dfpvt Questions on Foliage Color Saturation with digital

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Andy
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dfpvt Questions on Foliage Color Saturation with digital

Postby Andy » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:42 pm

dfpvt: Just a couple of other questions:

1. Are you shooting jpeg or RAW

2. What in-camera settings are you using?

3. What kind of software are you using to view and "post process" your photos?

I found that digital had a pretty steep learning curve at first. I shoot using a Nikon DSLR and capture using the RAW option, with no in-camera adjustments. I use Photoshop to process my images (I lately purchased Adobe Lightroom, but haven't really given it a fair try). When I first open a RAW image in the photoshop interface, it always looks (almost disappointingly) flat. But once I do the post processing, the improvement is remarkable.

As far as how it acts vis a vis film, I havent seen a difference in how it captures different lighting conditions.
Andy

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Postby GIC » Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:40 am

No sense in posting here.
Last edited by GIC on Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Andy
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Postby Andy » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:42 am

As you may know Nikon had to be brilliant and use their version of RAW known as NEF.


Well, in fairness, that is not really a unique "Nikon" thing. RAW is (theoretically) the unprocessed digital file information (I have read that all RAW formats are actually based on the TIFF format). EVERY camera manufacturer has its own proprietary form of RAW format (Olympus, for example is ORF and I believe Canon is CRW). As far as I know, each of the manufacturers also provide software that is able to view their proprietary format and convert it to the "open" formats (e.g., jpg, tiff, etc.).

A couple years back the ADOBE folks created a so-called "open" RAW format called DNG (Digital Negative Group, I believe). They offer a free converter, which allows you to convert in a number of different ways. I have used it for about a year now, choosing the option that allows me to embed the original NEF file in the DNG file. It creates a slightly larger file, but gives me the best flexibility for the future. There are some advantages to the DNG format in my mind.

NOTE that the jpg format is what is by its nature a "compression" algorithm format -- which means that each time you open it, make a change and save it, you lose some digital information (if you open it and close it unchanged there is no loss. If I used jpeg, I would treat my original files like a negative and open a copy every time). If you shoot in the jpg format, your in-camera software does the conversion to jpeg format. That means you are dependent on that program for the result. In my mind, that means less control.

I like to have "darkroom" control of the end result (usually, but not always, an inkjet print in my case). So I always shoot RAW and do any conversions in post-processing software (I use Adobe Photoshop). The only time I use the jpg format is for posting and exchange on computers and the internet -- or for digital presentations (like power point). Otherwise I prefer to work with a non-lossy format like TIFF.

Another thing I have learned is to set Auto White Balance to –02. Seems to me that setting helps color balance correction.


If you shoot RAW, you really don't need to do this. You can adjust the white balance during post processing on a RAW file. This is one of the great advantages, in mind, to the RAW format. I like simplicity while I have the camera in my hand, so I can concentrate on getting the right composition, exposure, etc. Every item I can exclude from the shooting experience gives me one less tech thought and more time for my creative side (which is clearly my WEAKEST side already. Needs all the help it can get :) ). When the D1 later D100 first came out, some of the pros (notably Moose Peterson) were saying use the setting "cloudy -1" for WB. Again, I generally set the white balance to my "taste" during post processing.

I guess there are different workflows. A lot of photogs I know do not want to do any more post processing than necessary. My own feeling is that you sacrifice some control and possibly quality by letting the camera do things that programs like Photo Shop and Paint do better.

Another setting is I let the camera sharpen the pic. If I do not like it, I can later unmask the sharpened pic and re-sharpen with software processing.


Hmmn. I would like to hear more about this. I started out with a D100 and "upgraded" to the D200 last year. I have always left all the camera settings on OFF. When I first bring them up on the computer screen, my images always look a little blah. But with a little work in ACR and Photoshop, they always look pretty good. My thinking has always been that if you let the camera do the sharpening, you are not getting the best sharpening algorithm out there. I was UNAWARE that you could "unmask" the sharpening. Could you share with us how to do that? It might change my workflow significantly if I could do that.

I am not sure what you mean by contrast viewer. If you mean the LCD on the back of the camera, be careful. The LCD view gives you a jpg conversion view of your photo. It DOES NOT give you the accurate RAW view and can thus, be deceptive. I hope the camera manufacturers find a way to address this in the future. Until then, though, I use the histogram and another tool you can set which causes "blown out" whites to blink in the display. Conventional wisdom for RAW shooters is to try to "push" the histogram as far to the right as you can without getting any spikes on the far right of the histogram. I recently read an article that suggested that even when you do get spikes, you may still have recoverable RAW data.

The D300 looks solid! Hope you do get it and will report back here with your experience. For me, it didn't look like enough "more" to justify moving up again. But there are certainly some improvements. I expect the AF to be faster and more accurate, as well as the metering. The D200 is 10MP and th 300 is 12MP. For my uses, at some point, more pixels become unwieldy overkill. But I sure like to see continued improvement in some of the other areas.

I bought the 18-200 VR. There were lots of "pundits" who said it wouldn't/couldn't be up to the task (not sharp enough, etc.). I have been pleased with it. It rarely comes off the camera.
Andy

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .



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