jpeg vs raw?

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Utah Baker
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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Utah Baker » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:17 pm

Oooops! :shock: Sorry about that! In my rush I forgot to change the settings....anyone with link may now view.


autzig
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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby autzig » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:36 pm

I still can't see anything. Just a box with nothing in it.

Al

Utah Baker
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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Utah Baker » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:02 am

I tried it and if you click on the down arrow it will download it and you can open it, but the file is to large to scan for viruses. I will change it to a jpeg file, it's just to big as a tiff. Live and learn.

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Andy » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:49 pm

Janice: We spend a lot of time here extolling the virtues of the raw format. But that is primarily for the "capture" mode. It is simply the best way (in most cases - in my opinion) to make an original exposure (capture) of an image and save the digital information for use in "displaying" the image.

Once it is captured, you then need to think about how you are going to display the image. For many years there were only 2 ways most of us were able to do that meaningfully: as a photographic print and with a slide projector on a screen. For many of us the ultimate end use is still the photographic (or some variation) print. But nowadays, by far the most common display of photographic images is on our computer screens. So, we have to think about the limitations of that media and the best practices for display. Today, a camera is capable of capturing massively large "megapixel" images. This is good for things like cropping a small section out of the image and using it, making large prints, and sometimes, coaxing details out of an image through processing. But even the most high resolution computer screen today still has significant limits to how much detail they can display. The standard is generally 72 ppi (pixels per inch). Some of the hi-res monitors may be able to display slightly higher resolution. But for the most part, if your image is significantly more than 72 dpi, you cannot really "see" the difference on a computer monitor. If you look at the "native" capture of images, they are usually in the 200+ ppi. They are generally, in other words, much larger than even the best computer screen can display. So one of the things you may want to do is downsize the images (which will make them much more "portable" on the web - they will also load faster). I will often take my images down to about 8" by 12" at 72 dpi.

The raw capture is kind of like a "negative" and the type of display you make from it can vary.

The jpg format was really made for the internet/computer display. The "negative" of jpg is that is is "lossy." What that means is that every time you make a change to the image and re-save it, you loose detail. But if you do all your post processing work in a non-lossy manner and then make your final save in jpg (not intending to make any more changes to the image), jpg works just great, and makes for small, portable, files.

I capture in raw and work in the psd (photoshop document) format. But I almost always save my "for web" images as jpeg. And, in most cases, at 72 dpi.

BTW, I didn't have any problems seeing the images.
Andy

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Andy » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:12 pm

One comment, by way of critique, Janice, if you don't mind: EVERY image, whether a closeup, a portrait, a landscape image, needs to have some compositional fundamentals. Most times, there must be a point of interest of the photograph and unless there is a purposeful, creative reason not too, that point of interest must be placed appropriately in the frame, and must have other balancing elements that complement it. But MOST importantly, the point of interest must be in critical sharp focus!

If you look at my "example," the stamen covered with pollen are in sharp focus. And - they are the point of interest I was emphasizing in the composition (I don't always get this right, BTW, :) ). In NEK's re-take, the ornament is clearly the point of interest and is in sharp focus. Your flower images, while they are nice, and they are somewhat sharp, are not razor sharp in the areas they should be.

The first image (purple flowers), seems the sharpest to me. But the flower that I would make my main point of interest in the composition is in shadow and it is difficult to tell if it is critically sharp. And, the shadow kind of detracts from the idea of making that point front and center in your image. You could think about 2 things to throw some light on it. One would be to add some gentle (fill) flash on the subject. A second way would be to use something to reflect some light onto it.

The second image is the most pleasing composition in my view. But it seems to me that he true point of interest is the blossom that is in the bottom middle. It is not critically sharp. In fact one of the other blossoms is slightly sharper. Learning the mechanics of your camera is very important here. Most cameras have a way to set in the viewfinder so you can see the point of focus when using auto-focus - which most of us use these days (usually a small rectangle which sometimes lights up in red or green when you depress the shutter). Its so important that you understand where in the image the camera is focusing because if you don't, you will be surprised at the resulting image. It is not always easy to "see" that in the viewfinder, especially when you are not using a DSLR.

The same is true with the third composition. There is clearly one blossom (in the center of the large clump) which should be the point of interest and should (but is not) be in critically sharp focus. In this image, I like the way the secondary clump in the bottom right corner balances the large central clump. I might, however, crop off a fair portion of the part of the image on the left.

I don't say these things to discourage you. I think they are a great start and I think your enthusiasm is wonderful. With a little bit of work and direction, I believe you can make some very striking images like these! Thanks for sharing with us.
Andy

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

Utah Baker
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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Utah Baker » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:47 am

Andy, thank you so much for all your great imput, it is greatly appreciated. These were the first shots taken with the nikon, so I am still getting acquainted with it, and first attempts with processing the raw images with lightroom. I am sure I was quite a sight as I was working on the lap top with the demo, while reading a tutorial on my tablet! That was after spending the afternoon reading on both yours and Al's sites, and several other sites on digtal photography, as well as the manual to the camera!! :lol: :lol:My poor pea brain had so much swimming around up there it's amazing I could see straight! (Twas the first day I've had to devote to it) Seriously, you pointed out somethings to think about, but I was just taking some quick shots around the house, looking for something with color to play with. Always look forward to any knowledge you care to share with me! :D You guys are the best!

autzig
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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby autzig » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:30 pm

Janice, I finally had the time to take a look at your shots and I'll share some thoughts with you. Since you said you were now a believer, I assume you meant that you have seen what you can do using camera raw that you can't do in jpg. With that in mind, I'll comment on your raw conversion and make some suggestions. I'll make some comments about he photos themselves in a separate post. I don't use Lightroom but Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is pretty similar I think.

I would be interested to know what, if anything you did in your raw conversion.

In photo 1, I think the exposure is good but as Andy said, the subject flower is in the shadow. You can fix that during your raw conversion. Take your adjustment brush and increase the exposure slider. Then paint over the flower so that it looks brighter. Don't worry if it looks too bight, you can always change the amount of the exposure later by adjusting the slider so that the exposure on that flower is exactly right. Andy suggested a flash or reflector. Those are good ideas but by shooting in Raw, you can add that additional light in your raw conversion. It's pretty cool that you can, in effect, go back to before you shot the photo and add a fill flash, all afterwards in the raw conversion.

The edge of the leaf on the upper right looks much too white. Try adjusting the White or Highlight slider. I think you will be able to bring back the color and detail there with a slight adjustment. That might also do the same for the stem on the left.

Andy seems to think these flowers are purple. I think they are more red. It doesn't matter but if you want them to be purple, you can make them purple. In ACR, you can grab the red HUE slider and drag it in both directions until you get the color you want.

I think the saturation of the flowers is about right. (I'm surprised Andy didn't tell you they needed more!) You can increase of decrease the saturation by using the saturation slider but the vibrance slider is more subtle and I recommend it if you need more color.

Your other photos really don't have any features that ACR will do better than Lightroom itself.

Try stuff in you raw conversion. You will be surprised at what you can do. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Al

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby autzig » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:03 pm

Here' I'll comment on your photos. Since I know you are wanting to learn more about photography, I'll focus (pun intended) on some technical things. I'm glad the metadata stayed with your photos on Picasa. That helps me a lot. You shot photo 1 at f4.5, 1/30 second shutter speed and a focal length of 40 mm. Did you choose those settings? My guess is that you chose the focal length but you let the camera choose the other settings. Here are some of the problems with the aperture and shutter speeds chosen: When hand holding a camera (unless it has Vibration Reduction) the shutter speed should be more no slower than the inverse of the focal length. In this instance you were shooting at 40 mm so you should choose a shutter speed no slower than 1/40 second. Anything slower and you lose sharpness because of camera shake.

The problem with the f4.5 aperture is the depth of field. Combined with a focal length of 40 mm and a distance to the subject of 2 feet, your depth of field will only be about 2.5 inches. At 4 feet to the subject the depth of filed will be 9 inches. Depth of Field is that part of your photo that will be in acceptable focus. Notice how the center of the subject flower is sharp but the center of the flower below it is out of focus. The leaves in the back are out of focus.

You can use depth of field to draw attention to the subject by keeping other parts of the photo out of focus. The wall behind this flower is out of focus and that is good. I would think that you want the subject flower completely in focus and everything else out of focus or the entire plant in focus and everything else out of focus. If you want just the subject flower in focus, you have to use a wider aperture or to shorten the distance to the subject. To get the entire plant in focus you can use a smaller aperture or a longer distance to subject.

The one big problem with this photo is the thing on the left. It adds nothing to the photo and it is terribly distracting. The one thing about photographing things like plants is that you can move them some place where there are no distractions. The second photo has the same problem with the shelf or whatever it is in the upper left. The third photo is the worst of them when it comes to distractions. Even though they are out of focus, they are very distracting. Can you find a similar distraction in the last photo? Look at the bottom left in the corner. There is something there. It isn't very big but these are the kinds of things you need to look for when deciding on your final composition.

I will make comments on your other photos later. I am being called to do some important stuff around the house.

Al

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby autzig » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:31 pm

You shot your second flower photo at 1/125, f5.6 and a focal length of 55mm. Hand holding the camera at 55mm requires a shutter speed faster than 1/60 second. Your shutter speed was twice that. Notice how, overall, it is sharper than the first photo. At f5.6 and a focal length of 55mm and a distance to subject of 4 feet, your depth of field is 6.5 inches. To get better focus, you could have changed your aperture to something smaller like f8 and your shutter speed could be 1/60. You'd get more depth of field. With those settings, the depth of field is about 9 inches. To increase the depth of field even more, you could have increased your ISO to 400. That would have allowed you to open your aperture to f11. Then you would have had a depth of field of 12.5 inches.

There are a couple of other things to think about with this photo. Notice how the flowers on the upper left and lower right are cut off. There's one on the bottom left too that is cut off. I would have preferred to see this as a vertical. I would have deleted the stuff on the left. That would have put the largest flower in a thirds position and made a nice grouping of three. Odd numbers of things generally work better than even numbers. I would have moved the flower behind the one on the lower right. I really like the black background.

You shot the third photo at f4.5, 1/60 and 55mm. I don't care much for this photo at all. Here's why. 1. It is pretty much a bullseye shot. Generally that doesn't work well. Move the subject to a thirds position. If you had done that, you would still have a bunch of background clutter. It is out of focus but it still is a distraction. The out of focus blossoms on the bottom right don't help.

I don't like the last photo much either. There is no question that the mountains are beautiful but your composition doesn't show them. The tree on the right covers up a lot of the mountains. The tree on the left also covers some of the mountains and it points us to the upper left of the photo where there is....nothing. Nothing but empty sky. Is that a rooftop at the bottom of the photo? It is covered pretty well and most people wouldn't see it but great photos don't have rooftops in them. Your settings of f11 and 1/400 second are good. f11 is a good aperture for landscapes and 1/400 is plenty fast for a 79mm lens.

Try making the same shots but changing the aperture to see what the difference it makes. When you find something that is really pleasing, stick with that for those kinds of shots.

Al

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Andy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:53 pm

I may have gone off the reservation a bit, LOL. After all, the title of the thread is jpeg vs raw. Al makes a good point about bringing up shadow in the raw converter software. In fact, that is WHY we crow about raw. There is so much more ability to "fix" image exposure when shot in raw. Not only for shadow - but for brightness, too.

My workflow is different from Al's a bit. Part of that is that I have software that I think does a better job than LR or ACR for "targeted" adjustments. I use the NIK software suite almost exclusively for that kind of work. So my adjustments in ACR are more "global" (i.e., the entire image rather than one part of it). But the tools are there. I just looked at my copy of Lightroom and the adjustments are essentially the same as those in ACR.

It may come as a surprise to Al, but I NEVER touch the Saturation Slider in ACR. I do use Vibrance, but sparingly. I find that it often gives the image too much of a warm tone. I do use the clarity slider almost all the time. It is the best way to enhance the mid-tone contrast in an image, which is often where the most impact is made. The shadows slider is also a very powerful tool. However, I usually find that when I bring up the shadows, it has to be done with some finesse, and almost always in conjunction with an adjustment to contrast.

I also wanted to touch on another comment Al made. The inverse of the focal length thing is a rule of thumb. It can be "broken" with very good technique, but more often, I recommend going the other way. I would rarely shoot an image handheld at 1/40 second at any focal length.

The other thing is that use of a tripod pretty much eliminates the concern. As long as your subject is not moving, you can shoot at essentially any shutter speed from a tripod without concern for image sharpness being influenced by camera movement.
Andy

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Utah Baker
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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Utah Baker » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:17 pm

Al, in my conversion in LR3 I only used the basic tools, check exposure, first, then recovery, blacks, fill light, clarity, and then a little viberance. I did not like the saturation slider for the same reasons Andy mentioned. The violets are well ...violet, the gerber daisy orange as well as the kalachoe. I went back and made some minor adjustments to the three flowers, I did not see a paint brush tool to hightlight or give fill light to just the one violet . The porch picture of the mountains is just lame, your right. And guilty as charged, I must admit I didn't give much thought to composition this time around, and shouldn't be so lazy and get out the tripod! Well this had been a fun and informative experience, but my trial period is about to expire on LR3, so it is someone else's turn to pick up the slack and provide the entertainment for awhile, ehh. Anyone out there, NEK?, Deaner?

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Andy » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:53 pm

Janice: Up in the top right in the panel where you found the basic adjustments you spoke of, there is a tool (not really intuitive or well marked, but if you hover your cursor over it, you will see the label), called "Adjustment Brush." If you click on that, your image changes from "global" adjustments (the entire image) to a place where you can "brush" an area to be effected. Once you highlight an area, only it will be effected by the sliders. You can then adjust the shadows on just the area you brushed.
Andy

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From_the_NEK
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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby From_the_NEK » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:37 pm

Experimenting more. My camera has the option of saving both a RAW and JPEG at the same time. I figured I would experiment with it a bit to show how much more control you have in post processing with the RAW.
I did some edits in Lightroom 5 (I figured I'd make it worth it :D ).
Edited JPEG image:
Image

Edited RAW image exported to JPEG:
Image

The control over shadows and color is soooooo much better. I'm excited to keep working with RAW.

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby autzig » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:26 pm

Yours is an excellent example of the kind of difference that can come by shooting in raw.

Al

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Re: jpeg vs raw?

Postby Andy » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:05 pm

"Andy seems to think these flowers are purple. I think they are more red." I called them purple. I went back and looked. I'll meet you halfway, Al. I think they are really more pink than purple or red :-)
Andy

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



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