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Help With RAW Format

This is a discussion on Help With RAW Format within the Technical Photography Discussion forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Help With RAW Format

    Iím trying to get some information from you Camera experts have about taking close up pictures of Orchids in a RAW format. I was at an Orchid Show in Santa Barbara this past March and I noticed a guy with a big camera with two big flashes attached on the side of the camera taking pictures of the various Orchids at the show.. He said he was in the camera business dealing with Orchids. I told him I was having trouble getting pictures to look good particularly of close ups of Orchids that were "white" in color. He said that I needed to get into cameras that had RAW format. Is that right can you improve the quality of Orchids that are white by using RAW format as opposed to JEPG. I was thinking about getting a new camera, Canon G10 that seems to cover all the bases. Also I have heard that there is some new RAW converter software, Picasa 3 from Goggle that you can download free and it works great in editing your RAW pictures and you donít have to pay for Photoshop. Any thoughts I would appreciate.
    I canít seem to find any discussion in our forum on RAW format but Iím sure its there.
    Thanks

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    RAW format?

    I've never heard of such a thing. Do you mean an uncompressed image like a TIFF file?

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    Thanks for the question? Raw format from what I have read on the Internet is the newest and hottest way to take pictures.Most all new cameras have RAW built into the Camera. The picture comes out exactly as it looks unlike JEPG pictures and the pictures are very much better. Many camera specialist now set up there camera to take every picture in RAW. Here is an article on it:
    The Power of RAW Photography - Tutorial9
    Thanks for your interest.

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    RAW is a format that in digital cameras is like a negative in film cameras. It takes a ton of memory, but you can make many adjustments in the program, such as white balance (for your white orchids), exposure, light, etc.

    Unless you are a huge fan of photoshopping and editing, I have found it to be a big annoyance, although my Konica Minolta does allow me to shoot it by itself, or a RAW/jpeg combo (more memory of course).

    If your camera has a white balance adjustment, you should be able to use it on those white orchids. You'd have to check your manual to find out how to work it in your own camera however. All cameras are a little different, even in the terminology they use.

    As for me, I've sort of stopped trying to use RAW, but that doesn't mean I'd never go back to it. You make your adjustments, and then can save it as a jpeg format, or any other type of photo format, but if you have the RAW version, that's like still having the original, which means you can always go back to it and rework your output.

    Hope this helps a little. If you google RAW format, I'm sure you can get even more, and clearer information.


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    Thanks eaglssong for your help. I was so unhappy with the way the white color in my orchids looked that I taken in jpeg I got excited when the Santa Barbara camera expert told me it could be fixed by this unknown RAW format . I got more impressed when he said he was no longer taking any more Orchid pictures in anything but RAW. I did not realize that this problem was due also to " white balance" . Thanks again for your answers.

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    RAW is a file that is raw sensor data that has to be further processed before it becomes a "picture". My Nikon camera does TIFF, a few types of RAW compressed and uncompressed (12 or 14 bit), and various qualities of jpg. I shoot mostly in high(fine) quality jpg because I can adjust the picture in that format using an editing program...you do lose some image quality each time you edit a jpg. The trick is not to edit the same file over and over...keep a master file. You don't lose image quality when you edit a RAW image, but it is a very large file, and unless the picture is for professional reasons I see no reason not to shoot in jpg. I would go through flash cards like crazy if I only shot in RAW mode.

    You may want to play around with your camera settings and see if it improves your white balance issues. You will need a dedicated program that allows you to view and edit a RAW file if you choose to go that route.

    My advice is stick with jpg unless the picture you are taking is for professional reasons or you want to keep a high quality unprocessed copy of the image on file.

    Shann~

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    Regarding white balancing: I have found through photographing weddings and theatre productions a technique that allows my camera to balance itself. Try this: Once you get your subject set-up for the photo, look through your camera and find the lightest - light or brightest white (the areas where your photo is likely to wash out) and with your camera set on auto-focus, press the trigger half-way down. This will set the shutter speed to the brightest part of what will be your image. While keeping your trigger half-way down, re-center or align your camera's focus area manually where you would like to 'frame' your photo. Then press the trigger all the way down to capture the image with the 'white balance' perfectly set. For larger areas (like a theatre production photographs or weddings) I have had a friend or student hold a white poster board directly in front of the actors where the main focus will be in the shot. I set the shot up, white balance with the reflected light on the poster board, and then have the help clear the frame area and I take the shot. I hope this helps too.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Wow!!!! You are so helpful!!! Go Razorbacks!!!!!

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    When you are shooting a subject with lots of white, remember to over expose slightly cos your cam tends to stop down in this instance and your white will be a bit dull and your image a bit underexposed. Your white won't be as white if you follow your cam's setting. If you are using a flash for your shots, you do not have to worry about the white balance because your cam would have detected the flash and adjusted for the exposure and the flash's colour temp accordingly.

    Besides using the 2 flashes to light up the flower, the pro might have also been using the 2 flashes eleminate the shadows cast in the background. It kind of softens the effect of the lighting.

    Am not a digital user (yet....), but my understanding is that RAW images gives a wider range of details (colours, highlights, contrast....) as it records the images' digital data in more bits. These parameters can be manipulated in post processing. This is good if you are going to do lots of post processing. If I am not mistaken, some cams also allow some form of compression to the RAW files.

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