Help getting started with RAW

Started Jan 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
AltLens Regular Member • Posts: 107
Adobe Lightroom

Not sure about the programs you have with regard to adjustments and retouching.  Adobe Lightroom is inexpensive (under $100 I believe for the newest version 4 [I use V3]), works well with RAW for so many things that you'll grow with it for a few years, and it's easy to learn and use.

The RAW images themselves will dissapoint you right out of the camera because they don't have any of the in-camera enhancements applied to them.  They're just raw data.  Whatever the sensor sees.  One of the great things about RAW is that if you over or undeerexpose and area you can recover far more error than you can with JPEG images.  I've done shots where I thought the wedding gown was going to be blown out white, but in LR I used a couple of adjustments and brought it back and it looked gorgeous, which I never could have done with JPEG.

When you refer to dynamic range manipulation, I assume you are referring to HDR, or High Dynamic Range photography.  I use a very inexpensive little program by Media Chance called Dynamic Photo HDR.  It's super easy to use and will even take you step by step with prompts until you get the hang of it.  You can make pseudoHDR files from a singe JPEG image, or you can do full HDR process from 3 or more bracketed RAW images.

My recommendation, being that I don't have the experience of a lot of veterans here, is to say that if you do what I did and just get Adobe Lightroom and start shooting RAW, importing them in to LR, adjusting and retouching, and exporting and converting the files to JPEG will keep you busy for a couple of months just experimenting with all you can do.

If you buy the program and want a human voice to talk you through the main screen and how to get started very quickly, just give me a call on the phone and we can run through it.  It's easy and fun!

All my work is done in LR, and some with DynamicHDr for added effect"

I'm available any time between 10AM and 10PM Eastern Time in the US.


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