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Thread: Photoshop and RAW

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    Photoshop and RAW

    I'm new to digital and recently a lot of helped me to understand Histograms ... I've just been snapping away getting used to my camera and the basics of digital.

    It probably won't surprise most of you that I'm really disillusioned with the results. I realize that maybe I should be shooting in RAW ... although I don't really understand how/why yet ... and so far I have no software and am also confused about Photoshop ... e.g CS3 ... CS4 ... Paintshop pro ... I don't know what any of it means and what do I need?

    I shoot mainly landscapes and architecure ... Can any of you help an idiot understand ... I've read a few of the posts/threads but as usual there are lots of abreviations thrown around and terms I've never heard of ... you can check out my basic snaps on Flickr, Perth45 ... MANY THANKS TO ANYONE WILLING TO GIVE SOME ADVICE.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 13th June 2009 at 11:32 PM.

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Hi "Perth45",

    I'll be glad to help - but - I think it's best if we work through the issues one at a time.

    So, commenting on the issues you raised ...

    It probably won't surprise most of you that I'm really disillusioned with the results.
    Rather hard to know where to start unless you can give us some idea about what aspects of the results your disillusioned with. We really need some examples posted too.

    I realize that maybe I should be shooting in RAW ... although I don't really understand how/why yet
    Shooting RAW gives you a LOT more scope for adjusting images that aren't to your liking. JPEGS are designed to be as small a file size as possible (for a given quality setting) - and that means that a lot of detail that the human eye can't see is removed to make things smaller. If it turns out that you need some of that info back because the shot isn't to your liking, then your out of luck. I'm hoping that most would agree that it's only a good idea to shoot JPEG if your confident that you can get it right "in camera" most of the time, and from what you've said, it doesn't sound like that's the case right now -- so I think your better off shooting RAW at this stage.

    so far I have no software and am also confused about Photoshop ... e.g CS3 ... CS4 ... Paintshop pro ... I don't know what any of it means and what do I need?
    In the last few years, Photoshop has gone to a new "naming convention" (the "CS" range) CS4 is the latest version, CS3 was the version before that. I would suggest buying the latest version unless you have a good reason not to. Paintshop Pro is a competitors product.

    There will always be many debates over "which product is better"; I don't really want to get involved in that debate, but I will say that the VAST magority of professionals in the industry use Photoshop - there are many times the number of books written to help Photoshop users than all the others put together - and if you need help then you'll find many more people using Photoshop who are able to help you than with other products.

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Are you new to digital photo or Photography? If you don't learn the basics of photography, bad unexpected results will be often, and no raw in the world can save you.
    If you are a beginner and don't want to expend lots of cash on photoshop, try using GIMP, they will give you more tools than you need. For raw conversion I recommend RAW Therapee that are free to.
    Best,
    Alex

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Thanks for that.....I actually spent a small fortune on CS4......and also invested in the manual which is as thick as the Bible....but typically....as usual.....it does'nt really explain from the first rung of the ladder.....so I'm none the wiser.....I also e-mailed Adobe support...typically I got no reply............

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Quote Originally Posted by perth45 View Post
    Thanks for that.....I actually spent a small fortune on CS4......and also invested in the manual which is as thick as the Bible....but typically....as usual.....it does'nt really explain from the first rung of the ladder.....so I'm none the wiser.....I also e-mailed Adobe support...typically I got no reply............
    I'd be glad to help, but - again - you'll need to show us some samples and give us some specifics (one at a time) that you need help with.

    The longest journey begines with the first step!

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Since you already buy Photoshop is time to use.

    1-Photoshop is a big box of tools, this doesn't means that you will use all of them. To turn a screw you will only need a screwdriver, no matter the size of your toolbox.

    2- Learn to read a histogram, curves command, the unsharp mask. ACR is a little straightforward, they have some pitfalls that you will discover soon or later.

    Best,

    Alex
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 20th June 2009 at 11:03 AM.

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Thanks.....Having had 20 years of film photography...(oh, happy days)....and now trying to get used to digital, I'd like to ask anyone, when using Photoshop, what STANDARD techniques do people always seem to rely on....for example, with film I ALWAYS used a polarizer, a warm- up (usually a C or D and sometimes EF) and when appropriate, a 1 or 2 stop grey grad.......so, when on photoshop, what might I always do to my landscapes....there HAS to be some definitive manipulation that becomes standard on virtually every image......thanks..........

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Unfortunately, don't exist a standard. Every image is unique and a good treatment will take this individually into account. Only think I can say is, all photos needs a curves adjustment. Film already have a "S curve" built in, on digital you need to build your own response curve. IF you research a little you will find a lot of photoshop workflows on internet, is a start.
    The key to succeed in photoshop isn't think what to do. Think what the image need. Try to mess pixels only the necessary, to avoid loose image quality.
    Best,
    Alex
    Last edited by AlexB; 22nd June 2009 at 02:30 PM. Reason: bad spelling

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Quote Originally Posted by perth45 View Post
    now trying to get used to digital, I'd like to ask anyone, when using Photoshop, what STANDARD techniques do people always seem to rely on.
    - Convert to DNG

    - Open in ACR, set WB + Exposure + Fill Light + Black Point + Brightness + contrast + Vibrance + Saturation + Clarity.

    - Open in Photoshop

    - Zap dust bunnies @ 100% magnification, General cloning as required

    - Capture sharpening

    - Levels layer

    - HSB Layer

    - Content / Creative sharpening

    - Crop / adjust aspect ratio

    - Hand Dodging / Burning / Saturation sponging

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    ALEX AND COLIN....that will be a great help thanks..........

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Ive tried to post and include a photograph for everyone to take a look at and offer suggestions.....but....as usual....technology again.....after waiting heaven knows how long as it uploaded.....a message tells me it failed because of something to do with not having a token.....(sigh.....)......so what does this mean?....I followed the instructions.......

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Quote Originally Posted by perth45 View Post
    Ive tried to post and include a photograph for everyone to take a look at and offer suggestions.....but....as usual....technology again.....after waiting heaven knows how long as it uploaded.....a message tells me it failed because of something to do with not having a token.....(sigh.....)......so what does this mean?....I followed the instructions.......
    No idea really, although the exact error message would possibly give us more to go on.

    What size was the image?

    If you like, I can give you some instructions for sending me a complete RAW image; I could post-process that for you and give the steps here?

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Thanks for your patience....I'd really appreciate that, sounds great, so shall I email you at your site or can you explain it here....your work looks outstanding, maybe I should take up knitting instead, at least technology hasn't caught up there.......

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Quote Originally Posted by perth45 View Post
    Thanks for your patience....I'd really appreciate that, sounds great, so shall I email you at your site or can you explain it here....your work looks outstanding, maybe I should take up knitting instead, at least technology hasn't caught up there.......
    The easiest way to get a large file to me is to pop along to www.sendthisfile.com and set yourself up a free account. Use the service to upload your raw file, but put your OWN eMail address in as the destination eMail address ...

    ... the system will then eMail you a link to the file ... and you can copy that link and paste it into a PM to me - and I'll download it from there.

    It works much better than eMailing the file itself because there are no size restrictions when done this way.

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Colin..I really appreciate your help and I hate to be really annoying.....but when I say I'm new to technology....I really aren't kidding....I haven't a clue how to copy and paste......sorry...........I just bought a book 'PC's for Dummies'...I read the section and just didn't get it....I also googled it and didn't get it...it all seems so complicated, I don't think anyone realizes that it really is alien to some of us...all the explanations read like we already know it....abbreviations, technical references and jargon.....really sorry to be such a pain.....

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Quote Originally Posted by perth45 View Post
    Colin..I really appreciate your help and I hate to be really annoying.....but when I say I'm new to technology....I really aren't kidding....I haven't a clue how to copy and paste......sorry...........I just bought a book 'PC's for Dummies'...I read the section and just didn't get it....I also googled it and didn't get it...it all seems so complicated, I don't think anyone realizes that it really is alien to some of us...all the explanations read like we already know it....abbreviations, technical references and jargon.....really sorry to be such a pain.....
    First things first, to understand photoshop and photo treatment at all, you need some proficiency in computer. I advise you to start a basic course in computer use or learn by yourself, whithout this will be impossible to work in photoshop or any other "advanced program".
    Best,
    Alex
    Last edited by AlexB; 22nd June 2009 at 02:31 PM. Reason: bad spelling

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Alex....I appreciate your comment and wholeheartedly agree.....I DID go on a 1-1 'bewildered by computers' course a couple of years back, paid for by my employers....at that point, a 'mouse' to me was something I bought in a pet shop...THATS how illiterate I was...typically...the 'teacher' was saying things like....'left click on.....' I was like...'what?'...
    then, 'use the curser to....' 'pardon?'........and 'scroll down to......'......I didn't have a clue....and we started to get a bit short with each other.....he just couldn't get it...that I knew nothing....I went on the course twice...but another techer...and same happened again....so I gave up.....I got this laptop in October and obviously I'm learning....
    Anyway...Colin.....I've just registerd at 'sendthisfile' and I have uploaded a picture and sent it to myself.I tried to highlight it and copy, but it wouldn't highlight.
    Last edited by perth45; 22nd June 2009 at 06:55 PM.

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    Re: Photoshop and RAW

    Somehow actually people are at lest a little proficient in computer and some lingo is incorporated in everyday life, the tip I can give to you is, enter in a computer course to seniors. They will teach you from the very very beginning, you will have some grannies as classmates but they will help you a lot.
    Best,
    Alex

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