Digital Photography & Cameras: What RAW is about & Editing Images

Digital Photography & Cameras: What RAW is about & Editing Images

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Description: Outline: Image File Formats. What is RAW? RAW –Benefits –Drawbacks. Adobe Lightroom Workflow.

Lossy & Lossless -Compression algorithms. Editing Images: Cropping; Corrections for Exposure, Contrast, Saturation, Dust Removal, Noise Reduction, Sharpening.

Author: Kingsbridge & District Camera Club (Fellow) | Visits: 2112 | Page Views: 2123
Domain:  High Tech Category: Photo 
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Digital Photography
What is RAW all about?


The Kingsbridge & District Camera Club has no affiliation with any of the products or services mentioned in this presentation. They are only mentioned for information purposes and have been selected as a result of member recommendations. This presentation focuses on digital photography and much of the information and concepts will not apply to film.


Purpose Image File Formats

What is RAW?
RAW � Benefits

RAW � Drawbacks



Adobe Lightroom Workflow
Importing & cataloguing Cropping Exposure Contrast Colour � Hue/Saturation Dust, Spot & Blemish Removal Noise Reduction/Sharpening Alternate Editing Exporting


Provide information enabling you to make more informed decisions about your photography. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of shooting RAW.

Compare RAW and other commonly used image file formats. Demonstrate software capable of processing RAW image file formats.

Image File Formats

A standardised means of organising and storing images (digitally). Usually fall into one of two categories;

Lossless - Compression algorithms reduce file size without losing image quality.
Image quality is valued above file size.

Lossy - Compression algorithms allow variable quality levels and as file size is reduced so is the quality.
File size is valued above image quality.

What is RAW?

RAW refers to a family of lossless or nearlylossless image formats, mostly proprietary. RAW files contain minimally processed data direct from the image sensor. The purpose of RAW is to faithfully record both 100% of what the sensor "saw" (data) and the "conditions" of the capture (metadata).

What is RAW? (Cont.)

RAW is, in effect, the equivalent of a film negative (often referred to as "digital negative"). RAW formats are not standardised and differ among camera manufacturers (and often between cameras).

RAW � Benefits
Cameras that support RAW save common settings in the file, but defer the processing.

White balance, color saturation, contrast, and sharpness (selected automatically or by the photographer).

RAW formats are either uncompressed or use lossless (or nearly) compression. High image quality.

RAW � Benefits


Finer control using RAW conversion software allows users to manipulate more parameters without adverse effect on image quality.

Exposure, highlights, midtones, darks, white balance, hue, and saturation etc. More precision may be available in highlights, shadows, and saturated colours.

RAW formats use 12 or 14 bit settings.

RAW � Benefits


The working colour space can be set to whatever is desired. Adobe's Digital Negative specification (DNG) is an attempt to have a standard RAW format. Hopefully addressing the issue of orphaned image files (this issue is covered later).

RAW � Drawbacks
RAW files are typically 2�6 times larger than JPEG files. Writing RAW files to a memory card can take longer. There is still no widely accepted standard RAW format (Adobe is trying to address this issue with DNG).

RAW � Drawbacks


Numerous different RAW formats are currently in use and new RAW formats keep appearing, while others are orphaned. Specialised software may be required to open RAW files.

Additional time required in the image workflow.

Adobe Lightroom Workflow

Image workflow with Photoshop Lightroom Ver1.4 using sample images. For the purposes of handouts some sample shots follow in this presentation in order to show changes made during editing of the sample image. Please note some of the edits have been pushed to the extreme in order to facilitate viewing on a light projector.


(Original Image)

Editing � Crop (as well as some other edits)


(Original Image)

Editing � Exposure

Editing � Contrast

Editing � Colour: Hue/Saturation

Editing � Dust Removal/Touch-up

Editing � Noise/Sharpening


Editing � Noise Reduction

Editing � Sharpening

Editing � Noise/Sharpening


Editing � Noise/Sharpening


Alternate Editing � Monochrome

Alternate Editing � Duotone

Alternate Editing � Solarisation


Useful Websites
Kingsbridge & District Camera Club

Digital Camera Reviews.
Image Editing.

Memory Card Performance Comparisons.

Open RAW Action Group
Useful Tools - TASI
Photography - Wikipedia.

Camera RAW Codec � Windows
RAW Formats - Wikipedia.

Image Formats - Wikipedia.
Image Editing - Wikipedia.
What is DNG - Adobe