Photography forum: Shoot RAW (just a brief note)

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Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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evermorelawnless
Sep 26, 2014 8:14 PM CST
Minor Preamble: If you're expecting to find a discussion here about shooting in the raw, I'm sorry to disappoint...but I'm not judging you or your lifestyle... :wink: I think there are other forums for that, tho.

---- -

Technically / mechanically, this subject deserves more attention that I'm going to give it here. This isn't meant to be a tutorial, but just a cracking of the door to another aspect of what your camera can do. Maybe something to make you curious about it...

Almost all DSLRs can record pictures as .jpgs or in RAW mode (or both). To absolutely oversimplify, RAW mode records just about all the data (lightwriting) that the camera takes in (at the settings you/it have specified). In .jpg mode, the computer in the camera processes the data and saves the processed information to a .jpg file. In brief, you lose a lot of data when you shoot to .jpg only - it's a "lossy" format. For you old-schoolers out there, think of a RAW file as a digital negative - and the .jpg file as a fixed print.

One of the main advantages of shooting in RAW mode is that you have a LOT more chance to fix things when you process (develop?) the shot in Photoshop, Lightroom, Paint.net, or whatever you use.

Heretofore, I haven't shot in RAW mode much because my camera is a bit slower writing to the card (the RAW files are larger) and I often shoot on continuous mode - so I get fewer shots in the same amount of time. But for the past couple of days, I've been trying some pretty silly macro techniques and polluting a bee thread with my results. Some of these techniques have required me to be in full manual mode and an inch or so away from the subject and I've been having a really hard time controlling the exposure...so today I shot a series in RAW mode.

And I DO mean I've been having a hard time controlling the exposure. Here are two examples:
Thumb of 2014-09-27/evermorelawnless/ff6357 Thumb of 2014-09-27/evermorelawnless/4dd6f5


So...and here's the reason for this quick, incomplete post: You can see that the first picture is woefully underexposed - to the point of being useless...while the second is not quite a washout, but disappointing at least. But...enter RAW mode processing.

I loaded both pictures into the Pentax Digital Camera Utility (stupid Paint.net doesn't have a plugin that works with either of Pentax' brand of RAW files) and only made ONE adjustment to each. On the first, I increased the EV (exposure value) two steps, while on the second, I backed off the EV 1 step. I did nothing else to process the photos. Have a look:
Thumb of 2014-09-27/evermorelawnless/46802d Thumb of 2014-09-27/evermorelawnless/c8ebda

So...while the discussion of RAW files and how to process them/use them is a whole lot bigger than what's in this post, maybe the takeaway here is that if your camera will shoot both file types concurrently/simultaneously (and you have the card/hard drive space), it wouldn't be a bad thing to do. I'm guessing that you might even thank me later.
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
[Last edited by evermorelawnless - Sep 27, 2014 4:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 27, 2014 5:06 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Great post! There are a lot of great free programs out there to work with RAW pictures. On Linux I've used ufraw and rawtherapee both with great results, although there are so many options it can get a little overwhelming.

Adjusting white balance after the fact is another huge benefit to shooting in RAW mode.
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Sep 27, 2014 5:44 AM CST
Thanks for the explanation about RAW. Now that I understand what it can do, I will definitely be looking for a camera with that capability. I was debating if I wanted to step up to a dlsr. This is one more reason to do so.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
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luvsgrtdanes
Sep 27, 2014 6:25 AM CST
Thanks EMLL I'm going to try this!
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Sep 27, 2014 9:11 AM CST
I don't own a DSLR but my camera shoots RAW, but it takes forever for the chip to process the picture.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Sep 27, 2014 7:35 PM CST
I can't get photoshop to open the file Confused
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 27, 2014 7:43 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I don't know about photoshop, but most graphics programs can't deal with raw files. For that you need special software made for working with raw files.

On Linux, I have used rawtherapee with great results. There are probably free programs for Windows but I'm not aware of them.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Sep 27, 2014 7:46 PM CST
Thanks dave, I've tried updates and nothing was working. getting very frustrated. I tried a program with windows and had to restore my computer.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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evermorelawnless
Sep 27, 2014 7:48 PM CST
luvsgrtdanes said:Thanks dave, I've tried updates and nothing was working. getting very frustrated. I tried a program with windows and had to restore my computer.


What brand is your camera and what file format is your RAW file (what's the extension)?
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Sep 27, 2014 7:58 PM CST
I have a canon t2i and i don't know what you mean by file format Shrug!
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
evermorelawnless
Sep 27, 2014 8:05 PM CST
luvsgrtdanes said:I have a canon t2i and i don't know what you mean by file format Shrug!


On file format, I mean what's the full name of the file? For example, when I shoot straight to .jpg, the file name will be IMG0042.jpg - whereas when I shoot to RAW, the file name (depending on my selection) will be IMG0042.PEF or IMG0042.DNG.

The .xxx after the file name is the extension. Or file type.

Also, are you using Mac or Windows? I'd like to see you get this sorted out - because there's so much there! And I'm sorry that it's being frustrating :(
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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evermorelawnless
Sep 27, 2014 8:17 PM CST
New idea and WOW...!!!

I am incredibly averse to installing anything on my computer that I don't know or trust - and doubly cautious when making recommendations. BUT...I've wanted to play with this one for a while:

http://rawtherapee.com/blog/features
http://rawtherapee.com/blog/downloads

It's an open-source RAW editor and processor. And it's AMAZING. And it comes in just about any flavor of OS that people are running today (even tons of Linux distros, Dave) - and supports just about every RAW file format (including your Canon's). It's running right now on a virtual machine and I'm really blown away by how it's behaving and the options it has.

It's absolutely free and because it's open source, the code can be looked at by anyone (that's usually a good sign that nothing hinky is going on - it's a mature product and if it were behaving stupidly, I would have found evidence of that in online comments - which I did not).

I like it so well, I'm gonna go install it on another box here. So far, wow.
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
[Last edited by evermorelawnless - Sep 27, 2014 8:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Sep 27, 2014 8:41 PM CST
Evermorelawnless I am using windows. I will check the extension tomorow, I am on my tablet now. I will check out rawtherapee too. Thanks for trying to help. I like using photoshop but may have to try something new.
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Sep 28, 2014 6:07 AM CST
@evermorelawnless my file type is .CR2
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Sep 28, 2014 6:17 AM CST
I would be interested in anyone's views of how they get on with the rawtherapee editing programme, this has been pointed out to me and I have looked into it with interest as I have a Nikon camera and many RAW editing programmes aren't fully compatible.

I found this one is compatible with the D7000, but at what cost?

http://rawtherapee.com/blog/rawtherapee-4.0.9-released

http://50.87.144.65/~rt/w/index.php?title=Sidecar_Files_-_Pr...

They have a forum ..

http://rawtherapee.com/forum/

I would be concerned about this one "How to fix crashes on startup"

http://50.87.144.65/~rt/w/index.php?title=How_to_fix_crashes...





Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Sep 28, 2014 6:22 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

rawtherapee is the only raw editor I've ever used. It does everything I need. Thumbs up
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
Image
JRsbugs
Sep 28, 2014 6:26 AM CST
The rawtherapee forum has a link to compatibility. One column only is ticked for most, the 'dcraw' link takes you to "Decoding raw digital photos in Linux"

http://50.87.144.65/~rt/w/index.php?title=Supported_Cameras

For my camera, Nikon D7000 another column is ticked, the link takes you to "Adding Support for New Raw Formats" which doesn't look to be very comprehensive.

http://50.87.144.65/~rt/w/index.php?title=Camconst.json

The normal "support" on these programmes usually indicates that you can edit photos already in jpeg but very little else.

Any views on this?

OK Dave, I see you are happy with it, but do you use Linux?

Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
Image
JRsbugs
Sep 28, 2014 6:56 AM CST
I found a comparison with a Nikon programme and rawtherapee, the results are not good ..

http://nikonites.com/computers-and-software/12194-nef-file-i...

Reading the comments below, the poster can only use the programme once converted to jpeg.

Another poster has used rawtherapee with a D7000 but on Linux and Mac.
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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evermorelawnless
Sep 28, 2014 7:07 AM CST
JRsbugs said:I found a comparison with a Nikon programme and rawtherapee, the results are not good ..

http://nikonites.com/computers-and-software/12194-nef-file-i...

Reading the comments below, the poster can only use the programme once converted to jpeg.

Another poster has used rawtherapee with a D7000 but on Linux and Mac.


Hard to know what to say here. Try it and see if it works for you. It's being updated constantly as the manufacturers change file types/specs, etc. Also, those posts were from 18 months ago in that link and the software's been through several dot revs since then.

Proprietary file types are really moving targets for developers - and the updates and patches are quite fluid.

Not everything is going to work on every hardware platform/OS combination - but that's true of everything (not just freeware).

I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
evermorelawnless
Sep 28, 2014 7:12 AM CST
luvsgrtdanes said:Evermorelawnless I am using windows. I will check the extension tomorow, I am on my tablet now. I will check out rawtherapee too. Thanks for trying to help. I like using photoshop but may have to try something new.


luvsgrtdanes said:@evermorelawnless my file type is .CR2


Rawtherapee (or other pre-processing tools for RAW files) is NOT meant to replace Photoshop or any other photo editing program. If you think oldschool style, the RAW processing tools are what you use to develop the film...Photoshop (Paint.net, etc.) is the airbrush that you fine tune after you've make the print (.jpg).

They're not mutually exclusive and while they have some overlap, neither possesses the entire toolkit/featureset of the other.

Btw, Rawtherapee will handle the .CR2 just fine. Give it a try. Worst that can happen is that you'll absolutely hate it and then uninstall Whistling
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins

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