Discussion in 'Photography' started by buckby, Aug 31, 2015.
Took this whilst down in St Mawes the festival was on at the time
Great shot. What kit are you using?
Open it up in Photoshop and use the Dodge tool to lighten some of the mid ground. It's surprising how much detail you will pull out.
Or Shoot in Raw and see what what you can do to a photo when you open it in Camera Raw.
Never do it. More trouble than it's worth. Talk to anyone doing bulk or time pressured work and they will all tell you the same: they just don't have time to mess around with it. When shooting a sport event, say a rugby match I can take upwards of 500 shots in 2 hours. If I had to manually process every single one like that I would never do anything else. It came up in conversation with the local paper photographer a few months ago as well. She's been pro, working for newspapers, for 25 plus years, so has used digital kit ever since it became a viable option. She has never ever taken a shot in RAW mainly because if she had to mess around like that she would miss her deadlines. Her advice was to get the shot right first time and you won't need to do anything else with it beyond occasionally adjusting the levels if you have time.
RAW won't make a bad shot good and if you've taken a good shot then it doesn't need messing with.
I've played with it for fun, usually with studio shots, and I don't see the point. If you have a good camera, set up correctly, and more importantly a good lens you don't need RAW.
It was a Nikon D3000 with a long exposure and nd filter
Using an ND filter in light like that is interesting. I quite like the effect you've got though.
Certainly if you want a finished photo straight from your camera then JPEG is the way to go, you could of course set your camera up for RAW + JPEG and get the best from both worlds though you will require larger storage cards as RAW files are huge.
Or if you have the skills and the inclination to sit and sift through them with Photoshop Cs6 or CC on your computer then RAW files will always win as they contain much more detail than a JPEG file
My preference will always be RAW, having said that nearly every photograph will need some work in Camera Raw so if as NickNic wrote you are limited on time then RAW isn`t the best option for you.
RAW files aren`t a typical image file so need camera RAW to open them but they do contain so much more information than a JPEG image, a 20 megapixel camera will produce a 20 mb image file, whereas a similar camera shooting in JPEG will only give a 5 to 8mb image file.
So in RAW what the camera sensor sees is what you have to play with no loss of data no matter how much you edit the file, a JPEG image will lose data every time you edit it.
So basically your camera shooting in RAW saves every bit of information whilst in JPEG it decides which bit of information it keeps to give you a photo.
Agree we should always set out to get the shot right first time easily done when you control the situation but when you don`t have control the camera is usually set to burst mode and we choose the best shot.
As for the original photo of ST Mawes rather than using the dodge tool in photoshop a RAW image would have allowed use of Graduated Filter which would have made life so much easier.
Still a good shot of a beautiful setting I know so well, have sailed in and out of St Mawes many times.
RAW files are uncompressed, JPG files are compressed and processed by the camera. I agree that in certain situations, with certain shots RAW would be the way to go but not by any means all the time. The two example I gave in my previous post are both ones where shooting in RAW is not an option.
So we have two questions for any budding photographer, Are you better at using photoshop or taking photos with the camera and secondly when buying a new camera why have people become so obsessed with it`s Megapixels capability, if you are only going to shoot in JPEG as most do then they are never going to use the best of the cameras sophisticated capabilities.
Anyone who knows what they are doing isn't obsessed with Megapixels. I would suggest that the only people that care are tech nerds who don't know or care how to use a camera properly and are more interested in the specs of their new gadget than actually learning how to use it. They aren't even all that relevant to shooting in RAW. They only really matter for print output.
Personally I rarely adjust my images at all. Occasionally the levels if the light is strange or changing quickly and I haven't got the settings quite right.
If you're a hobby photographer shooting a relatively small amount of images with no time pressure I'm sure RAW is a fun tool. For those of us who are a bit more serious than that or are working under time constraints it's more trouble that it's worth. Far easier to set the camera up properly and get the shot right first time. I could introduce you to a number of full time professional photographers, in a variety of fields, who have never used RAW in their lives. I could also introduce you to a couple of people who teach photography to BA degree level who would advise you not to waste your time with it.
The highest quality jpeg setting is perfectly adequate for 99.9% of applications.
I can easily take 1000 shots over the course of a weekend and I simply don't have the time to manually process that many RAW files. If there was going to be that much difference in the output I might think about it but there really isn't if you take the picture properly to start with.
When I do have the time to spare I would rather shoot a film and spend the time processing and printing that. Far more satisfying.
I think I might have missed answering your question in my last post.
My advice to any budding photographer would be to forget about any having any software package be it CameraRAW, Photoshop or anything else. Learn how to use your camera properly in full manual mode first. When you understand how it works and can take pictures properly, then you can start thinking about learning how to manipulate them.
The obsession with software doesn't make better photographers. It makes lazy photographers.
Well couldn`t agree more with the advice about learning how to use your camera in manual mode rather than letting the camera make the important setting decisions.
The issue of using software be it photoshop, lightroom etc etc I would prefer to go with the idea that such programs go hand in hand with the camera, the obsession point was that anyone new to photography or indeed anyone upgrading a camera needs the correct advice as to which camera will suit their requirements best, be it a full frame or an APS-C format camera.
I certainly don`t subscribe to the thought that because you use photoshop or similar programs you are or would become a lazy photographer, in fact quite the opposite, manipulating photos as you have already said is time consuming but can also be very satisfying, i.e. when you are taking a series of photos using the focus stacking method, using the AEB capabilities of your camera for shooting against the light or playing around with back ground blur, "Bokeh" to create an effect.
Great fun which will when you become proficient provide some excellent and very satisfying results, plus using such software I am convinced will only help you learn more about your camera and your picture taking techniques.
Couldn't agree any less.
You come to rely on the software and end up unable to produce usable images without it. The trouble is that you think you're getting good but you aren't, Adobe is producing your images for you. I've come across people like that before and it's pretty sad to see. Of course software has it's place, I use the full CC suite all day at work, but I don't think it should be part of your process for every shot you take. If you are going for artistic one offs, or looking for effects like those you describe then yes, of course you have to use software but very few people take nothing but that type of shot. If you're Rankin or Martin Parr maybe but most of us aren't.
I don't think we're going to agree but I think we're looking at the issue from different directions. You seem to be coming from a hobbyist/artistic point of view whereas I'm thinking from a more market based standpoint: If someone's paying you to take a picture they won't pay you any more if you spend half an hour post processing it and a lot of the time they don't want you to anyway. If you're commissioned to shoot a sporting event and you get "that" shot of the defining moment your editor wants it before the end of the event. Not 3 days later when you've gone home and played with it. The other example is event photography where the client wants the pictures printed on the spot, black tie balls and stuff like that. Boring work but can be well paid.
By the way hobbyist is not intended to be an insult so please don't take it as such.
Hobbyist, keen amateur or not so youthful enthusiast I certainly don`t take your comments as any insult.
I`m thinking rather than we disagree we could spend an evening chatting about the whole photography thing over a bottle of something of course, me I`m open minded, was taught a few too many years ago when all I owned was a Pentax Spotmatic to take a picture looking through the lens of my enlarger and now those many years on look on photo software as a useful tool which can perform a whole host of instant non destructive effects with ease and in the comfort of a well lit room without working with all those chemicals in a smelly dark room.
I am certainly lucky enough to not have to rely on deadlines or for my photography to be for anyones pleasure other than my own or my friends, I do however understand your constraints.
I don`t think I loose sight that I am taking pictures with my camera and have never thought Oh I can fix that in photoshop nor would I rely on the software to make a better photo but without doubt can be used in a very artistic way, which when I feel inclined I enjoy spending time messing about with my photos.
I almost certain that messrs Rankin and Parr don`t have a sports page editor bearing down on them.
RAW vs JPEG, Canon vs Nikon, Black & White vs Colour, etc......
Many photographers like to discuss the pros & cons of methods they prefer or the equipment used, but surely it all boils down to the end result you want and what you intend to do with it?
Landscapers,for example, will use RAW to extract the maximum detail from the "digital negative", no different to when they used film.
Action and newspaper photographers will use JPEG for quick results.
Wedding photographers may take both so they have JPEG for quick result to show the happy couple and RAW for any big detailed enlargements if required.
Getting the picture right in the first place is the key and will give the result most people want with JPEG, but if later you have a picture you really like then manipulating the RAW can really bring out the WOW factor.
If you like to take lots of pictures and don't want to spend time on a computer shoot JPEG.
If you want maximum detail and like to use a computer to extract it then shoot RAW (this is very much the way printers used to work with film negatives, so not new).
Or with the current low price of memory cards, you could shoot both, but only if you are setup to handle RAW.
Horses for courses..........
Saint Peteport Guernsey.
Departing over the bar at sunrise and prepping for sea .
Tried that once at shooting a rugby match. Don't know how or why, but the camera had set itself to record both. About 15 minutes in it stopped and wouldn't record any more. My camera bodies take 2 memory cards: a CF and and SD. The 32gb CF card that the RAW files were storing to was full! Luckily I didn't missing anything important whilst sorting it out.
As I said previously RAW is fine if you are taking a small amount of shots and have no time pressures or are specifically after some kind of fine art effect. I can take 1000 shots over a weekend. It would take days to process that many RAW files even if I could be bothered with changing memory cards every 10 minutes. Anyway someone who can use Photoshop properly will get better results with a jpeg than anyone could using CameraRAW.
Enlargements? How big do you want to go? I regularly print Jpeg images to A0 with no loss of definition. People are paying for them so loss of detail wouldn't be acceptable. The idea that you have to shoot RAW if you want enlargements is a complete myth. Large format print is how I make a big chunk of my living so this isn't an opinion. It's a fact.
Nikon v Canon is just brand snobbery and B&W v colour isn't even an argument unless you are shooting film. The Lightroom B&W filters on a colour image produce at least as good a result as setting the camera to B&W.
I was just using camera makes, etc... To highlight what is often discussed in photography circles.......not stating any preferences.
All modern cameras can produce excellent results.
As stated by NickNic, JPEGs can produce excellent large prints.
The difference in using RAW is that you retain all the data collected from the sensor, so you can produce extra detail and colour definition which is thrown away with the JPEG, when editing in Lightroom, etc.
I am not trying to influence anyone in the way they take and use photographs, but rather just provide information for the RAW vs JPEG discussion.
At the end of the day it all depends on what the photographer is wanting in the final print, etc.....which is down to the individual and not the equipment or processes.
I know what RAW does and also what it's for. My point is that it's of very limited use to anyone serious in 99% of cases and is definitely not something that should be suggested or recommended to beginners. The data that is discarded when the camera is set to it's highest jpeg quality is minimal and will make absolutely no difference to the finished result no matter what post processing you do. If anyone believes they need to shoot in RAW in order to get the best result they are doing something fundamentally wrong either with the camera setup or when taking the shot. The same applies if your end result is to be printed. Whether the image is shot as RAW or jpeg is completely, absolutely 100% irrelevant. That's me speaking as someone who works in this field and has to look at more photographs than I really want to, a large proportion of which are terrible. The bane of my life are people that think they can post process their own images. Most of the time they don't even understand the basic principles of what they are trying to do.
My comments are aimed at the discussion group, for general information and not for pro or serious photographers that already know all about RAW vs JPEG.
Those that know can proceed how they prefer..........
Just for info the majority of my shots are in RAW, but I also used 120 roll film in the days before digital, unless I was shooting action, which was done on 35mm.
So, I like best quality and more can be squeezed from RAW if needed.
NickNik is missing my point, it doesn't matter what you use as long as you get the results you want......