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Show Us Your RAW Conversions, BEFORE And AFTER

FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing
Thread started 26 Apr 2009 (Sunday) 14:27   
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tonylong
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Hey All,

I do almost all of my processing in my RAW converter (Lightroom), trying to squeeze everything I can out of my shots without resorting to Photoshop. I typically do my printing and jpeg conversion straight from my RAW developoment. The very cool fact is that, over the past couple of years, Raw processors have developed capabilities to do so many things that can make our photos "all that they can be" and we have less and less need to resort to "pixel editing".

I know a lot of us do this as well, and I'm starting this thread as a RAW conversion show-and-tell. No Photoshop-type manipulations allowed, please no HDR, but use your converter of choice (DPP, Lightroom, ACR, Aperture, etc) to show us how much we can achieve! This is not a put-down or rejection of Photoshop or other pixel editors -- in fact, we tend to keep PS, etc, on hand for things that we need pixel editing for, but the field of Raw processing opens up the richness of our photos to give us at least a "starting point" and often an end result as well! So, in this thread, let's demonstrate all we can do with our Raw processors!

I'd like a balance here between "fixing in RAW", "enhancing in RAW", and "I'm having trouble -- what can I do?".

Granted, it can be a dramatic relief to bring an under-exposed or an over-exposed shot into our Raw processor and "bring it back to life". But, to me, there is a broader use of Raw processors: take a well-exposed shot, that would come out nice as an in-camera jpeg, and bring out "Pop" in that shot that would go beyond that in-camera jpeg -- that's to me what Raw processing is all about.

Or, a very important aspect of shooting in Raw: take a shot with a large dynamic range that is overall well-exposed but has, say, highlights that would "blow out" in a jpeg, but that can be recovered in a Raw processor.

Or, those that practice ETTR (HAMSTTR), show us your stuff -- pushing exposure to the right, both with the "base exposure" of aperture and shutter speed and using your ISO to amplify the brightness to push that exposure to the limits, then in your Raw processor bringing that bright photo down to a fine, clean image...

So, this thread is about getting the best out of our shots using these powerful tools and then sharing this with others so we all can learn.

The format would be to post a shot straight from the camera with only your converter defaults applied -- no DPP picture styles (other than Neutral or, if stated Standard), no special presets, we want to see the bare bones output. And please post your before (and after) shots at full-size (POTN limits), not shrunken or part of a screen shot -- we need to see the full image.

Then, do your thing in your RAW converter and post the result, again, full POTN size please.

The next request is to post a screen shot of any relevant converter edits that made the shot what it was. Basic tonal/contrast/saturat​ion adjustments of course, tonal curve if applicable, noise reduction and sharpening if you did a significant amount of these things (other than, say, just snap the sharpening slider up). This thread is not about showing off, but is about sharing and learning about a basic but invaluable set of tools that are not only available for Raw shooters but for jpeg shooters (and tiff developers) as well. Please, show us your stuff, and if you don't we'll remind you!

Lastly, especially if you want help, but maybe just for others to play with, you could post a link to your RAW file through a hosting service if you have access to one. You could also, if you wish, post a "final" version that has had Photoshop applied, but only if you first give us the Before and After straight out of your Raw processor.

I hope we get some activity on this! It would be very cool to see the low level work that leads to others' success!

Update, It's been over three years, and over 1 million views, and over 5,000 posts!

Update! Since I find myself repeating our "thread guidelines" so often, I'm putting a "cheat sheet" here that can be copied and pasted as "friendly reminders":

-------------Tony's Friendly Reminders--------------

Please no pixel-processing--Raw processing only!

Please show Raw Neutral for your before, and Raw conversions only for your after! You may, at some point, post a "photoshopped" version as a reference, but your Before and After are the key, and no Photoshopping allowed!

Please post either a Screen Shot of your Raw adjustment settings or a detailed list of your settings after your After post so that we can learn and be inspired by you!

Please, post your Before and After images full size (POTN max) so that we can fully appreciate the work you've done! Rather than just showing them in a screen shot from your Raw processor let us get a good view of the larger image!

Thanks All!

Post #1, Apr 26, 2009 14:27:31


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
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Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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tonylong
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I'll start with a fun example of my own.

I accidentally overexposed this shot of a robin who appeared briefly at one side while I was shooting in Manual some birds. I glimpsed it, turned and fired a quick shot, then before I could adjust my exposure it took off.

Here's the out-of-the-camera shot, with Lightroom 1.4 defaults:

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/tonylong/image/95833797/original.jpg

Of course, it needed cropping and would normally be pretty bad, but I decided to play with it, and here's what came out:

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/tonylong/image/95834400/original.jpg

I didn't spend much time with it, cropping of course and just worked over the Basic adjustment panel -- no curves or channels. I sharpened to about 70.

Here's the Basic Panel screen shot where I did it all:

IMAGE: http://www.pbase.com/tonylong/image/111789664/large.jpg

Post #2, Apr 26, 2009 14:43:16


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
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Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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Tsmith
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I removed mine since it didn't fall within the threads topic.

Post #3, Apr 26, 2009 16:06:48 as a reply to tonylong's post 1 hour earlier.



Canon EOS 7D | Canon EF-S 10-22mm | Canon 17-40mm f/4L | Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS
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tonylong
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Nice catch! I didn't see any moose on my last trip to Glacier, and was disappointed.

BTW, read the thread info again, I'm asking for RAW processing only for these images! The reason is that once PS is introduced, then the results you can get from your RAW processor become totally lost and indistinguishable from the stuff you can do in Photoshop. See what I mean?

So, for this thread if, say, you normally sharpen in Photoshop, it's not required here, it would be better to do an ACR/Lightroom sharpening, which, granted is mild but gives us a better idea of how the RAW file comes out before fancy PS tweaking.

All right, then, on with the show! Show us your Before and After RAW conversions!

Post #4, Apr 26, 2009 18:09:31


Tony
Two Canon cameras (5DC, 30D), three Canon lenses (24-105, 100-400, 100mm macro)
Tony Long Photos on PBaseexternal link
Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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paperchampion
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Nice idea tony.

by no means a good picture (and has lost a lot punch and sharpness due to photobucket) but shows the versatility of raw files and what can be done with a little playing around in lightroom.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://i366.photobucke​t.com ...per_champion/Pictur​e1.pngexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Byte size: ZERO


IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://i366.photobucke​t.com ...per_champion/Pictur​e2.pngexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Byte size: ZERO

Post #5, Apr 26, 2009 18:44:00


5D, 24-70 2.8L, 430exll. Shikkkadaaaanng!

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tonylong
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Hey, pretty impressive, paperchampion! That's what we're talking about!!

Post #6, Apr 26, 2009 18:49:52


Tony
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aussieskier
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I think time and patience to experiment with the HUGE range of adjustments now available can yield some great results.
A quick candid moment I was lucky to catch during a session...

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://img.photobucket​.com ...ieskier/RB-Web-6962-3.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Byte size: ZERO


becomes one of my favorites of the shoot.
IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://img.photobucket​.com ...ieskier/RB-Web-6962-2.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Byte size: ZERO


Like the idea of this thread Tony, I will try to find a few more. I do all my editing in LR now that it has some level of selective editing ability.

Post #7, Apr 26, 2009 21:48:15


Riley
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tonylong
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Nice! If you get a chance, do post a screen shot, 'cause people would love to see the specifics of how you fine tune this kind of look!

Post #8, Apr 26, 2009 22:01:30


Tony
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yoyoer13
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This is a great idea I will truly love to contribute very soon, but its late for me after I worked 26+ hours the last two days.

There are some truly skilled people that can do a lot without PS somehow.

Can't wait to to see everyone elses.

Post #9, Apr 26, 2009 22:04:51


"The olllllll 5D"
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aussieskier
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tonylong wrote in post #7809709external link
Nice! If you get a chance, do post a screen shot, 'cause people would love to see the specifics of how you fine tune this kind of look!

I will try to do that when I get a chance.

Post #10, Apr 26, 2009 22:05:41


Riley
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Lore
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Photoshop is my crutch, I have LR2, I only use it for converting my RAW files truthfully... so I decided to find a terrible photo 'IMO' and put myself up to the challenge to slap one in here.

In doing this... I really found that LR2 really makes editing a photo easy, I think I'll be using it more often. :D (especially considering, the photo I edited I considered a 'throw away photo' that I couldn't successfully 'work' in photoshop)

IMAGE: http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b178/silentlore/raw1.jpg

IMAGE: http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b178/silentlore/raw2.jpg

Post #11, Apr 26, 2009 22:29:07 as a reply to tonylong's post 3 hours earlier.


Lore
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tonylong
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yoyoer13 wrote in post #7809737external link
This is a great idea I will truly love to contribute very soon, but its late for me after I worked 26+ hours the last two days.

There are some truly skilled people that can do a lot without PS somehow.

Can't wait to to see everyone elses.

Looking forward to your contribution, yoyoer! I believe this thread has potenial to be a genuine resource archive!

Lore wrote in post #7809904external link
Photoshop is my crutch, I have LR2, I only use it for converting my RAW files truthfully... so I decided to find a terrible photo 'IMO' and put myself up to the challenge to slap one in here.

In doing this... I really found that LR2 really makes editing a photo easy, I think I'll be using it more often. :D (especially considering, the photo I edited I considered a 'throw away photo' that I couldn't successfully 'work' in photoshop)

Way to go, Lore! One look at that transormation can turn people into believers:)!

Post #12, Apr 26, 2009 23:03:48


Tony
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Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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H20boy
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Hey great thread idea!

This last shoot made me realize the beauty of RAW. I was thumbing thru my camera jpg images afterwards from the RAW + M1 trip to the zoo, and I was really concerned with how the jpgs were looking...colorwise and lighting. When i got to the computer and started pulling up the RAWs instead, all seemed right in the world again. This isn't too dramatic between original raw and the processed one, but more of a RAW vs JPG lesson.

Here is what the camera (1d2n) JPG looked like, only in camera setting is the +3 on sharpening, +1 on contrast IIRC.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://matt.zenfolio.c​om/img/v8/p485678696-4.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


--- Now the RAW original

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://matt.zenfolio.c​om/img/v8/p376633220-4.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Redirected to error image by ZENFOLIO PROTECTED


--- and the converted RAW with some adjustments (since Paintshop doesn't have a history screen) levels up by 6 on center, minor white balance adjustment, saturation +6, noise ninja plugin (no USM) then a final unsharp mask at 103 strength, 1.4 radius, 3 clipping.

IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
http://matt.zenfolio.c​om/img/v7/p405012015-4.jpgexternal link
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'text/html' | Byte size: ZERO


Paintshop Pro X2 ultimate makes it really easy to now open a RAW image, then do almost all the basics you need to do, with the exception of cloning, plugin use, etc. I eill save-as to jpg, reopen it up, and apply any 'mods' then close up. Workflow reduction is my ultimate goal.

Mod Edit:
Images converted to links due to forum rules. 1024 pixels on the longest side is the max.

Post #13, Apr 26, 2009 23:40:53


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BigAlz1
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I thought that ACR 5.0 that came with CS4 was all a person needed along with DPP for PP. DO I need to looking into LR? I played with it before but didn't seem all that impressed with it, although I know a lot more about what I am doing now ;0

Post #14, Apr 27, 2009 00:06:53




Eos 7D, 40D w/70-200L 2.8 IS, 50mm 1.4, Nifty Fifty II, 100MM 2.8 Macro, 18-135mm IS , Sigma 30mm 1.4 , Sigma 18-35 1.8 ART 580ex II

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tonylong
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BigAlz1 wrote in post #7810417external link
I thought that ACR 5.0 that came with CS4 was all a person needed along with DPP for PP. DO I need to looking into LR? I played with it before but didn't seem all that impressed with it, although I know a lot more about what I am doing now ;0

Lightroom and ACR share the same development engine, so you have the same tools for this type of work, assuming that you have the latest versions.

Lightroom has other features that are integrated into the one user interface, but for this "gallery" LR and ACR have exactly the same capabilities, but, using Photoshop is not allowed"!

I emphacize this last point because some people are missing it in the opening "instructions", and, as a result, are not "getting" the actual aim of the examples, which is RAW processing only:)!

Post #15, Apr 27, 2009 00:11:27


Tony
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Tony Long Photos on PBaseexternal link
Wildlife project pics hereexternal link, Biking Photog shoots hereexternal link, "Suburbia" project hereexternal link! Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood pics hereexternal link

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