, this info is just from a quick seach on the adobe site regarding DNG files.


    If you don't want to convert the files just go to the edit menu in lightroom, and choose catalog settings, then check the box "automatically write changes to XMP" and this should create and update a "sidecar" file for your raw as you make changes. Then you just have to backup both files (RAW+sidecar) to the external drive.

    Again, never tried it myself, just what a little searching and reading taught me since I was curious about this as well.

    Derrel - Your wealth of info never ceases to amaze me
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Weird. I had been led to believe by Nikon shooters that the opposite was the case.

    tenleintl, I would certainly consider using DNG files in your workflow. It's saved me a hell of a lot of problems already. That and my editor prefers them (for the obvious reason that he can throw them between the various computers at the office without worrying about losing his edits).

    Lightroom is what's saving your changes to the DNG file. The DNG format just keeps it all in one file instead of two.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    musicaleCA wrote, " Weird. I had been led to believe by Nikon shooters that the opposite was the case."

    Well, that's probably because most Nikon shooters have never used Nikon Capture software, but as I said, at one time, the ability to open,adjust, tweak,and basically "perfect" a RAW file and then to be able to save back into RAW format,and not into TIF, was the sole province of Nikon and Nikon Capture software. All before the .xml or .DNG concepts were born.

    Most Nikon shooters have never used Nikon Capture because has always been an add-on software application: I payed $400 for Nikon Capture 1.0 with a D1 body in 2001. Capture is also rather odd, slow, and a memory hog and prone to crashing. Capture does however currently have the Nik Software company's unique COntrol Points technology (see also Viveza), but most Nikon shooters do NOT and have never used Nikon Capture. The Adobe and Apple products are much more well-suited to quick editing and logical workflows. Nikon's continual refusal to develop better RAW editing software pretty much sealed their fate as soon as Adobe developed the entire Camera RAW Module way of editing RAW files; before that, editing RAW files was much more of a one-at-a-time thing than it has become.

    For people who want to be able to do very sophisticated, amazing editing of their pictures, but cannot learn how to do masking and other complex things, Viveza as a plug-in to Photoshop, or Nikon Capture's "Control Point" or "U-Point technology" are two very interesting options that Adobe has tried to imitate, but which they cannot quite get around intellectual property ownership that Nik Software is maintaining.
     
  10. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Mmmm...Viveza can be useful sometimes for quick tweaks. It does behave a little oddly in some situations though. That said, it generally beats the crap out of global adjustments when say, increasing the blue saturation of a sky or patch of grass or something else like that. Neat stuff.
     
  11. tenlientl

    tenlientl TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what "proprietary raw+sidecar" is. But anyways, it sounds to me I would profit a lot if I convert to DNG before I edit my RAW files.

    And to double check, I won't lose changes made to RAW files if they're DNG evne if I switch them from computer to computer/hard drive, correct?
     
  12. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    That'd be correct.
     

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