Can we talk about shooting in RAW? (long, sorry...)
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Thread: Can we talk about shooting in RAW? (long, sorry...)

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    Posting Addict marymoonu's Avatar
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    Default Can we talk about shooting in RAW? (long, sorry...)

    When I first got my DSLR, I attempted to shoot in RAW for a while, but quickly found it a bit tedious, so I've just been using the largest JPEG files for a while. I just feel like I have so many questions/unknowns about it... I guess I'll just list a few and maybe someone can help enlighten me a bit?

    1. What to do with these gigantic files? (I have a huge external hard drive, I guess I could use it..) I'm just curious what you guys do with them.

    2. RAW conversion... Maybe it would be easiest if someone just knows of a place where I can do some good reading on this. I feel like I have so much to learn. Like..
    -What programs do you use to convert raw files?
    -How much do these programs cost? Or are there free ones?
    -What file type do you convert to (like JPEG or other?)
    3. I guess I just need a general idea of "work flow" when shooting in raw. It just seemed so lengthy and tedious, but that was probably because I didn't know what I was doing, haha.. I was using a crappy computer and an OLD version of regular photoshop. My computer made it a CR2(?) file, then changed it to a HUGE TIFF file. I had no clue what to do with it after that other than to save it as a tiny JPEG (which to me felt like it was defeating the purpose?)... But when it came time to upload the file, I don't know if there is anywhere that will let you upload/get prints of anything other than JPEG???

    4. I've read a lot of talk about only being able to fix white balance in post-processing if you shoot in raw. Why is this? Is there an easy way to do it?

    5. If you were just in the early stages of learning about photography, like I am, would you make it a priority to learn about this now? Or save it for later?

    I know this was super long and tedious (and probably common sense to some of you), but it all confuses me! Even if you don't answer and just refer me to somewhere where I can read/learn about it, I'd appreciate it!!

    Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
    Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
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    May 26, 2010 - 7w1d

  2. #2
    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marymoonu View Post
    When I first got my DSLR, I attempted to shoot in RAW for a while, but quickly found it a bit tedious, so I've just been using the largest JPEG files for a while. I just feel like I have so many questions/unknowns about it... I guess I'll just list a few and maybe someone can help enlighten me a bit?

    1. What to do with these gigantic files? (I have a huge external hard drive, I guess I could use it..) I'm just curious what you guys do with them. I have an external hard drive and save all my raw files that I use.

    2. RAW conversion... Maybe it would be easiest if someone just knows of a place where I can do some good reading on this. I feel like I have so much to learn. Like..
    -What programs do you use to convert raw files? The one that is for my camera.
    -How much do these programs cost? Or are there free ones? Free download
    -What file type do you convert to (like JPEG or other?) I open in lightroom then export the file into CS3 where I convert to JPEG after my tweeks in acr.
    3. I guess I just need a general idea of "work flow" when shooting in raw. It just seemed so lengthy and tedious, but that was probably because I didn't know what I was doing, haha.. I was using a crappy computer and an OLD version of regular photoshop. My computer made it a CR2(?) file, then changed it to a HUGE TIFF file. I had no clue what to do with it after that other than to save it as a tiny JPEG (which to me felt like it was defeating the purpose?)... But when it came time to upload the file, I don't know if there is anywhere that will let you upload/get prints of anything other than JPEG??? Opening it in lightroom allows me to delete all the files I don't want quite easily.

    4. I've read a lot of talk about only being able to fix white balance in post-processing if you shoot in raw. Why is this? Is there an easy way to do it? No - not true at all. You can do so much more than that. Tweak exposure, curves, color hue, sat, luminance. You can get it where you want just in raw...

    5. If you were just in the early stages of learning about photography, like I am, would you make it a priority to learn about this now? Or save it for later? It would save you a whole lot of time by learning to shoot in raw rather than later. I don't see the benefit of doing it in jpeg first and only.

    I know this was super long and tedious (and probably common sense to some of you), but it all confuses me! Even if you don't answer and just refer me to somewhere where I can read/learn about it, I'd appreciate it!!
    You can read more on raw later but the best thing to do is practice and play with it. Once you are comfortable with it you will be so glad you learned to shoot in it.


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    Posting Addict marymoonu's Avatar
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    Thanks so much! That really is helpful.

    Regarding the question about WB, I don't think I was clear. What I meant was I've read that you can only fix WB in PP when shooting in RAW (as opposed to shooting JPEGs and trying to fix WB in PP). I'm not sure if that's accurate or true? I'm just a little hit or miss when it comes to WB (ugh) so it's helpful for me to be able to tweak it after the fact.


    Thanks also for the encouragement as far as learning RAW early on. I've read differing opinions on that (others feel you should focus on composition and technique first)... But for me, it's something I think I'd like to learn sooner rather than later... Just because right now it seems difficult to me, but I understand the value of it also. I think once it's second nature and I understand some sort of work flow, I'll be glad I know it (like you said).

    Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
    Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
    Nolan Matthew - 5/1/13 @ 11:54pm 6lb 4oz, 19", 38w4d

    May 26, 2010 - 7w1d

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    NAK... great questions....I have a link somewhere regarding workflow that helped me. I'll search for it and post it when I find it!
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    Mega Poster JDBabyHopes's Avatar
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    I just started shooting in RAW, personally, so I can totally relate about it being confusing! I HATED it for a while, but now I really love it! You can tweak things much more subtly, IMHO. In JPEG (and my free Gimp program) it seemed to be extreme when trying to tweak WB problems. In Lightroom, it's so subtle and much easier to, say, brighten without blowing the light spots, or something like that.

    Basically, the difference is that RAW is just that... raw! It's a completely unedited copy of the exposure you just took, and therefore able to be tweak much easier. JPEG, from how I understand it, is a file that has been briefly run through your camera's "PP software" and loosely processed to how it "thinks" you meant to expose the shot. So, I basically look at RAW as being the naked file I can do whatever I want to vs. JPEG being the clothed file I can only do so much to.

    I agree about reading the ILP site! And like a PP said, just playing with it and practicing is the best way!

    ETA: As for the file size, I know when I export out of LR3 after editing, it saves it to my computer as a jpg file, so not as big.
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    Posting Addict marymoonu's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link... I'm off to check it out!

    That's the other thing that confuses me... SO MUCH SOFTWARE!!

    Lightroom, Photoshop, ACR, etc...?? Why do I need so many programs, what part of the process is each responsible for, how do they work together, etc etc etc...??



    ETA: I'm ~2 seconds into reading that link and it's already a BIG help... Thanks!
    Last edited by marymoonu; 05-02-2011 at 08:19 PM.

    Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
    Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
    Nolan Matthew - 5/1/13 @ 11:54pm 6lb 4oz, 19", 38w4d

    May 26, 2010 - 7w1d

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    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    You can fix wb in both... I don't think I fully understand what you were asking. ?


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  9. #9
    Posting Addict marymoonu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJWilkes View Post
    You can fix wb in both... I don't think I fully understand what you were asking. ?
    Sorry, it's probably just my lack of knowing what's going on. It seems like I've read things that imply that you can't fix white balance in post-processing unless you shoot in RAW (I've read around a little more and apparently it's just easier with raw because you haven't lost any data in your image).

    Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
    Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
    Nolan Matthew - 5/1/13 @ 11:54pm 6lb 4oz, 19", 38w4d

    May 26, 2010 - 7w1d

  10. #10
    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    Oh - ok. True. You can still open a jpeg in camera raw but a jpeg has already been compressed where the raw image has not giving you more tweeking capabilities.


    Product of Nathan & Cindy

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