Post-Processing Raw

calvini

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Seeing that I just got into this fantastic world of photography, and having much to learn, I was wondering if you all could give some advice to a beginner for post-processing raw files? Such as what do you look for in adjusting a a Raw picture?

I've heard alot about white balance and tones, but what are the normal processes one would take in post-processing pictures? If they have a standardised workflow at all.. Or do you tweak each picture individually?

There's lots to play around I admit that, and when trying to process a picture I find myself say an hour playing around with colours on a single picture!! And obviously I can't spend that much time on a single picture having say hundreds to process.

I like how the good photographers process their images and boy do their photos "pop". I'd like to achieve that level and if there's any headers and pointers that would guide me to that direction, I'd really appreciate it.

Cheers.
 

Mav

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I use DxO software. The interface is a little odd, but after you get the hang of it you can FLY through a ton of images. And you don't need to bother with RAW for the most part either. You can make pretty aggressive changes even to JPG, including WB adjustments and it'll look just as good as RAW. I do tweak hundreds of files at a time individually, and then set the computer to run all of the adjustments in its batch process mode and then walk away. Come back later and all of them are done.
 

ThePup

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Such as what do you look for in adjusting a a Raw picture?
I'm no pro photographer, I take pics for the fun of it. What *I* look for depends on the type of shot I've taken... If it's just a family happy-snap, I make the colours 'look right'. White balance, tone etc. Just roughly, not perfect. If it's a shot I've taken for fun, I try and make it look appealing... This doesn't always mean the colours look natural, or the right shades - Often throwing the white balance a little, or saturating too much, under / over exposure, can give a result that just makes the photo stand out from the rest... I Just tinker with the controls until I've got something *I* like.

There's lots to play around I admit that, and when trying to process a picture I find myself say an hour playing around with colours on a single picture!!
Fun isn't it? :) I Do the same! Sometimes I get nowhere, and just reset the pic, and move on, other times it comes out well enough to post somewhere to show off (http://dicko78.deviantart.com). Either way, I enjoy myself, and that's what hobbies are about!

And obviously I can't spend that much time on a single picture having say hundreds to process.
I roughly browse through my RAW files, find the half a dozen that I consider the subject / composition worthy of spending time on, and just tinker them. I Haven't really played with batch processing yet - It's not important to me if they don't all get processed straight away.

I like how the good photographers process their images and boy do their photos "pop". I'd like to achieve that level and if there's any headers and pointers that would guide me to that direction, I'd really appreciate it.
I'd love to get to that level as well! I think part of it is finding software YOU'RE comfortable with, and enjoy using. If you're trying to process photos with something you don't like, you're not going to enjoy spending the time needed to get the 'pop' you're talking about. Play with demo versions until you find something that works for you.

Oh, also worth noting that a decent chunk of the 'pop' comes as the shutter button is pressed - Knowing how to take the shot is a decent part of the battle, post processing is just polishing off the edges...
 

EOS_JD

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Batch processing is great for images that all have a consistent look and feel to them. Maybe studio shots where exposure is the same or wedding shots where the photographer has shot in manual to give a consistent look.

When starting out, I edited every shot individually and enjoyed the hours spent in front of the puter.

Plugins like Dxo are nice but i prefer shooting RAW and using lightroom to edit my images. Some are batch processed some individually and all done very quickly.

The more you do, the more you'll learn, the quicker you'll get.

Enjoy it :)
 

nicfargo

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I use lightroom to process. At first I was very slow...didn't really know the software and how it reacted with RAW. Now I am very quick because I know exactly what needs to be done to a picture to get it to look the way I want. I usually do individual processing. If I can get away with batch I do, but I like to play with my settings way to much to be able to do that :)
 

EOS_JD

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Shooting many wedding portraits (groups and individual images) in the same lighting and using manual control allows me to edit many images at one time however I may choose a few to do extra work to (B&W, Sepia, Vignette etc) and all this can also be done in lightroom which is great.
 

MACollum

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I tend to take several versions of the same picture with different camera settings, trying to fix something, etc. Usually I do what someone else mentioned; I'll just pick a few that I want to play with and have at it.
 
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calvini

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Oh wow, cheers guys for all pointers! So I guess majority would play with only some that are worthy of playing with and with the rest just adjusting the white balance? Do you/ should you change saturation/contrast per image or just run them through a batch process or leave it as is if the picture turns out good enough?

I hear alot about unsharp mask to sharpen pictures post-processing. Should I unsharp mask each picture which I then convert from Raw to say tiff/jpeg?

Wow.. lots to learn.. like lots..
 

Tayfun

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Hi;
I use Adobe Camera Raw for post proccessing. I adjust White Balance, exposure if needed and set sharpness to zero to give sharpness later in photoshop. I don't like to adjust color balance, or brightness because I like to view what I see naturally but sometimes color adjustments give out nice results. But main purpose for me to Raw Shooting is White Balance, sharpness, and exposure (if needed) adjustment.
 

EOS_JD

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Oh wow, cheers guys for all pointers! So I guess majority would play with only some that are worthy of playing with and with the rest just adjusting the white balance? Do you/ should you change saturation/contrast per image or just run them through a batch process or leave it as is if the picture turns out good enough?

I hear alot about unsharp mask to sharpen pictures post-processing. Should I unsharp mask each picture which I then convert from Raw to say tiff/jpeg?

Wow.. lots to learn.. like lots..

Seriously by a book on digital workflow. there is a lot to learn. Sharpening is normally required on a digital raw file and sharpening should be the very last thing you do in your digital workflow.
 
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calvini

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Seriously by a book on digital workflow. there is a lot to learn. Sharpening is normally required on a digital raw file and sharpening should be the very last thing you do in your digital workflow.

Can you recommend me one that is good for purchase? I've not heard much here about digital workflow books. I have recently bought only the Understanding Exposure and the Field Guide for my camera as they are highly recommended.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated
 

confucious

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You said you play for hours with pics and so it's daunting when you've got so many. I know just what you mean, I'm sure everyone here does cause we all started at the beginning too. I think it takes you hours as you're new to the software, the colours, contrast, and light in your pics. As you get accustomed to it (experience is the only way) you become familiar with what will give you the results you want right away. Toying becomes something you do for fun, but for the majority you will know the direct route to the result you want.

Good luck and have fun!
 

JerryPH

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When I started in this hobby a few short months ago, my digital workflow was enormous on a per picture basis. As you improve, you start to get things right in-camera. The better you get at evaluating the scene and setting your camera to get things right, the less time you spend at the computer later on.

I used to spend hours on a pic to get it where I thought it was ok. Lately, all I do is touch up on the WB, increase sharpness 5-10% and I am done. Thats a big time saver!
 

EOS_JD

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Can you recommend me one that is good for purchase? I've not heard much here about digital workflow books. I have recently bought only the Understanding Exposure and the Field Guide for my camera as they are highly recommended.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated

My first stop for a photoshop book is Scott Kelby's Photoshop CS3 for Digital Photographers. Most here would recommend that and it is very good.

there are many though that are very good. Look at the Kelby ones as they are easy to use.

I've found that generally the more I edit an image the less well it turns out. I use Lightroom most of the time now and my photoshop use is starting to dwindle!
 

patrickt

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When I look at the process I find that my greatest enjoyment comes from taking photos. Processing on the computer is, for me, a necessity but not a pleasure.

I was concerned I wasn't doing it right or as well as I could with Lightroom so I invited a friend over who is a Photoshop fan and a professional photographer. I picked 13 shots with specific problems and I went through editing them while he watched. He said I was doing fine so I felt better.

He also made a few comments on how I could have avoided the problems at the picture-taking stage and that was even more useful. My favorite was "tell them to move" when the subject was in impossible lighting.
 

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