Jun 22, 2012

RAW and you

Part of this re-acquiring of photography has been a desperate desire to bring my images up a notch.

Last year, Carteach put up a post with some of his first playing with RAW files. The image of the burning log really got me, because that's a tough subject to get good exposure on. Intense oranges - almost white - and deep blacks, with grays and everything else in between.

RAW is a wonderful thing: it records just what the sensor sees, without any in-camera processing. All the processing is done after the fact, where I can adjust white balance (critical), saturations, exposures, and so forth. All these tweaks can be done in a JPG file, but it's not as precise - changing one tends to have a more dramatic effect on other aspects of the image.

I started shooting "Large/Fine + RAW" over the winter, and am slowly getting the hang of it. Being able to make those tweaks has really proved positive. I did a shoot with one of the derby girls last week for a promo that's coming up, and this was what the straight-from-the-camera JPG looked like:

Blue cast, dark, colors are bland, and really pretty uninteresting.

I ran the RAW through PS Elements and played with the white balance to correct the blue cast, the exposure to lighten it up some, saturation/intensity to pop the colors a bit... and this is the result:

Perfect? No. But a far cry better than the original.

Obviously, this is a crop from the full image; I'm reserving those until after the bout is done so the team has first publication of the images.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Interesting update, and the ability to manipulate video images is a far cry from what we used to do in the darkroom!!! :-)