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drdactyl


Apr 12, 2008, 8:37 PM
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Photo(graphy/shop) question
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I have been taking photos on an old Minolta and would say I am fairly competent using my camera. I recently got a digital slr as a gift and am not as knowledgeable about its features.

I was doing some reading and most people suggest to shoot in RAW which is a higher quality and leaves more room for postprocessing through some software? So far I have only been using my camera on the default settings which is making jpegs - which turn out fine and I am happy with the output.

I did a quick forum search and found more questions on photoshop ethics than where a total digital/photoshop/capture NX newb should start. I saw some threads on versions of photoshop but wouldnt know which to choose? There were threads on upgrading from one version to another but for a first timer?

Advice is appreciated and I apologize in advance for any board redundancy. Thanks.


wes_allen


Apr 12, 2008, 9:01 PM
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Re: [drdactyl] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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Check out photoshop elements as a good place to start. About $80.00 or so. There are also some free programs out there that do a pretty good job as well, picasa and the online photoshop.

RAW v. jpg always draws strong opinions. For me, I use RAW, since cost is pretty small (just more / bigger cards and HDD) v. benefit (more flexibility and some extra IQ in post work.) I do shoot jpg sometimes, though not very often, and only when I really need the card space or the higher buffer capacity, or I am shooting for a client that wants the jpg's right from the camera after the shoot.


maldaly


Apr 12, 2008, 9:13 PM
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Re: [drdactyl] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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Don't worry about ethics. You're not a news or documentary photographer so what you are creating with a photograph is art and it only needs to satisfy your creative thirst.

Buy DXO Optics Pro for lens, contrast and color correction and get Photoshop Elements for masking/clipping issues.

If you're shooting for pro/magazine use, RAW might be needed, otherwise read this:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/raw.htm

Within the next 3 posts someone will come on a tell you that Ken Rockwell is an idiot and that everyone should shoot RAW and that if you shoot JPEG that defines you as an amature. Make up your own mind. I don't have the time or the processing power to dink with RAW conversions. Figure out how to use your camera to make the best possible images, review them right after you shoot them (That's what the little LCD screen is for.) make adjustments if you need and re-shoot 'til you get it right. Much more fun, eh?

Flame me if you will...

Mal


kriso9tails


Apr 12, 2008, 9:24 PM
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Re: [wes_allen] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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I've never used elements before, but I do agree that it's probably a better starting point than a full version of Photoshop. If you go to Adobe's site you can download Photoshop Elements 6 and Photoshop CS3 Extended for trial (30 day trial?).

If you generally don't like to post-process much and would rather just take images 'as shot' with minor corrections and touch ups, Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture are worth a look. Right now Lightroom 2 is in beta testing, so you could probably try it out for some time, but if you like there's also the standard trial for Lightroom 1 still available.

edit: as mentioned above, this is is Photoshop Express, Adobe's free online, uh... whatever it is.


(This post was edited by kriso9tails on Apr 12, 2008, 9:40 PM)


clausti


Apr 12, 2008, 9:38 PM
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Re: [maldaly] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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maldaly wrote:

Flame me if you will...

Mal

actually, i'll just bbq ya.


...actually, i'd rather just have normal bbq.


... ... you wanna have a bbq?



... ... ... you gonna be at the rendezvous?



(i shoot jpgs, for a totally irrelevant opinion from a point and shooter.)


pico23


Apr 12, 2008, 10:06 PM
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Re: [drdactyl] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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drdactyl wrote:
I have been taking photos on an old Minolta and would say I am fairly competent using my camera. I recently got a digital slr as a gift and am not as knowledgeable about its features.

I was doing some reading and most people suggest to shoot in RAW which is a higher quality and leaves more room for postprocessing through some software? So far I have only been using my camera on the default settings which is making jpegs - which turn out fine and I am happy with the output.

I did a quick forum search and found more questions on photoshop ethics than where a total digital/photoshop/capture NX newb should start. I saw some threads on versions of photoshop but wouldnt know which to choose? There were threads on upgrading from one version to another but for a first timer?

Advice is appreciated and I apologize in advance for any board redundancy. Thanks.

I'd recommend either Lightroom, Elements, or The Gimp. Usually any camera that shoots RAW files comes with at least a basic RAW to Tiff converter. Lightroom while not truly an editor actually can do most things most people need. If you need layers and stuff, you will need Elements, Gimp or full photoshop (or Paintshop Pro).

Once in TIFF you can do final edits with Elements or The Gimp (Free).

I guess I don't understand why anyone would shoot in JPEG (no malcom, this isn't specifically at you lots of people "prefer" jpeg).

Actually, let me rephrase that. I don't understand why any photographer would shoot jpeg.

RAW makes the most of that sensor that you painfully scrutinized over the other brands, the lower models and even over your older camera that you upgraded from.

When you shoot JPEG your output is over processed 8 bit jpegs. When you shoot RAW you output, 12, 14, 16 bit TIFFs.

JPEGS have low Dynamic Range and WB corrections are a nightmare and are done in a destructive manor.

In RAW you do white balance corrections entirely non destructively, and exposure corrects at low ISO usually are possible to about 1 stop. At higher ISO exposure latitude schrinks on all cameras, but some are worse. For instance the high ISO of my k10D is very good IF I nail the exposure to within 1/3 stop under. If it's 1/2 stop under I get very noisy images. The Nikon D1H on the other hand seems to have 1/2 stop at 1600.

The point is, if I've lost you, is that RAW isn't magic. You can't fix everything losslessly but WB corrections are lossless, as a matter of fact I never even set my WB in in the field. I do it via batch in conversion. Exposure corrections aren't infinitely lossless, but at ISO 100 most cameras give you at least 1 stop of latitude, and even the worst give 1/3 stop at high ISO.

As far as dynamic range, there is no comparison. 16 bit RAW files just have more range.

Finally, JPEGS are typically oversharpened. So much so that when they aren't oversharpened they look soft compared to other JPEGs. And even if you turn the sharpening way down, they still don't have enough information to handle very much post processing.

Finally, RAW files are not compressed (or losslessly compressed nowadays) and thus are essentially an archival digital negative. I equate starting from a JPEG when editing to starting from a scanned photograph.

One more thing to consider. Digital isn't film, even in the best case most images require basic tweaks (levels, saturation ie. selecting the film palette you prefer, and sharpening) before going to print. The upside is you control the whole process, the downside is more work for the photographer.


pico23


Apr 12, 2008, 10:15 PM
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Re: [maldaly] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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BTW, JPEG was never intended as a primary image source.

It's primary design was for web graphics. I'm guessing with the cost of memory in the early days of digital photography it was the choice of consumer camera makers.

Basically, the reason JPEG exist is portability, and not image quality.

In digital, it's not just about pixels but the size and quality of the original file.


drdactyl


Apr 14, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Re: [drdactyl] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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Thanks for all the replies. I actually got an email this morning from someone who said that an adobe tool was available to us so I replied asking about photoshop and it looks like I also have free access to CS3. One of the perks of working at a university, I guess.

Currently installing it now - but is there anything else that I should need besides this to get started? This is gonna hurt, isnt it?


macblaze


Apr 14, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Re: [kriso9tails] Photo(graphy/shop) question [In reply to]
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kriso9tails wrote:
I
edit: as mentioned above, this is is Photoshop Express, Adobe's free online, uh... whatever it is.

Be very very careful about this online tool. The photography community has been pretty up in arms about Adobe's license, which apparently (before they modified it) gave Adobe unlimited rights to any image uploaded...

I'm not sure where they are in the current ongoing arguing...


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