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Thread: RAW Adjustments

  1. #1
    RonH's Avatar
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    RAW Adjustments

    Below are two pics. The first is as taken by the camera in RAW ... Exp 1/320, F4.5, lens at 38mm, ISO 200, WB Auto. The second is my attempt to adjust it using the Raw controls in PSE8. There seem to be so many controls that 'sort of' do the same, though I have had a good read and am about to be given a Christmas present of two good books about PSE8 so things should improve!

    I have sized both pics so that the longest side is 600pixels which I think is the maximum? I have not done any pic cropping but understand that there would be benefits if I got rid of eg the rhs power pole ... it was a cold day looking out of our lounge window!

    If any knowledgeable folk have time to critique I would be most grateful for advice ... even if it is 'start all over again'.
    Many thanks
    Ron

    RAW Adjustments

    RAW Adjustments

  2. #2
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    I don't have photoshop but I like the second best. As for cloning power poles if you mean the wooden things; much too hard for me and I like them.

    You might be able to remove the central lamp post but with difficulty since it is central.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    There seem to be so many controls that 'sort of' do the same, though I have had a good read and am about to be given a Christmas present of two good books about PSE8 so things should improve!
    Ron

    I'm not a photoshop suite person (use the GIMP). But comments elsewhere on this site apply to both. All the tools available make up the complete available toolkit. You don't have/need to use all of them all the time, but you have them available when you want/need them. I know Colin has given advice on the books that will form the basis of your learning. Given what you've produced from your Raw file, it looks to me that you've made a very purposeful and effective start with PSE8 and I'm sure your ongoing learning will introduce you to the various tools and what they can do. At which time you can decide what works for you.

    I have not done any pic cropping but understand that there would be benefits if I got rid of eg the rhs power pole
    At the end of the day, it is all about what pleases you. There is no right or wrong. If this was my image, I think I would take out the right hand pole, with the crop line just at the edge of the lamp. If you did that, you might also want to clone out the two electric wires that run from the RH pole to the smaller one to the right of it.

    I would also take a bit off the top. This would both maintain the aspect ratio of the image (same ratio of width to height), and would take away the less interesting area of sky which I think does not contribute to the overall image.

    Finally, I would clone out the flagpole in the centre. But maybe cloning is something to be done once you've started reading the books.

    I have the same problem about Christmas presents. I know that Father Christmas is bringing me a copy Michael Freeman's latest book about mastering black & white digital photography, but I'm not allowed to look at it until Christmas morning (very frustrating). And that came because Father Christmas saw eNo's reference on this site to having been educated by the book (which shows that this site is an expensive place to visit!!)

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    Hi Ron,

    I'm going to limit myself to just the differences in exposure and similar between the two, as I think that's more what you're after; #1 being the unprocessed shot, #2 being the result of your first attempt at an ACR RAW workflow.

    Personally, I prefer the sky of #2 with the foreground exposure of #1. This is a classic example of where generating two images from the 12 bit RAW for later blending in Elements is probably the best way forward for a 'nice' 8 bit result (in jpg). However, that's a little advanced at this stage of the game (meaning I just tried and explaining it is going to be tricky if you're less familiar than I am with ACR and PSE, plus I'm not confident I'd be advising you in the best way as I don't do it very often myself).

    I suggest you get a good book on ACR, as I did, to understand why certain things should be done a certain way and what all the sliders do, Colin recommended "Real World Camera RAW with Adobe Photoshop CSx" where the "x" is the version of Photoshop you don't have So currently there are books available for both CS3 and CS4 and quite probably the earlier versions too. As I have said elsewhere here today, ACR in Elements only has 3 tabs, and only the Basic and Detail ones will be of use to you, but the book is still worth having, it'll help you understand; "many controls that 'sort of' do the same".

    For now, beyond specific questions which I, or Colin, or someone, can attempt to answer, all I can suggest is you try several different pictures and see how you get on.

    It is unfortunate that ACR is quite unintuitive and very non-'Windows standard' in its graphical user interface - it's worse than PSE itself. It would be far easier for me to explain things if it conformed more, but once you do know your way around, this isn't a problem.

    Dave's top tips to get you started in ACR:
    a) make sure you have both highlight and shadow clipping indicators turned on
    These toggle on and off with alternate presses of "O" and "U" on keyboard, now you may not see the effect of these unless your picture has clipped content, but you can always encourage this by moving Exposure and Blacks sliders to right hand side. Clipped highlights are coloured red and clipped shadows blue.

    b) use the "Auto" and "Default" 'hyperlinks' to get you out of a mess
    They are unassuming, underlined words, not buttons
    "Default" takes you back to how it came out of the camera
    "Auto" gives you ACR's suggested answer to what is wrong with the picture
    I use Auto as a starting point, but often it will do things I don't like, so I then modify what it has done to get an acceptable result.

    c) However, above these are White Balance controls, the "Auto" and "As shot" in the droplist there behave entirely independently from the ones below the line that we discussed in b)

    d) It will help you a lot if you understand what the histogram is showing you
    If you don't know the basics, please read Sean's Tutorial.
    Back to ACR; Get a typical RAW image and, one at a time, grab each sliders and slowly move it right and left over 2/3 of its range each way and see what happens to both the picture and histogram, setting back to the middle before moving to next control

    e) If you want fine control of any sliders, use the mouse to put it roughly where needed* then use up and down cursor arrow keys to increment/decrement by 1 (or .05 if Exposure), if this is too slow, hold down Shift when using arrow keys and you go up/down 10 at a time for each arrow press. * or double click in the numerical value box, it needs to be highlight to work

    I think I'll stop there and ask you, or anyone else (e.g. Donald, Hans?), to get back to me when you've had a play as above, with any more specific questions.

    I think that should help, I know it's the sort of stuff I would have found useful in your stage of 'development'

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    Hi Ron,

    Here's a link with some good information for PSE.
    http://www.photoshopelementsuser.com/learningcenter/

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    Hi Jim,

    That's an interesting link, thanks.

    Not a huge amount (that I've found so far) on ACR though, but looks really uesful for everything else in Elements.

    Thanks,

  7. #7
    RonH's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    Wow, what a great amount of good info ... thankyou all for your contributions.

    The comments about using 'auto' as a starting point sounds very useful and the Elements link seems better than the one you can link to via Elements Help. As for two images merged as one (Sky/scene) I will definately hold off on this until I have a better grasp of the most important 'toys'.

    Focus sharpening is going to take a bit of getting used to ... I am used to pics (jpeg) mostly being in focus without the need to adjust.

    I did use the highlight and shadow adjustments after white balance and setting exposure (using the Alt key to see what was what) ... possibly this is the reason why the pic seems a little dark compared with the camera RAW. I also tried to make use of the histogram to set things up.

    Interesting stuff ... looking forward to really getting stuck into RAW/PSE8 ... plenty of reading to do plus my Christmas books! Glad that I am retired!
    CYa Ron

  8. #8
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    Ron

    I get the sense (which may be wrong) that you are someone who enjoys discovering and learning. If so, then you are at the launch point of a fascinating journey.

    12 months ago I really wondered if I was stupid getting back into photography. All these people were going on about things such as layers and masks, etc. And I hadn't a clue what they were talking about.

    For every disheartening time when you think you'll never understand, there are the 'eureka' or 'ah -hah' moments, when suddenly it clicks into place and makes perfect sense.

    Enjoy the journey.

  9. #9
    RonH's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Ron

    I get the sense (which may be wrong) that you are someone who enjoys discovering and learning. If so, then you are at the launch point of a fascinating journey.

    .
    Thanks Don ... I'll do my best! Like you its many years since I took photography to a bit more than just snaps. A factor of time (and money allocation) impact on one's lifestyle.
    CYa Ron

  10. #10
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: RAW Adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    Thanks Don ... I'll do my best! Like you its many years since I took photography to a bit more than just snaps. A factor of time (and money allocation) impact on one's lifestyle.
    CYa Ron
    Money allocation your telling me; I gave up photography because I couldn't afford or even have a darkroom, and recently discovered digital which I thought was just the business.

    I've got too much interest now to stop but 1850 for a lens I want; how do they get away with that.

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