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Thread: RAW workflow?

  1. #1

    RAW workflow?

    This is for anyone who does their adjustments in RAW using Adobe Bridge, can you post a sample workflow? I just started shooting RAW and have a WhiBal card that I am using for white balance (which is great) but after that I feel like I'm going to screw the picture up if I do anything other than the auto exposure, etc. Let me know what you do and how. Thanks! Heidi

  2. #2
    Golly Heidi - I shoot in RAW, but use auto WB - coz I don't own a card.

    When I open the photo in PS, the RAW 'bit' starts up! I then adjust my WB by generally checking the AUTO button, and sometimes I tweak a little more. The I look at the exposure - mostly the exposure isn't too bad, but if it needs a little adjusting I do it then. I generally give the last option a valute of 10 (I can't remember what it is - something to do with colour!!), to make the colour pop a little bit more. Then I alt-click on OPEN - which lets me open a copy of the file, and I can continue working on it in PS.

    Once in PS - I generally sharpen, and run an action on it, or add adjustment layers - in no particular order! I just play around until I find something I like!

    I am sure someone will jump in with more instructionjs - but I hope these have given you a few tips!

  3. I have to try RAW out...do the pictures really turn out all that great? I'm just wondering since it seems a bit more time consuming to get the picture to the "scrappable" stage...does it seem that way to you?

  4. #4
    I've been happy with the result and I'm just doing some auto adjustment and a white balance adjustment in RAW. I think it allows you to tweak your photos without degrading the quality. That's how I understand it anyway. With my new WhiBal card it's so much easier to adjust my color in RAW than it is in JPEG format.

  5. Classes on shooting RAW

    Shooting in RAW is the way to go. I've merged over and it is a bit more of a memory hog but it's like shooting negatives, you don't lose detail...if that is what your looking for. There are online photo classes with NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professional and also PPSP (The Perfect Picture School of Photography) that have wonderful classes. A very close friend of mine, Jack Davis, teaches a class on RAW Workflow and has DVDs through Software Cinema. Go to the websites if you haven't already and it's worth checking the classes out. They really helped me! Good luck on your new business I'm sure it will be a success!

  6. You ladies are making me jealous. I changed my Nikon D80 over to RAW last week, and it seemed like such a hassle to get the photos to the "scrappable" stage. I know that you have much more flexibility in RAW, I'm just not sure if I need that much free reign . . . I'd be at the computer even LONGER! lol

    I chickened out and went back to jpg. Am I a fool?
    Cassie



    My Gear: Nikon D300s w/18-200mm VR & 50mm 1.4
    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4, PSE 10, Lightroom 2


  7. #7
    I understand where you're coming from Cassie. I was at that stage until recently when I started shooting in manual mode. Over the past few weeks I've discovered how much a difference it makes to be able to tweak things before converting to JPEG. If you don't find that it's useful for you, it probably isn't worth the extra steps. My WhiBal card was really the driving force behind starting to shoot in RAW and I have to admit that it works wonders. I was never quite happy with my camera's auto white balance settings - I always ended up doing some work in PS to "fix" them. I am going to check out the courses Joanne mentioned and keep practicing.

    Hey Joanne, do you happen to be related to Peter Staats in Austin?

  8. Thanks, Heidi. Maybe after a little more study and confidence, I'll dive back in. I'm sure one day I'll being using that method and I'll look back in disgust that I didn't start sooner. Of course, I have to wait until I can afford some SERIOUS backup hardware! Good luck with your business. You'll be a smash!
    Cassie



    My Gear: Nikon D300s w/18-200mm VR & 50mm 1.4
    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4, PSE 10, Lightroom 2


  9. #9
    Thank you! We'll see how it goes when I get started. I am nervous and clueless all at the same time.

    You shouldn't worry too much about RAW vs. JPEG. You'll convert if and when the time is right for you. I just got a new computer this week so I'm enjoying the extra storage space. But I have to admit to deleting the RAW files after I'm finished working on a photo - there just wasn't enough space to keep them all on the old system (I didn't have enough space left to defrag the system anymore). Maybe I'll be better about backing everything up on disc now that I have a DVD burner finally.

    It's not such a huge difference between RAW and JPEG that you won't get great photos either way. Actually, judging from your gallery I'd say you're doing quite well doing everything just as you are. By the way, you are the master of extraction from a background!

  10. lol. I'll tell DH I'm the "master." Thanks, Heidi. You've made me feel better about staying on the dark - I mean jpg - side.

    Cassie



    My Gear: Nikon D300s w/18-200mm VR & 50mm 1.4
    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4, PSE 10, Lightroom 2


  11. #11
    I actually like RAW so I *don't* have to worry too much about my white balance. I'm sure that's probably the wrong way of thinking... and even shooting RAW it *IS* better to do a custom white balance.... BUT, my subjects are constantly moving and I don't want to take that extra time out to set a custom white balance. That time I spend could be all the time my subjects will give me, so I just shoot auto WB and fix it in RAW. If there is something white in the scene, I just select the white eye dropper.. and that usually fixes any white balance problems. Often times, indoors, the tungsten setting is perfect. And I'm a big slider adjuster and just trust my eye.. LOL

    I also will fix any exposure problems... sometimes I get snap happy and don't watch my meter as well as I should, so it's nice to be able to "save" something.

    I also almost always boost up the contrast a bit... but that's just my personal preference.

    The goal for me is really not too have TOO much of a workflow in RAW... getting them perfect straight out of the camera instead. But I'm human and make lots of mistakes... LOL

  12. Kim, your photos are always amazing! I am finding that tweaking a little in RAW is awesome and I also shoot with auto WB because I now have a WhiBal card that helps me to adjust my WB after the fact in RAW. I just shoot a photo of the card in the light the subject is in (I wear the card on a lanyard so I always have it with me) and then I can adjust it in PS later. It just takes one click and I can adjust all the photos I took in that environment with that light so it's super easy. Cassie, here is the site for the whibal info - you should watch the tutorial. It sold me on shooting in RAW. I also ordered the DVD about shooting in RAW without FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) but haven't received it yet since it was a pre-order. I'll keep you posted on how I like that after I get it. http://www.rawworkflow.com/products/whibal/index.html
    Heidi

    My Gallery

    Heidi Knight Photography
    Camera: Nikon D800
    Lenses: 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-35 f/2.8, 28-300, 24-70mm f/2.8
    Extras: Speedlight SB-700, Alien Bee 800
    Software: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4

  13. Thanks, Heidi. I'll check it out, but I'm going to wait for the tax refund! I know I'll be tempted and there will be a serious need for some memory upgrades in this house! I look forward to hearing about the DVD.
    Cassie



    My Gear: Nikon D300s w/18-200mm VR & 50mm 1.4
    Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4, PSE 10, Lightroom 2


  14. Cassie, you HAVE to try RAW. I know I was saying it was fine either way and all that jazz, BUT - I just shot in very low indoor light today where f1.8 1/60 sec was a tad underexposed and I was able to correct the exposure in Bridge before even taking it into Photoshop as a JPEG. Just TRY IT a few times and you'll be hooked! It's not hard either! You can always delete the RAW file after you save it as a JPEG so storage doesn't have to be a huge issue. I'm a believer!
    Heidi

    My Gallery

    Heidi Knight Photography
    Camera: Nikon D800
    Lenses: 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-35 f/2.8, 28-300, 24-70mm f/2.8
    Extras: Speedlight SB-700, Alien Bee 800
    Software: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4

  15. Heidi,

    Sorry I'm so late in responding. I'm still not used to keeping up with the chat site, so bear with me. No, I'm not related to Peter Staats in Austin, not that I know of anyway ha! Let me know what you find and think out about the tutorials, there are several that Software Cinema puts out and they are all well worth the investment. Jack has a great way of explaining just about everything in layman terms and it's nice to rewind and review. I'm enjoying following along with the conversations and seeing where everyone is at. We all tend to have our own needs but it's nice to see what others prefer. Big learning curve but well worth the time and effort. I get overwhelmed with the cataloging of photos and have considered using Aperature which deal with RAW and metadata very well and it's able to support and access photos from other file sources like external hard drives and even internal files. What do you use?

  16. #16
    Heidi...what type of RAW workflow are you looking for? The only time I shoot RAW is outdoors when my clients are wearing white and I may need to tweak a few things...I DO have a custom white balance for my studio strobes and never change it...I photograph so many children (who move FAST) that RAW is not an option for me...I have my camera set to write the largest JPG it can...(I use Fuji S2 Pro cameras in my studio with a variety of Nikon lenses...)
    Victoria Kelly
    Victoria Kelly Photography
    www.victoriakellyphotography.com
    Cary, NC

  17. I was mostly just wondering how people use Bridge to edit their photos - I was pretty intimidated at first. I'm starting to feel much more comfortable the more I use it though. Any tips welcomed!
    Heidi

    My Gallery

    Heidi Knight Photography
    Camera: Nikon D800
    Lenses: 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-35 f/2.8, 28-300, 24-70mm f/2.8
    Extras: Speedlight SB-700, Alien Bee 800
    Software: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4

  18. #18

    Bridge vs Adobe Lightroom...

    Heidi...I used Bridge pretty exclusively until Adobe Lightroom came on the scene...LR is very user-friendly and gives me more controls over my images. (And it's FASTER!) Adobe will be pulling the public beta version sometime in February and making it a "for purchase" item.

    My workflow goes like this: I pull the card from the camera...I upload to a generic folder called "RAW" (even though they're JPGs, it just means I haven't manipulated them yet...) with the naming convention of client last name_type of session. I launch LR and import the images from the RAW folder and crop, convert to BW, tweak where I want and export to a generic folder called "PROOFS".

    Every client has a folder with 2 sub-folders: an "edited" folder which contains their proofs, and a "raw" folder which contains untouched images that I use to pull to do their retouching and fill client orders. My policy is that images not selected for printing do not get retained, i.e., after an initial order is placed, I DO NOT keep the images they have not selected.

    So...long story short, at the end of a client sales cycle, what I'm archiving are the retouched files used to print their order.

    Whew...kinda confusing, but hope this helps!
    Victoria Kelly
    Victoria Kelly Photography
    www.victoriakellyphotography.com
    Cary, NC

  19. That helps a lot Victoria! I downloaded lightroom and have played a little bit but I really need to learn that program. I'll give it a try and see what I come up with. Your photos are beautiful, by the way!
    Heidi

    My Gallery

    Heidi Knight Photography
    Camera: Nikon D800
    Lenses: 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-35 f/2.8, 28-300, 24-70mm f/2.8
    Extras: Speedlight SB-700, Alien Bee 800
    Software: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4

  20. WOW..I am learning so much. I just dowloaded the beta version of Lightroom and I am also SOLD on the WB card...I watched the tuts. I'm gonna have to get that card and try RAW. I realize that I have been depending too much on my eye to adjust the WB in Photoshop and it sometimes takes a ton of time AND sometimes I can't get it to where I like it so I end up just forgetting about the picture.

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