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Thread: A RAW question

  1. #1
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    Default A RAW question

    G'day everyone,

    Having only just started to take photo's in RAW format, I noticed that in Photoshop Elements 7, that you get additional options to edit the photo in the RAW format before you convert the picture to JPEG and can open it up and edit it in Photoshop as per normal.

    My question to all you PS gurus is, is it better to edit the photo whilst in RAW, and if so, what's the difference to doing it in the RAW options compared to doing it in Photoshop as a JPEG?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A RAW question

    These extra options are exactly the reason to shoot in raw. By changing these parameters before creating the jpg you are not actually affecting the original image so there will be no loss to the original by opening and saving and you can always go back to the starting point as editing software becomes better etc etc. Basically you have more information when editing a RAW image file so you can bring out more detail, change white balance etc better and more easily than from a compressed file (jpeg) which by nature of it being compressed has less information.
    Cheers, Dave

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    Default Re: A RAW question

    A raw file is the data straight from the camera. It really isn't even a picture before you convert it. What it shows you in the converter is based on the settings at the time you took the image (ISO speed, white balance etc). What I do in Raw coversion is to tweak the exposure and highlights, making sure not to clip anything, tweak the white balance, basically getting a reasonably full histogram then open it in photoshop and do more detailed tonal adjustments and any selective adjustments or cloning as required.

    BTW I would recommend you save the image as a Tiff file including layers, so you can go back to it later and tweak further, no point throwing away image data as you do with even a max quality jpeg. You can choose LZW (lossless) compression if you like to reduce file size. Then before you close the image if you want a jpeg for web display resize it and save for web.
    Chris Ross
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    Default Re: A RAW question

    Thanks again for the tips Chris.

    With most of my photo's I generally add a bit of clarity, just as long as it doesn't darken the image too much. Sometimes I'll play around a little with the exposure and contrast and do the rest in Photoshop.

    I've had a bit of an unsuccessful fiddle around with layers, but I think I need to do a full proper tutorial on it, as I'm just not understanding it very well. I can't seem to get both the layers to show what I've done. It'll show either one layer or the other one.

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    Default Re: A RAW question

    you normally don't look at layers that way, usually an adjustment layer is just that a layer that contains the changes you made and you don't look at it seperately, for example you might have a curves adjustment layer. If you have an image on a seperate layer it will only show what you've done on the topmost layer in the stack while it is turned on unless you have a mask active on the upper layer. Any black on the mask reveals what is on the layer below, shades of grey showing a blend of the two layers.
    Chris Ross
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