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Adventures in RAW

 
 
Gary Eickmeier
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      10-16-2005
I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.

I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop in
the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import program
will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera settings such as
exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any of a number of
factors to taste, but basically you will already see a respectable
histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the adjustments.

When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise in
the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I discovered
was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW image, the
import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as though I was
increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were shot at ISO 80,
but some were properly exposed and some were dark. Properly exposed, no
noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat lowered with luminance
smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of the noise is a product of
how well you expose the original image, and nothing else. ISO has little
to do with it. If you set a high ISO in your camera, all you are doing
is reducing the exposure to the CCD, which increases noise. This
underexposure can be processed to correct exposure either in camera or
in the RAW import program, and that is all there is to that.

Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't yet
experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.

So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace getting
the exposure right in the first place.

Gary Eickmeier
 
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Bob Williams
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      10-16-2005
Gary Eickmeier wrote:

> I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.
>
> I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop in
> the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import program
> will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera settings such as
> exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any of a number of
> factors to taste, but basically you will already see a respectable
> histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the adjustments.
>
> When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise in
> the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I discovered
> was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW image, the
> import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as though I was
> increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were shot at ISO 80,
> but some were properly exposed and some were dark. Properly exposed, no
> noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat lowered with luminance
> smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of the noise is a product of
> how well you expose the original image, and nothing else. ISO has little
> to do with it. If you set a high ISO in your camera, all you are doing
> is reducing the exposure to the CCD, which increases noise. This
> underexposure can be processed to correct exposure either in camera or
> in the RAW import program, and that is all there is to that.
>
> Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
> reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't yet
> experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.
>
> So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace getting
> the exposure right in the first place.
>
> Gary Eickmeier


Thanks for that sharp observation.
As we used to say in the early days of computers:
"Garbage in .....Garbage out.
We can massage the data 'till we are blue in the face.
If the information is not captured in the first place, RAW Conversion is
not going to create it for us.
Bob Williams
 
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Gary Eickmeier
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005


Bob Williams wrote:
> Gary Eickmeier wrote:
>
>> I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.
>>
>> I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop
>> in the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import
>> program will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera
>> settings such as exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any
>> of a number of factors to taste, but basically you will already see a
>> respectable histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the
>> adjustments.
>>
>> When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise
>> in the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I
>> discovered was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW
>> image, the import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as
>> though I was increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were
>> shot at ISO 80, but some were properly exposed and some were dark.
>> Properly exposed, no noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat
>> lowered with luminance smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of
>> the noise is a product of how well you expose the original image, and
>> nothing else. ISO has little to do with it. If you set a high ISO in
>> your camera, all you are doing is reducing the exposure to the CCD,
>> which increases noise. This underexposure can be processed to correct
>> exposure either in camera or in the RAW import program, and that is
>> all there is to that.
>>
>> Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
>> reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't
>> yet experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.
>>
>> So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace
>> getting the exposure right in the first place.
>>
>> Gary Eickmeier

>
>
> Thanks for that sharp observation.
> As we used to say in the early days of computers:
> "Garbage in .....Garbage out.
> We can massage the data 'till we are blue in the face.
> If the information is not captured in the first place, RAW Conversion is
> not going to create it for us.
> Bob Williams


Well - I'm glad someone read it!

Thanks Bob

Gary Eickmeier
 
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Ed
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005
What camera are you doing this with?

"Gary Eickmeier" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:2XE4f.17546$(E-Mail Removed). ..
>
>
> Bob Williams wrote:
> > Gary Eickmeier wrote:
> >
> >> I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.
> >>
> >> I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop
> >> in the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import
> >> program will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera
> >> settings such as exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any
> >> of a number of factors to taste, but basically you will already see a
> >> respectable histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the
> >> adjustments.
> >>
> >> When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise
> >> in the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I
> >> discovered was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW
> >> image, the import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as
> >> though I was increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were
> >> shot at ISO 80, but some were properly exposed and some were dark.
> >> Properly exposed, no noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat
> >> lowered with luminance smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of
> >> the noise is a product of how well you expose the original image, and
> >> nothing else. ISO has little to do with it. If you set a high ISO in
> >> your camera, all you are doing is reducing the exposure to the CCD,
> >> which increases noise. This underexposure can be processed to correct
> >> exposure either in camera or in the RAW import program, and that is
> >> all there is to that.
> >>
> >> Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
> >> reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't
> >> yet experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.
> >>
> >> So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace
> >> getting the exposure right in the first place.
> >>
> >> Gary Eickmeier

> >
> >
> > Thanks for that sharp observation.
> > As we used to say in the early days of computers:
> > "Garbage in .....Garbage out.
> > We can massage the data 'till we are blue in the face.
> > If the information is not captured in the first place, RAW Conversion is
> > not going to create it for us.
> > Bob Williams

>
> Well - I'm glad someone read it!
>
> Thanks Bob
>
> Gary Eickmeier



 
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Dirty Harry
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005

"Gary Eickmeier" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:LWt4f.16347$(E-Mail Removed). ..
> I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.
>
> I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop in
> the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import program
> will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera settings such as
> exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any of a number of
> factors to taste, but basically you will already see a respectable
> histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the adjustments.
>
> When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise in
> the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I discovered
> was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW image, the
> import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as though I was
> increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were shot at ISO 80,
> but some were properly exposed and some were dark. Properly exposed, no
> noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat lowered with luminance
> smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of the noise is a product of
> how well you expose the original image, and nothing else. ISO has little
> to do with it. If you set a high ISO in your camera, all you are doing
> is reducing the exposure to the CCD, which increases noise. This
> underexposure can be processed to correct exposure either in camera or
> in the RAW import program, and that is all there is to that.
>
> Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
> reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't yet
> experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.
>
> So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace getting
> the exposure right in the first place.
>
> Gary Eickmeier


I really really hate how the browser in PS adjusts all the raw files for
you. My intentionally dark pictures are "adjusted" to what CS thinks is
right, which is no where near where I want most of the time. It really
makes me angry when I click on a folder full of raw files and I have to sit
there forever while the computer crunches away at distorting my raw files.
If anyone could tell me how to stop adobe bridge from doing this I would be
grateful!!!


 
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Sonrise
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005

"Dirty Harry" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:2RF4f.208055$oW2.157375@pd7tw1no...
>
> "Gary Eickmeier" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:LWt4f.16347$(E-Mail Removed). ..
>> I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.
>>
>> I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop in
>> the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import program
>> will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera settings such as
>> exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any of a number of
>> factors to taste, but basically you will already see a respectable
>> histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the adjustments.
>>
>> When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise in
>> the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I discovered
>> was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW image, the
>> import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as though I was
>> increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were shot at ISO 80,
>> but some were properly exposed and some were dark. Properly exposed, no
>> noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat lowered with luminance
>> smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of the noise is a product of
>> how well you expose the original image, and nothing else. ISO has little
>> to do with it. If you set a high ISO in your camera, all you are doing
>> is reducing the exposure to the CCD, which increases noise. This
>> underexposure can be processed to correct exposure either in camera or
>> in the RAW import program, and that is all there is to that.
>>
>> Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
>> reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't yet
>> experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.
>>
>> So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace getting
>> the exposure right in the first place.
>>
>> Gary Eickmeier

>
> I really really hate how the browser in PS adjusts all the raw files for
> you. My intentionally dark pictures are "adjusted" to what CS thinks is
> right, which is no where near where I want most of the time. It really
> makes me angry when I click on a folder full of raw files and I have to
> sit
> there forever while the computer crunches away at distorting my raw files.
> If anyone could tell me how to stop adobe bridge from doing this I would
> be
> grateful!!!
>
>


Believe it or not, I read the solution to this problem in the November
Shutterbug. The author was reviewing CS2 and noted the same "automatic"
adjustments. It has to be turned off in ACR. Here are his comments:

"As I delved deeper into this I found that although not in Bridge itself,
there is a switch to turn off the auto-adjustment processing. A user has to
select a raw file and launch Camera Raw. Then at the top of the dialog on
the right there is a Camera Setting window which, in default mode, reads:
[Camera Raw Defaults]. To the right of that is an arrow, which when clicked
opens a dialog menu. About halfway down the menu is: Use Auto Adjustments.
If you uncheck this option and then go down and click on "Reset Camera Raw
Defaults," the next time Camera Raw is launched the four Auto Adjust
functions will be off with no sheck mark in the associated boxes. In
addtion, thumbnails of Camera Raw files in Bridge will be generated without
any exposure or other auto-adjustment, so a bracketed series of exposures
will actually reflect the different exposures of each shot. Why Adboe chose
to put the auto-adjust on/off switch in "Camera Settings" in Camera Raw
makes my head itch. I wonder why it is so hidden rather than being in
General Preferences."

"Adobe's Creative Suite 2 - What's In Photoshop 9.0 For Photographers,"
David B. Brooks, Shutterbug, November 2005, p. 106.


There's no mention for Elements 3.0, which has a very limited Camera Raw
interface.

HTH

Sonrise


 
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Conrad
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005
Hi,

I'm using a Mac with PS CS2. When importing RAW files I can switch
(after loading file in) to no adjustments of picture by using CMD U.
It's interesting and somewhat informative to see before and after.

While the Bridge program is separate in PS CS2, I was wondering if the
same is true in PSE3 or PSE4 when loading in RAW files (i.e. is there a
'mini-bridge' program at work)?

Best,

Conrad
Camp Sherman, Oregon

 
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Sonrise
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005

"Conrad" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> Hi,
>
> I'm using a Mac with PS CS2. When importing RAW files I can switch
> (after loading file in) to no adjustments of picture by using CMD U.
> It's interesting and somewhat informative to see before and after.
>
> While the Bridge program is separate in PS CS2, I was wondering if the
> same is true in PSE3 or PSE4 when loading in RAW files (i.e. is there a
> 'mini-bridge' program at work)?
>
> Best,
>
> Conrad
> Camp Sherman, Oregon
>


I have been using PSE3 since February, and am now evaluating the CS2 trial
version. PSE3 uses the Organizer instead of Bridge. Personally, I like
Bridge much better as it allows easy printing of contact sheets, as well as
ranking and sorting, none of which are readily available in PSE3. So, it
appears I will soon be licensed to use both programs, although I'm finding
the $400 upgrade price a little hard to swallow. Still, I'd rather spend the
money and get a full professional product than take a chance on PSE4. CS2
just seems to have a lot of features I can take advantage of.

Sonrise


 
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Dirty Harry
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005

"Sonrise" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:EhL4f.15601$(E-Mail Removed) hlink.net...
>
> "Dirty Harry" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:2RF4f.208055$oW2.157375@pd7tw1no...
> >
> > "Gary Eickmeier" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:LWt4f.16347$(E-Mail Removed). ..
> >> I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.
> >>
> >> I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop in
> >> the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import

program
> >> will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera settings such as
> >> exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any of a number of
> >> factors to taste, but basically you will already see a respectable
> >> histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the adjustments.
> >>
> >> When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise in
> >> the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I discovered
> >> was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW image, the
> >> import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as though I was
> >> increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were shot at ISO 80,
> >> but some were properly exposed and some were dark. Properly exposed, no
> >> noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat lowered with luminance
> >> smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of the noise is a product

of
> >> how well you expose the original image, and nothing else. ISO has

little
> >> to do with it. If you set a high ISO in your camera, all you are doing
> >> is reducing the exposure to the CCD, which increases noise. This
> >> underexposure can be processed to correct exposure either in camera or
> >> in the RAW import program, and that is all there is to that.
> >>
> >> Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
> >> reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't yet
> >> experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.
> >>
> >> So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace

getting
> >> the exposure right in the first place.
> >>
> >> Gary Eickmeier

> >
> > I really really hate how the browser in PS adjusts all the raw files for
> > you. My intentionally dark pictures are "adjusted" to what CS thinks is
> > right, which is no where near where I want most of the time. It really
> > makes me angry when I click on a folder full of raw files and I have to
> > sit
> > there forever while the computer crunches away at distorting my raw

files.
> > If anyone could tell me how to stop adobe bridge from doing this I would
> > be
> > grateful!!!
> >
> >

>
> Believe it or not, I read the solution to this problem in the November
> Shutterbug. The author was reviewing CS2 and noted the same "automatic"
> adjustments. It has to be turned off in ACR. Here are his comments:
>
> "As I delved deeper into this I found that although not in Bridge itself,
> there is a switch to turn off the auto-adjustment processing. A user has

to
> select a raw file and launch Camera Raw. Then at the top of the dialog on
> the right there is a Camera Setting window which, in default mode, reads:
> [Camera Raw Defaults]. To the right of that is an arrow, which when

clicked
> opens a dialog menu. About halfway down the menu is: Use Auto Adjustments.
> If you uncheck this option and then go down and click on "Reset Camera Raw
> Defaults," the next time Camera Raw is launched the four Auto Adjust
> functions will be off with no sheck mark in the associated boxes. In
> addtion, thumbnails of Camera Raw files in Bridge will be generated

without
> any exposure or other auto-adjustment, so a bracketed series of exposures
> will actually reflect the different exposures of each shot. Why Adboe

chose
> to put the auto-adjust on/off switch in "Camera Settings" in Camera Raw
> makes my head itch. I wonder why it is so hidden rather than being in
> General Preferences."
>
> "Adobe's Creative Suite 2 - What's In Photoshop 9.0 For Photographers,"
> David B. Brooks, Shutterbug, November 2005, p. 106.
>
>
> There's no mention for Elements 3.0, which has a very limited Camera Raw
> interface.
>
> HTH
>
> Sonrise
>


Thanks man, you rock!


 
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winhag@yahoo.com
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-17-2005
There may be an additional difference when you set the ISO higher in
the camera. The camera most likely sets the highest A/D output to some
relative fraction of the sensor exposure. For example if the ISO is set
to 200 vs. 100 (assuming 100 is the 'normal' 'full well' sensor
output), the A/D range is set such that the maximum count corresponds
to a 'half full' pixel value. This way you get a smooth gradation over
the ISO 200 exposure range. If this is done after the fact (in RAW
processing) you may end up with 'missing counts' since the A/D full
count would have been set for 'full well' sensor values and you are
stretching it out after the fact. I don't know if this is actually what
happens, but it makes sense that that is what the camera is doing
internally, otherwise there would be no point in having an ISO setting
that cannot be changed after the fact as is for example white balance.


Gary Eickmeier wrote:
> I just shot an auto show in RAW. It was a lesson in how RAW works.
>
> I use Photoshop Elements 3, which works substantially like Photoshop in
> the RAW importing. The first thing you notice is that the import program
> will make its own "adjustments" to your foolish camera settings such as
> exposure and white balance. You can then adjust any of a number of
> factors to taste, but basically you will already see a respectable
> histogram and color balance and all of the rest of the adjustments.
>
> When I printed some of the pix, I noticed an unusual amount of noise in
> the sky and smooth colors. Through experimentation, what I discovered
> was happening was that if I underexposed the original RAW image, the
> import program was adjusting the exposure up, just as though I was
> increasing the ISO on my camera. All of my images were shot at ISO 80,
> but some were properly exposed and some were dark. Properly exposed, no
> noise. Dark, some noise. It could be somewhat lowered with luminance
> smoothing, but the basic amount and pattern of the noise is a product of
> how well you expose the original image, and nothing else. ISO has little
> to do with it. If you set a high ISO in your camera, all you are doing
> is reducing the exposure to the CCD, which increases noise. This
> underexposure can be processed to correct exposure either in camera or
> in the RAW import program, and that is all there is to that.
>
> Quite possibly, the camera will do some luminance smoothing (noise
> reduction) in processing the image for non-RAW modes, but I haven't yet
> experimented with RAW vs TIFF at various exposures.
>
> So RAW is quite flexible, but not magic, and it does NOT replace getting
> the exposure right in the first place.
>
> Gary Eickmeier


 
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