RAW help!

shaash

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Hi all,

I am in need of some MAJOR help! My husband and I were married in June, and just received our pictures from our photographer. Some are jpg, but she also gave us the raw files (I thought she would give us all jpgs, so am not really happy about the raw pics, that I have to now edit! thought that was what we were paying her for!!). I've never edited raw before. (Have done editing on jpgs though, so I now the basics) So.... what program is best? Do I need to know any info about her camera in order to edit the pics?

She says that the only reason she is giving us the raw files is because we are "friends" (not really, more acquaintances), and I asked for color pics instead of the black & white that she made some of the pics into.

Anyway, also, is there any great books or online courses out there for learning how to edit raw files? Please Help!!!!
 

jwbryson1

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What did your contract require them to provide? Finished photos or RAW files?

If you need to process them yourself, rather than buying software and a book why not take them to another local photographer and asking if they can do something for you?

If you need to do it yourself, I'd suggest buying Lightroom 5 software and this book: The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter): Scott Kelby: 9780321934314: Amazon.com: Books

But, it seems ridiculous to process them yourself.
 

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My husband and I were married in June, and just received our pictures from our photographer. Some are jpg, but she also gave us the raw files (I thought she would give us all jpgs, so am not really happy about the raw pics, that I have to now edit! thought that was what we were paying her for!!).

Did the contract with the photographer say she would edit them? If not then she does not have to. If there was no contract then the photographers understanding and your understanding of what is expected may be completely different.

Anyway, also, is there any great books or online courses out there for learning how to edit raw files?

Well any books or online courses are going to be based off on a specific piece of software.

What software do you have?

So.... what program is best?

Well most people use Lightroom and Photoshop.


BEFORE you jump in and try to edit them yourself, check the contract you had with your photographer, if you don't have one then TALK to then and say "was under the impression that you would be editing the photos"
 

Big Mike

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Welcome to the forum.

Not that it helps you right now...but this is the sort of thing that should be dealt with, long before the wedding with a good contract. That way, you know what to expect from her and she knows what you expect from her.

Most photographers would never even think of handing over raw files from a wedding. In essence, a raw file is an unfinished photo...and why would someone pass along a product that isn't finished?

I'd first go back to her and ask that she process the raw files into jpeg files. For someone who already has the software, and knows how to use it, it shouldn't take too much time.
But keep in mind, there is a difference between 'just' converting raw to jpeg, and actually processing the images to a finished state. If you expected finished images, then that's what you should ask for.

Of course, we don't have her side of the story...maybe she gave you exactly what you asked for, but just didn't realize it at the time.

If you no longer want to deal with the photographer, then make sure that you have written proof that you have purchased the images...not just the files, but the rights to edit/copy them. Then you could take them to another photographer who might be willing to finish them off for you. This would probably be easier (although, maybe not cheaper) than trying to do it yourself without any previous experience.
 

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Do I need to know any info about her camera in order to edit the pics?

Not necessarily. If they are NEF (Nikon) you COULD use Nikon software, but just get Lightroom. There are usually some presets available in editing software that will display something that is acceptable unless some pictures need a lot of work. This initial display is usually done immediately when you upload the files. Pay attention to how the software treats "versions" - that is; does it automatically create a duplicate, or do you have to duplicate the original before starting work. Always back up the originals and your edited versions. Play around with the editing until you like what you see. If you can't get the photos looking good, then go to the books and online tutorials.
 
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shaash

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Thanks for all the replies!

The contract states that we would recieve the unedited version of all photos taken, and then a specific number of edited ones of her choice. I guess it's my fault for assuming that the unedited version of the photos would still be jpgs I could simply take and use as is. I'm not a photographer, and had never actually heard of RAW before 2 days ago. All we received to date is the edited version (not any unedited pics). She got snarky when we asked for the unedited ones (as the contract states) and said that "that isn't done, it's a rule with ALL photographers". I again refered to the contract (unedited version of all pics taken), and she finally said that she would give us the RAW images "this time".

Oh well... live and learn!
 

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you came out ahead if she gave you the unedited raw files and the edited ones.

if you have no experience, learning to process raw files so they look their best is like learning to run a backhoe to plant a flower.
It isn't easy and your first efforts will be horrible.

You would be much better off arranging with someone to edit the ones you want.
There is a huge difference between the nef you will see at first and a final edited product.

You can download free software like Picasa, Picasa, that will allow you just to look at the files and record the numbers of the ones you want edited.
 

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The contract states that we would recieve the unedited version of all photos

She got snarky when we asked for the unedited ones (as the contract states) and said that "that isn't done, it's a rule with ALL photographers". I again refered to the contract (unedited version of all pics taken), and she finally said that she would give us the RAW images "this time".

So the photographer did not read the contract. Yes most photographers dont give their raw files. Was this a contract that the photographer had you sign or a contract that you had the photographer sign?
 

Big Mike

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Sounds like a poorly written contract.

Sometimes, photographers will show a client the 'unedited' images, so that the client can choose which prints they would like, or which photos will go into an album. This saves the photographer from having to fully process/edit all of the images. But if they are selling the client a set of digital image files...then they should be finished 'ready to print' files...not unedited.

I really don't know where she's going with that contract...unless you were only using them as proofs, and are going to purchase prints/albums etc.

Again, hard to really judge when only hearing one side of the story...but it sounds like she's being a bit vindictive by just handing over raw files. Sure, those are truly 'unedited' files....but it would take very little time and effort to just process them into jpegs with basic/auto conversion settings.

So now that you have the raw files, and it sounds as if you aren't on good terms with her...I'd just follow up and ask if you have permission to process the raw files yourself. Because, technically....just because she gave them to you, doesn't mean that you have the actual right to edit/print/copy them etc. And I don't think you want to put yourself into a position where she could come after you if you do those things.
 

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The contract states that we would recieve the unedited version of all photos taken, and then a specific number of edited ones of her choice. I guess it's my fault for assuming that the unedited version of the photos would still be jpgs I could simply take and use as is. I'm not a photographer, and had never actually heard of RAW before 2 days ago. All we received to date is the edited version (not any unedited pics). She got snarky when we asked for the unedited ones (as the contract states) and said that "that isn't done, it's a rule with ALL photographers". I again refered to the contract (unedited version of all pics taken), and she finally said that she would give us the RAW images "this time".

The OP received the edited jpegs that the contract called for and she received the unedited raw files - exactly what the contract specified.
 

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Oh well... live and learn!

Actually, for the price of Lightroom or something similar, you get to learn a new skill, and that's not bad! You might enjoy it!

Depending on your computer operating system, and how much time you want to spend at it, there are some free softwares available.

If you don't think you will have the patience for it, find a friend with some editing experience.

FWIW: it isn't hard just to convert the files to .jpg, and it goes pretty fast, but the more editing you get into the more time you will spend on it.
 

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