"DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

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Andy
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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby Andy » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:56 am

Ok: For all you color efex evangelists; can't you get the same result with Viveza? I.e., in Carol's shot why wouldn't bringing up the shaows/ brightness in the FG and bringing down the brightness in the sky do the same thing?

Don't get me wrong. I definitely see the power in both these programs. What I don't see is how they aren't just overlapping programs that do the same thing. Not arguing here -just trying to get some clarification (and justification for spending $ on both)
Andy

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deaner1971
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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby deaner1971 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:02 am

Real quick break in the tech conversation to say I love those shots, Carol!

Was that sky pretty true to life or enhanced? Just love the gradient on the colors and the great texture of that sky.

autzig
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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby autzig » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:45 am

Andy wrote:Ok: For all you color efex evangelists; can't you get the same result with Viveza? I.e., in Carol's shot why wouldn't bringing up the shaows/ brightness in the FG and bringing down the brightness in the sky do the same thing?


Andy, I think you could get the same result using Viveza, you would just do it differently. You could also get the same result in Photoshop by using the gradient tool.

I think the big difference between how Viveza and Color Efex Pro work is that Color Efex Pro gives you all kinds of presets that you can modify if you want. You can also apply them selectively. Viveza gives you tools to change color, brightness and saturation in whatever amounts you want anywhere in your photo. Color Efex Pro also gives you presets that you can't create with Viveza.

Color Efex Pro is like having someone who is really good with Viveza create a bunch of presets and giving them to you. You don't have to try to figure out how to get the look you want by working with Viveza. You just pick it from a menu and apply them to the whole image or the area you want. The downside to Color Efex Pro is that it doesn't give you the flexibility to start from scratch and do your own thing. If you are really good at Viveza, why would you want to be limited to a bunch of presets?

Me? I'd rather rely on someone who really knows what he is doing than trying to figure it out for myself.

Al

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby deaner1971 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:34 pm

Andy wrote:Dean: No need to be embarrassed. After you buy everything you list, you are still at 1/2 price of PS (before you buy any plugins). LR4 is a pretty powerful photo editor. I bought PS years back through my business expense account, thinking I would be able to use it for Power Point Presentations for the frequent seminars and speaking engagements I had (I have an allowance and pretty much free reign on how I allocate it). If I had to go out and pay the $700 ish it cost today to buy it, I don't know if I would. I am very glad I did it (although each iteration of upgrade has cost me an additional $150 or so), but its a big chunk. There are educational discounts and I am eligible as an adjunct professor at Saginaw Valley State University, but I have avoided that because it says in the fine print that it is not for commercial use (and I have sold the occasional print or electronic image and hope to do more of that).

I am confused about your comment about Elements, though. Can't you edit a photoshop document (.psd) or a tiff file in Elements? I certainly wouldn't do all that work on a jpg file that I might be wanting to do additional work on, or even print at some point. Psd and tiff support layers and can be saved in a "lossless" manner. They are big files, but it seems an awful shame to go from a raw to a jpg to me.

I am on my work computer right now and don't have LR installed there anymore. You can't clone or remove anything in LR?

You are right about the "wasted" power of PS. 80% of $700 = $530. So, I would love to be able to buy the 20% I need and want for $170 :-(.


Andy,

I believe that I can edit in .psd or .tiff but that still doesn't address my issue of going back to work on the original RAW file if I want to change something. I mentioned JPEGs because I have to go to JPEGs eventually to run my photos to the website or to put into an email so someone can view. I cannot load .tiffs (due to size constraints on individual files) or .psd to the website.

My issue is that I want to edit in RAW right up until I am ready to create JPEGs for the above usage.

.psd or .tiff is better from a lossless standpoint but I would prefer to just work from RAW until I am actually ready to create the JPEGs for the above usage.

You can clone in LR but you don't have the smart removal tools that really speed up the process.

I probably could find a better workflow than what I currently have but I am really excited to see what Nik offers and maybe I won't have to.

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby autzig » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:58 pm

Dean, I haven't learned LR, but doesn't it save the edited RAW file with the changes you made? ACR does that. You can always go back to the original but it will save your changes.

Al

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:35 pm

Like Al, I am not sure about LR. I think it saves edits as a copy (tiff or psd) but changes tonthe raw file are saved in the file.

In my view, if you really want the full power of PP, you wii, eventually "bite the bullet" and get PS. There is sooooooo much you can do with PS. Think about it this way. Back in the day, to outfit a color darkroom would have taken, what $2 - 3 thousand?
Andy

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby abby » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:45 am

deaner1971 wrote:Real quick break in the tech conversation to say I love those shots, Carol!

Was that sky pretty true to life or enhanced? Just love the gradient on the colors and the great texture of that sky.

Hi Dean. Thanks for the comments and glad you liked these. Yes, the sky was amazing that evening. It was a very hot, humid, and hazy evening, and the haze, along with some clouds to diffuse the light, gave us a gorgeous sky.
Carol

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby abby » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:01 am

Andy wrote:Ok: For all you color efex evangelists; can't you get the same result with Viveza? I.e., in Carol's shot why wouldn't bringing up the shaows/ brightness in the FG and bringing down the brightness in the sky do the same thing?

Don't get me wrong. I definitely see the power in both these programs. What I don't see is how they aren't just overlapping programs that do the same thing. Not arguing here -just trying to get some clarification (and justification for spending $ on both)

Hi Andy,
Good question. It was more precise for me in this instance to use the graduated ND filter. I neglected to mention that I also used the tonal contrast filter on these images as well. The tonal contrast filter is probably my favorite and the one I use most. It sharpens the image and with slider, you can control the contrast for the highlights, shadows, and midtones. I love this filter.
Carol

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby deaner1971 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:26 am

Guys,

Yes, LR does save all of the changes (non-destructive editing and all of that).

My issue is that if I want to edit in LR, I am going back to a pre-PE edit version. I must then re-edit in RAW in LR (no problem), export to JPEG, re-edit in PE and re-upload.

I want to be able to be able to go back and re-think my curves without having to re-remove a telephone pole or dust spots or whatever. Because I have to convert from RAW to a TIFF or PSD or JPEG, I lose the ability to tweak without starting over on the content edit portion.

For example, some friends' asked me to shoot them informally around southern Vermont after their wedding. Before we left wedding site, I caught a view of them outside while I was viewing them through a great antique window. While I was setting up, someone else stepped into view but I didn't want the couple to move or the shot to lose its spontaneity so I shot away. The shot was exactly what I hoped for but the person was in a place where I didn't want them to be but I also didn't like the balance of the shot if I cropped them out.

So, after I tweaked my color and my light, I saved it as a JPEG and started slowly editing out a person (while avoiding the patterns that so often betray PS work having been done). Finally done and really proud of the shot, I put it out on the website and sent the bride and groom a copy. They loved it but then I started thinking how well the timeless look of a couple in wedding finery might look in B&W with that antique window. I didn't want to convert to B&W in PE so I went back to the original RAW, converted and then started removing the person again piece by piece.

Maybe I am missing some fundamental fix but I just think that, as a RAW shooter, I need to be using all RAW tools.

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby autzig » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:11 am

Dean, once you've made your adjustment in RAW and save the photo as another file type you should be done with your RAW editing. I would recommend that you save the file as a tif or psd file rather than as a jpg. A jpg image compresses the image and throws away data but tif and psd images save all the data.

My workflow in the example you use would be to do the RAW editing, save the file as a tif. I'd copy the background layer and make revisions such as the removing dust spots or the unwanted person on the new layer. If you screw up the editing, just throw away that layer and you still have the original tif image that you created from your RAW processing.

Once you've finished the editing on the copy of the background layer and you are completely satisfied, you can flatten the image and you've got a new background layer that is exactly what you want. That becomes your new base layer and you can then add adjustment layers on top of that. Your RAW process is completely done.

If you want the image to be jpg, you can always save the tif image as a jpg, but you save the tif image forever. All future revisions are done from that. If you want a B&W, open the tif image, convert it to B&W and save the image with a different name. Never save the image using the same name as your tif image because that is the one you will work from no matter what you do.

Al

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby Andy » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:40 pm

I think, maybe, Dean, you inadvertently hit the nail on the head. Once you open an image in PS, you aren't really working in raw anymore. Though the image name still shows an (e.g.) .nef extension while you are working, the program will not allow a save to or of the raw file. Raw actually is just "code," where jpg and tiff and the like are recognized image formats created from the code. In other words, raw is the ingredients and the other formats are the cooked result (unlike all the other 3-letter words, the letters r, a, and w do not stand for anything. They really mean "raw" -- as in "uncooked." Which is why raw and not RAW, is actually the correct syntax). So, as soon as you open in PS, the "oven" is on and you are baking (though smart objects and layers allow us to retain a lot of the "uncooked" functionality). The "engine" for the LR Develop Module and for Photoshop's raw converter (ACR) are essentially the same. That is what makes LR in some ways, unique. It allows for working on a raw image and going directly to print. But if you want to send an image to another application (PS, Elements, the web, etc.) you must still "cook" or "bake" it into a known photo format that no longer requires a converter (i.e., .tif, .jpeg, .gif, .psd). Tiff and PSD are "lossless" formats (which means the don't throw away pixels in order to compress the document down to a more manageable size and thus, are good formats to save Al's "Master File" into.

But you aren't going to be able (yet -- will see what comes in newer versions) do some of the retouching things you want to do in either LR or the raw converter (some of it, like spotting for dust, cropping, etc., can be done there -- though I generally don't, because I am more comfortable with the PS applications), such as removing things from the image, cloning, blending layers, etc.
Andy

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deaner1971
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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby deaner1971 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:42 am

Al,

I get what you are saying but saving as a JPEG in the final step is a necessity due to file size limitations on my web page. Also, I ran into problems with sending multiple TIFFs via e-mail and my site does not allow the use of Adobe file types.

And I understand that I should be done with my levels when I export to a non-RAW file type but, as someone still developing (pardon the pun) his point-of-view and skills (modest though they may be), the reality is that I will revisit my images over time and either want to correct a mistake or take the picture in a new direction.

I agree that saving a TIFF would allow me to keep more data but the file sizes are even larger than was the RAW file from which it was created and, while file space is very cheap today, I am eating up drives at a nice rate and that is before the "baby moratoriums" are lifted allowing for more shooting.

Capture NK2 holds itself out as allowing the same kind of non-destructive editing that LR3 allows you to do (always saving the record of your changes, not actually a changed file) so, I am hoping that I will get a chance to see if my all-RAW process might be all I have made it out to be in my mind.

Thank you for all of the great insights!

Dean

deaner1971
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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby deaner1971 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:46 am

Andy and Al,

One question about the TIFF and PSD loss-less formats. Do they also share the white balance attributes/freedoms of a RAW file?

Also a question on NIK software. I read a review that stated that NIK software was good for two installs and two installs only. So, if you install it on your computer today and then build a new one in a year, there go your two installs. Or if you HDD crashes and you install on a new one, there is your second install. Anyone know if that is true or just someone's misinformation?

deaner1971
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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby deaner1971 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:50 am

Andy,

Thank you for the comments. Yes, I agree with you analogy of the kitchen and there-in lies my problem. Editing in RAW is something that Adobe has chosen to limit to it's adult programs (LR and PS) and it made the assessment that the more casual users who buy PE are not shooting in RAW.

That might be a valid assessment on their part and they would likely tell me that, if I want those features, I have outgrown PE and need to move on to PS. And, that is probably correct and a likely eventuality. I am just hoping that NIK might be offering me a stop along the way.

Even though NIK is by Nikon, users of other gear are not afforded second-class status in any way, are they?

Thanks again!

Dean

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Re: "DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT" SOFTWARE PROGRAMS

Postby autzig » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:45 am

deaner1971 wrote:I get what you are saying but saving as a JPEG in the final step is a necessity due to file size limitations on my web page. Also, I ran into problems with sending multiple TIFFs via e-mail and my site does not allow the use of Adobe file types.


Dean, I'm not sure I'm following you here. From your RAW conversion save the master file as a tif. You can then make any adjustments you want on it including changing it to B&W or applying Nik filters. If you want to save it for you website or email it, you can convert it to a 72dpi jpg and save it that way. Your master file will remain in tact.

If you are burning through disk space so fast, consider deleting the RAW files that you don't like. Alternatively, move them to a DVD to free up room on your hard drive.

One question about the TIFF and PSD loss-less formats. Do they also share the white balance attributes/freedoms of a RAW file?

Also a question on NIK software. I read a review that stated that NIK software was good for two installs and two installs only. So, if you install it on your computer today and then build a new one in a year, there go your two installs. Or if you HDD crashes and you install on a new one, there is your second install. Anyone know if that is true or just someone's misinformation?


You can make any changes you want with tif or psd files. In Photoshop you can open those images in ACR and use all the same tools and sliders as you would if you were editing a RAW file. Photoshop doesn't have a white balance tool, but I would use a photo filter, either a cooling blue or warming orange and adjust the white balance that way, if you didn't get it right in your raw conversion and if PE doesn't allow you to edit in ACR.

I've never heard that Nik software has only two installs. I've changed computers and crashed hard drives and I've simply downloaded Photoshop and other programs again. So long as I had the unlock key, I had no problem. I haven't had the occasion to do that with any Nik programs that I recall, but I've got to believe they would do the same thing.

Al



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