little girls (9 pics sorry)

MichaelT

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So Kathi, just to be clear on this, what exactly do you see that's different between doing RAW conversions or not?

The reason I ask is that jpeg images, correctly exposed with accurate white balance, yield just as good results as correctly converted RAW images. If you find that you need to do RAW conversions to get good results, that's an indication that something is amiss with your camera during exposure.

It's always better to eliminate problems at the camera than it is to correct problems in post processing. So if you can identify what you have to do in the RAW conversion to make your images look better, it will help you backtrack to correct that problem at the camera.

For instance, I have a "perfect color and exposure" image on my computer monitor. I call it the "index" image and it requires no color correction to yield a perfect print from my lab. I then make tests, correcting WB and exposure, until I can finally get a jpeg that looks just like the index image. Those settings are written down and used from then on. I do this because A. I want the best images possible right from the beginning, and B. I can save SO much time by never needing to do RAW conversions.

Perhaps, if you want to streamline your image-making, we can work out the issues that are giving you problems.
 
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JimmyJaceyMom

JimmyJaceyMom

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You are absolutely correct in saying that a correctly exposed image is extremely important. My trouble is that #1 I work with children and while I set camera for a correct exposure metering the light on the skin and all that sometimes those little stinkers move quick on you and so you end up with slightly underexposed images or they move to a different area so quick you just don;t have the time to change your white balance.
But mostly some of the PP I do requires a lot of lightening and brightening which isnt the best effect on a jpeg image and sometimes this pp requires trying over and over again to get it right, which is not good for the quality of the final jpeg.
The RAW editing program itself, for these I hardly had to ever even mess with the white balance I left it in it 'shot as' state because I had selected the correct one most of the time, especially with the baby as she of course doesnt go anywhere. :)
I still intend to keep improving technical wise, you cant fix everything in RAW and you shouldnt have to but I also know that no matter what you shoot in you still have to have your comp, lighting, and focus in check or nothing else matters. ;)
 

NJMAN

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So Kathi, just to be clear on this, what exactly do you see that's different between doing RAW conversions or not?

The reason I ask is that jpeg images, correctly exposed with accurate white balance, yield just as good results as correctly converted RAW images. If you find that you need to do RAW conversions to get good results, that's an indication that something is amiss with your camera during exposure.

It's always better to eliminate problems at the camera than it is to correct problems in post processing. So if you can identify what you have to do in the RAW conversion to make your images look better, it will help you backtrack to correct that problem at the camera.

For instance, I have a "perfect color and exposure" image on my computer monitor. I call it the "index" image and it requires no color correction to yield a perfect print from my lab. I then make tests, correcting WB and exposure, until I can finally get a jpeg that looks just like the index image. Those settings are written down and used from then on. I do this because A. I want the best images possible right from the beginning, and B. I can save SO much time by never needing to do RAW conversions.

Perhaps, if you want to streamline your image-making, we can work out the issues that are giving you problems.

Just wanted to chime in here a second time. You have good points about getting the pic right in the camera first. But you are missing some other great benefits of using RAW. It holds much more image information that a JPEG ever could. The RAW image is not compressed, and it can yield prints up to 25x17 inches with no loss of quality on an 8.2 MP SLR (1.6x crop) for example. I wouldnt trust even the highest resolution JPEG to do that.
 
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JimmyJaceyMom

JimmyJaceyMom

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Oh I wanted to add to MichaelT thanks for wanting to help me and taking your time to let me know what you are thinking. You make excellent points. :)
 
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JimmyJaceyMom

JimmyJaceyMom

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Thanks Deadeye.. I love black and white myself so I'm always happy when the parents like it too because some don't. :)
 

MichaelT

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One of the techniques I use for the highly active ages is BIG light. We know from our physics class that in light, falloff is fastest the closer the light is to the subject, so the inverse is true also, the farther away the light is, the less falloff occures. With a big softbox 6 feet away and 4 feet in the air, I create a fairly good sized area that is equally lit. I'll do all kinds of things to keep the kids within that area.

Of course, if you can go outside, that's the biggest light there is, so the problem disappears.

Oh, and for NJMAN. There are no fewer pixels in a jpeg than there are in a RAW image. RAW images are simply non-processed. If you get it right in the camera, there is no difference at all between a RAW image processed later and a jpeg image processed in the camera. They will have the exact same resolution and hold the exact same color information. What you may be refering to is that some RAW converters allow you to process images as 32 bit or 16 bit images. However you still have to toss all that extra information away as soon as you go to print, because that's 8 bit - exactly as it comes from the camera in jpeg.
 

NJMAN

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Oh, and for NJMAN. There are no fewer pixels in a jpeg than there are in a RAW image. RAW images are simply non-processed. If you get it right in the camera, there is no difference at all between a RAW image processed later and a jpeg image processed in the camera. They will have the exact same resolution and hold the exact same color information. What you may be refering to is that some RAW converters allow you to process images as 32 bit or 16 bit images. However you still have to toss all that extra information away as soon as you go to print, because that's 8 bit - exactly as it comes from the camera in jpeg.

I dont mean to hijack JJM's thread.

My point was simply this. Completely aside from doing any editing in RAW, you can select a larger size print from the RAW conversion software even before you export it to JPEG format. If you are shooting just for the largest JPG only, the maximum size at 240 PPI is only 11.6x7.4 inches (3504x2336 px). The largest size JPEG you can export from a RAW file is much larger at 240 PPI with no loss of quality. I would not want to print from a JPEG that is only 11.6x7.4 in size if I wanted to print one much larger than that (25x17 for example). I would want to print a JPEG that is saved as a 25x17 at 240 PPI. So therefore, a RAW file would be appropriate. If SLRs allow you to capture in RAW+JPEG, why not take advantage of that opportunity and keep the most information possible on file.
 
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JimmyJaceyMom

JimmyJaceyMom

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One of the techniques I use for the highly active ages is BIG light. We know from our physics class that in light, falloff is fastest the closer the light is to the subject, so the inverse is true also, the farther away the light is, the less falloff occures. With a big softbox 6 feet away and 4 feet in the air, I create a fairly good sized area that is equally lit. I'll do all kinds of things to keep the kids within that area.
Of course, if you can go outside, that's the biggest light there is, so the problem disappears.

_________

I totally get what you are saying and in the nice weather I am all outdoors, hardly at all indoors. These are not studio shots, they're all on location mostly natural light with some bounced flash. If I had some softboxes I sure would try that. ;) But I don't so if shooting in RAW gives me a few more options until I have more equipment, I'm sure greatful for it.
I hope that doesn't make me less of a photographer in anyone's eyes. The end result is what I give to the parents and it's a great thing to get perfect images SOOC but if I'm ok with putting a few extra minutes in to tweak my exposure then I don't think it's so bad. Like I mentioned it's not as though I will stop looking to better my SOOC's, but if RAW can help me give better images I would like to take advantage of it.
I appreciate your input and advice and your willingness to share your knowledge and while I never did take any physics class I am not completely ignorant of light and how it works, I just don't have the equipment required to apply that understanding. :)
 

The_Traveler

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There are no fewer pixels in a jpeg than there are in a RAW image. RAW images are simply non-processed. If you get it right in the camera, there is no difference at all between a RAW image processed later and a jpeg image processed in the camera. They will have the exact same resolution and hold the exact same color information.

This is sort of true, but not exactly. When a photographer shoots in jpg, the photog makes pre-shot decisions about the contrast, saturation, wb - all post-processing steps that the camera implements without the photographer's further input. The photog also commits to some amount of compression which may have the result of losing some fine detail. JPGs are a lossy compression format. When a JPG is reconstituted for editing, all the original pixel data are not there, the spaces are filled with data that the software program has calculated from the smaller JPG files. The final pixel array may be so close to the RAW file as to make no difference either on image or print, but it is not the original.

There is no such thing as getting it 'right' in the camera. There is no 'right', per se. The photog can manage the in-camera processing to get what he/she wants but another photog may consider something else to be 'right.'
 

MichaelT

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That's cool Kathi. I've thought about these issues for awhile and it may just come down to the equipment we use.

I've noticed a number of photogs - some very big names - who say you must shoot RAW and learn post processing. They seem to all use Canon (and some Nikon) equipment.

There are others who say, "why waste the time and hard drive space? Just get it right in jpeg." I've found almost every time they use Fuji cameras.

When our studio switched to digital, we started with the Fuji S1, and are now using the S5. We've never tried the other brands, so I'm probably jaded in my experience of what jpgs should look like. I photograph babies and children by the dozens and once I get a camera "tuned in" the images are so sweet that I don't see the point in using RAW.

Just to say, the images you're showing here are top notch, and if you find that post-processing gets you there, by all means don't let me discourage you! I just thought that something technical might have been giving you problems that I could help with.

And for NJMAN, I see what you're talking about. Your RAW converter will apparently interpolate your RAW information to make fake pixels - ones that are not really on the CCD. That's the only way you could get a RAW conversion with more pixels than the jpeg file would have. With my equipment, I've found that the sharpest images always come from native resolution images. If I need to upsample, I get the best results using a "Step Interpolation" action in PhotoShop. The Fuji RAW converter tops out at 12mp resolution which is the camera's native resolution for capture data.

And for The Traveler, I do understand the math, but it is not observable in the photograph. I agree that I work to get it "right" in the camera to my own interpretation. :hail:
 
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JimmyJaceyMom

JimmyJaceyMom

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I cant wait to have an actual studio one day it would be so awesome. For now I shoot in houses wheere everything is so varied but when I have great control over the environment I really will hope that I'm so happy with the images as they come.
I'm glad you like the pictures, I've been studying hard and practicing like a maniac. I'm not able to drive to the grocery store without seeing a cool location or something I would like to take a picture of! But I do think that RAW also gives me an extra notch of confidence, while I hope I wont even have to mess with it at all at least I can let my nerves cool so I can concentrate on my settings without thinking Oh my gosh what if that was the wrong white balance! and having to 'chimp' and peek at my LCD. (bad habit)
Thanks for your concerns and it's nice to know there are people wanting to share the things they've worked hard to learn.
 

MichaelT

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Talk about chimping ... I used to do commercial work with film. We would get all set up and load the camera with a Polaroid back. Shoot, check the Polaroid, make a change, shoot, check the polaroid ... on and on for hours until the set was just perfect, then load the film and be done in 2 minutes. Now THAT was expensive chimping! But that's what it took to get it the way we wanted. It's so much easier now.

Just to say, I chimp with the best of them, but only on the first few images, just to check the histogram and lighting. Once I'm happy with that, then I don't look too often.
 

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kathi...#2 ROCKS, though they are all beautiful, with some minor colour casts and that fleck of skin flake to change! LOVELY!

MichaelT.....jpeg's degrade as you open/close/manipulate them....i never manipulate jpeg images. RAW gives you so much more working room than a jpeg image!
 

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I think they are wonderful - no doubt the parents will be thrilled. I know how fast those little people can move and you've done extraordinarily well capturing them in the few seconds they decide to cooperate. The baby on the window looks a tad like a pie cooling, but maybe that's just me.
 

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