From RAW to a Photo

From RAW to a Photo

In this post you`ll get a short introduction for pp-work on a RAW file. Somebody ask me how I turn a photo into a monochrome mood and this is the explanation:

The first thing you should know, a RAW-file is no picture. It is a digital pool of informations, generated by your camera. That means, that file only contains informations which your camera „saw“ while you did your shot.

The left side of the example-picture below is the original RAW-file. On the right side you can see the result after pp-work. Saved as tif-file for prints (or further pp work with all masks) and as jpg for the web.

You can see, that the processed file looks much clearer than the original RAW file. What did I?

1. Lense correction, exposure correction, perspective

2. Correction on white/blacks, lights and shadows – most important, i usually don`t correct the whole picture. Working with a graduated filter and radial filters give much better results but be careful to keep the whole scene balanced.

3. Convert the picture into b/w and don`t forget to spend a while on color work ( all colors are translated in different tones of grey!). In this picture it was easy because there nearly were no colors.

4. Work with curves, this maybe is one of the most important aspects on pp-work. I recommend you to learn about curves, you can use them for nearly all kinds of pp work as well as for effects later.

5. Sharpening, for this one I used the LR sharpening tool but it isn`t always the best one. Unmask the parts you don`t wanna get sharpened. Zoom into details and take a look for halos or noise.

6. Export as tif-file into SILVEREFEXPRO ( http://www.amazon.de/Dramatic-Photograp…/…/ref=pd_sim_351_1… ) and I choose a preset to make a reset. Worked with individual settings for exposure, contrasts, clearity and so on.

I recommend: Don`t forget to take a look to the histogram, it can kill you. Often people push the controllers straight to the right and than they earn a lot of visual desasters with halos, oversharpened parts and color clipping.

7. I switched back to LR and checked again the white and black tones. Added a simple blue tone across the whole scene with a gradual filter.

8. Than I had to export the picture to Photoshop (I use PS CC) and started to add some blur (not too much on this one, it would not look fine). I had to use a brush to give some corrections in the upper right corner.
Than I did some local corrections for sharpness in the foreground. I removed some white looking ice with nearly no structures at the lower left and right corner. Last check for halos and noise, ready.

Of course, you can do a lot of more and I wouldn`t say this picture is ready but „ready“ seems to be nearly impossible. But always be careful that you don`t too much PP work. I recommend – Always take a look back to the original file so that you don`t start to create something aboslute strange and wrong.

That photo is from 2014 at a glacier tongue of Svínafellsjökull, located in the Skaftafell National Park. I still uploaded some pictures from this place but I can ask you again, do you see the people?

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.RAW_NOPROCESS