Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Photos thread
Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

OK, the majority opinion is that WB is completely correctable in RAW. I am just thinking of an RGB histogram and having one of the colors not recoverable in post. I must try shooting a grey card with the full gamut of WB settings and see if it is correctable.

I know there are shots in JPG that cannot be white balanced in post if you screw them up. If RAW can overcome that, then that alone makes it worth it.

Well... to a point. See, if you shoot with a WB setting of 5500K then realize that no, the proper WB would've been 2800K, when you adjust the RAW image's WB setting you'll get exactly the same image you would've gotten if you'd shot at 2800K, with the same exposure. That point is key; if the original exposure at 2800K would've blown one channel, you're screwed(*); but then chances are you would've been screwed with JPEGs regardless, as I don't think any light meter considers individual channels before suggesting an exposure. Beyond that caveat however, yep, RAW really is as magical as they make it sound.

(*) This is... not quite correct, as RAW files have a bit of leeway in recovering blown exposures compared to JPEGs, particularly when it's just one channel, but the methods, scope and limitations are beyond this discussion.

But I must get a lot more skilled in RAW processing than I am, which is why I bought this book. He goes through every setting in ACR and Lightroom and tells us what they do and how to go about it. It has been really bothering me the juggling act between noise reduction and sharpening. Push noise reduction up and get less sharp images. Push sharpening up some more and get more noise. Soon you have overdone both of them and you hav to start over again. Then I read some text that says to do sharpening only after all Photoshop corrections have been made.

From what I've read, Lightroom is designed so that you get the best results if you start modifying settings from top to bottom. I'm often guilty of ignoring that, but I do strive to follow it in general and it's worked well so far.

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Gary Eickmeier

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