Camera Raw

I went to the least inspiring geographical spot I know and waited for sunrise to give it the best possible lighting.  Then, once captured, I went back home and processed the images through Camera Raw, which is like having an alternate light source to whatever image you take in whatever circumstances.

In most cases, when I work within Raw, I settle on the “as shot”, in other words the image that I saw through the viewfinder.

I thought I’d show you two versions of the same image and let you decide which one was the “as shot”.

©Pat Coakley 2008


10 comments on “Camera Raw”

  1. I shoot exclusively in RAW. Every time. The flexibility in exposure control is priceless.

    I’m guessing the former is the “as-shot”, simply because my Canon never shoots nearly as warm as the latter.

  2. Brooks, I agree with you, however, in this case it is reversed! The top is what Raw “Flourescent” gave me! I’m not kidding. The “as shot” is the lower one. Having said that I believe what made the difference here is what I was shooting it in with respect to conditions: sunlight, cloudy, etc…I think this is what cast the very warm tone. Any other thoughts on what might have done it? Sometimes I press those dials inadvertently…white balance…for example. Anyhow, I totally agree about RAW. It is simply amazing.

  3. it is hard to tell, i guessed that the warmer image was the RAW not that i know the slightest thing about it but just that the colors at the top look like sunrisecolors as i have often seen them. however, what is intriguing to me is how you were able to pull so much magnitude from as you said ‘the least inspiring place’. that to me is what ‘seeing’ is all about.

  4. Yes, Tipota, that was my own goal. To try and wrestle something from this spot that literally is never looked at on its own. I knew the sky was the only way to to try and look at in a new way. Then, this “Raw” feature in the photo software opens up a whole diffierent way of seeing! Thanks, as always, for your sensitive look.

  5. I always shoot in RAW as well but I still do most of my manipulation in Photoshop. I think a lot of people would be very surprised to find out that cameras don’t tell the “truth” and the images always have to be adjusted.

    Becoming familiar with what is 18% grey and what it means to exposure and colour balance is one of the things that would improved most people’s shots.

  6. There’s much to learn about this camera topic. I’m going to experiment now that I’ve read these comments with some RAW images. Experimenting is painless when it’s not rolls of film being thrown out.

    Frustratingly, I’m waiting for the mail to bring a new card reader. I can’t download any images as the old one no longer works.
    I’m on visual hold on the blog but sure love to read everyone else’s insights.

  7. I only shoot in Raw & would have been very surprised if the top image was not the original. I’m guessing it was your white balance setting but I am certainly no lighting expert. When I work with my nikon, I almost always have to increase the warmth of the image because it tends to lean towards the blues & purples. Because I am so used to this output, I find it more difficult to work with the canon because it seems to add a greenish tint to pictures. I can warm & cool but I have tremendous difficulty removing magentas & greens. That was off topic. Very nice experiment.

  8. Strange transatlantic coincidences let it happen, that I happened to hold only last night two prints I had to grade and print myself using filers for cyan, magenta and yellow light in a very analog printing machine back at filmschool in Amsterdam.
    It was prints straight from a 16mm negative film strip of a film I had shot there before.
    The above of your pictures has exactly the tonality of one of my prints, the below one almost the same as the other of the two.
    Only mine show faces.
    I had not held this pictures in my hands in years. and now I see your sibling shots…strange life.

  9. Sanne, this is such an interesting coincidence. It’s very rare that I do a post like this as well! It’s also a coincidence that I’ve been thinking of how rarely I ever photograph people. Only children. So, faces are rarely in my viewfinder unless they are very young sweet ones!
    Conni, I think what Razz says is my problem. I don’t think I quite get this whole white balance thing.
    Bonnie, I would flip out with that type of “hold” on the creative process. But, you know, it probably would be good for me.
    Razz, you are right about the white balance thing. I’m one of them that could use a tutorial. I think I’ll look it up this weekend!

  10. Here’s a link to an FTP site that a friend of mine has set up with some tutorials (20mb of MP4s that you watch with quicktime) on how to sort out your levels and colour balance.

    This link will only be valid for another 5 days.

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