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RAW editing advice sought...

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by RobertP, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. RobertP

    RobertP
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    I was a guest at a wedding this weekend - registry office. They had a photographer with his bronica (medium format?) who seemed to take forever getting his shots.... leaving me plenty of time to wander round taking the same shots and a few alternatives with my 20D.

    As a side point - I notice he set up the outdoor shots with his camera facing the sun... and then used his flashgun. sun to light the hair for glow and flash for the faces? In fact I never saw him take a shot anywhere without the flash.

    After the ceremony there was a picture pause in the room. The registrars desk was in a huge bay window with light pouring in behind the stars of the show. No flash - I don't own one and the built in seems to feeble too be an option. I shot RAW so I could try the under + over exposed combi trick. I have now realised that I don't have much clue where to start :D

    If I use rawshooter I can up the exposure and burn out the windows and get the people reasonably well exposed. I can also lower the exposure and get nice green grass and stuff outside the windows + a near pitch black interior.

    I have a work copy of CS I can use but I have never used it much. I have my two versions on two layers - now what? If I have to trace the bright/dark border for a selection I shall give up the idea now. Is there a easy way to combine the two layers with a complex shaped light/dark border?

    These were only a few shots amongst a couple of hundred so it not a big problem to settle for the best I can get out of rawshooter.
     
  2. seany

    seany
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  3. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    This covers the basics...
    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml

    I often use a flash outdoors too... can get rid of strong shadows under noses, hat brims and the like, and provides a useful "catchlight" in the eyes to give tend some life. You have to be careful how you balance the flash though to keep things looking "natural".
     
  4. mr jones

    mr jones
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    i used a flash throughout the wedding pictures i did, outdoors and indoors, worked quite well
     
  5. Peakoverload

    Peakoverload
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    Yeah fill flash in wedding photography is pretty much essential. You have to remember that weddings usually take place around midday when the sun is highest in the sky causing ugly shadows to appear under the eyes and nose. The only way to really get rid of this is to either use a reflector to bounce some light back up or use fill flash. The advantage of fill flash over a reflector is that:
    1. You have a little more control over the amount of light used
    2. Fill flash will produce nice catch lights in the eyes
    3. You can direct it a bit more than with a reflector
    4. A reflector always reflects light which can cause people to squint where as a flash only produces light when its fired
    5. A reflector requires an assistant to hold it where as a flash does not.
    6. Have you ever tried setting up a 32" reflector in a confined space whilst the bride is trying to get into her wedding dress?!?! Believe me flash is a lot easier. ;)
     
  6. paulc1

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  7. RobertP

    RobertP
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    Thanks. That was useful.

    I had to get some off for printing so i went with the best I could get out of rawshooter. Just had a play with CS and I could have done better given time.

    If you are interested much reduced versions are attached. Doubt the subjects will mind :)

    If they stay in the order I attach them it should be:
    1 - rawshooter best tweak
    2 - small fine jpg from the camera
    3 - dark output from raw
    4 - light output from raw
    5 - CS combination.

    The combination shot looks a little lifeless but I guess it could be tweaked further.
    I used my 70-200 F4L as I was not that close and pushed the ISO up to avoid camera shake. I was in the doorway to the room and used the doorframe to help steady me. maybe 1 or 2 in ten with slight motion blur so it seems to have worked out OK.
     

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  8. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    That's idea...nice job!
    If it were my shot i'd go less dark with the "dark image"... which should allow you to lighten the subjects still further albeit at the expense of giving up a bit of detail outside.
     
  9. Zone

    Zone
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    Robert
    I must say first off that I have no experience of shooting in Raw at all but just wanted to show what I came up with playing around with the CS combi shot, for which I hope you dont mind?
    All adjustments done in Irfanview, upping the gamma, contrast and brightness and finally a small amount of sharpening.
     

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  10. RobertP

    RobertP
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    I think it was me using the lazy method #2 on the instructions site that made the final image dull looking. the grey mask having an effect maybe?

    I tried sharpening the final image and even the smallest seemed to make noise. Strange thing was the little preview window showed a nice bright version - not the dull view in the main window. A lot of the noise disappeared when I resized down for the forum.

    I won't say I'm a full time raw convert but this little exercise shows what can be done. This level of tweaking is not me - fiddling with CS is a chore not a pleasure.

    Rawshooter is pretty easy to get a decent result from and having the camera small fine jpg to compare with has been interesting. I'd say 7 out of 10 shots are better from rawshooter - the other 3 I actually prefer the look of the camera jpg , even though its only a small version. I have not used any small jpgs for final pictures though.
     

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