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Adjustments - RAW or Photoshop or Both

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#1 expatdiver


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 10:11 AM

I have read a few of the other posts on using RAW cature tools, but none of them satisfied my curiosity.

I am currently using ACR and PS CS2, and would like to know what you guys recommend for doing adjustments.

Are there any adjustments that are a must in the RAW converter, or can you do everything in PS? Normally, about the only thing I touch in ACR is the exposure, but I am new to RAW and am not sure what I should play with.

Here is an example from my first time out with my DLSR.

Original (ACR: WB=As Shot, All sliders=Auto)(PS: Resized & Saved as JPG)

Final (ACR: Exposure)(PS: Crop, Color corrections, resize, & save JPG)

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.


ps - Maybe one of the Mods could move this to the image improvment forum?
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#2 james


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 10:44 AM

Hi Doug,

This is the start of a great thread - and may be destined for the "Best of Wetpixel."

Personally, I always adjust WB, exposure (both highlights and shadows), vignetting, and Chromatic Aberration (lens) in ACR.

In CS2 I adjust sharpening and crop, but that's usually it.

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#3 richorn


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 11:15 AM

In ACR: White Balance first and foremost, then Exposure, Shadows, Saturation, Vignetting, and Chromatic Aberration. I take a quick "peek" at curves as well. I also crop in ACR wherever possible, and choose a resolution based on my expected final output. In most cases this is an up-rez for printing.

In CS2: Dependent on the final destination of the shot, For a contest entry just the BURN tool and then Smart sharpen or Unsharp Mask. If for personal printing etc, I start with the Healing Brush and Clone Tool on a Background copy, Shadows/Highlights on another dupe layer, and then Adjustment Layers as needed. Smart Sharpen or Unsharp Mask are then done to the uppermost layer before output.

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#4 mrbubbles


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 11:19 AM

great topic. i am newly using raw. I use adobe cs2 converter. My undestanding is that the more you do in raw the better in terms of less image/pixel degadation? I have been experimenting with doing my b and w conversions in raw via desaturation, and temp adjustments. i seem to get better tonal range, altho this is subjective. i eagerly await further discusion

#5 richorn


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 11:58 AM

well, as to Black and White conversions, I believe that the Channel Mixer is the most powerful tool for these.

I would handle the shot in ACR as "color", and then let the Mixer do its thing...

my humble $.02.

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#6 herbko



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Posted 16 September 2005 - 05:31 PM

I think the short answer is that if you convert the raw to 16 bits/channel tiff or psd it does not matter much where you do the adjustments, with the possible exception of exposure and Chromatic Aberration correction. The key is 16 bits.

Here's a number crunching nerd's perspective of what goes on:

The raw converter takes the spatailly seperate R,G,B sensor data and uses it's camera profile for your camera to convert it to pixel data for the color profile you specified in a step call demosaic. The algorithm selected can make a difference in what looks like chromatic abberation, but it's an effect of interplolating colors from different locations. There's also real chromatic aberration from the lens, but I'm not sure if they can deal with it at this step.

Everything that goes on after that is just number crunching that CS2 can do just as well as the raw converter. In fact in the CS2 upgrade video they specifically mentioned functions in camera raw that's now added to the main program.

If you save the output from the raw converter in 8 bits format, later changes can introduce quantization errors mostly in the form of banding.
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#7 Rocha


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 05:49 PM

I agree with Herb, the only adjustment I do before RAW conversion is exposure, if necessary. But that's also because for my RAW conversions I still use NikonCapture, which is painfully slow, so I prefer to do everything in Photoshop. I guess I will play more with my RAW files when I upgrade to CS2.

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