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Author Topic: Dull RAW images  (Read 7350 times)
RMichael
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« on: May 12, 2007, 02:01:34 AM »
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Hi

I have had my dslr about a month now and since hadn't picked up a camera ever before,I was shooting JPEG. The colors were nice and alive and needed little post processing. I started experimenting with Raw and my experience has been that they come up pretty dull and tweaking doesn't help. I am not too familiar with photoshop so I have no idea how I could get the spunk in my Raw photos. Funny part is my camera,as per the reviews,is supposed to have dull JPEG results and far better raw results. Could someone help please?







Thanks
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David Anderson
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2007, 02:13:06 AM »
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What camera ?

My raws (1DSII) always need a bit of contrast and saturation in processing.

I normally add it to all before editing in differing amounts depending on the shoot.

10 % contrast and 5 % saturation would be an average for people stuff.
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b2martin
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2007, 08:59:14 AM »
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What color space are you using in the RAW converter?  If you are viewing them with a non color managed viewer, they need to be in sRGB color space.  

Adobe RAW converter does not use any of the in camera settings that the camera uses to process and output JPG's.  White balance is the only parameter it uses, all others are set as a default in the RAW converter - you can change these to anything you want and save a new set of defaults for your camera.  You have to select the color space in the RAW converter - I suspect you have something other than sRGB selected.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2007, 09:58:21 AM »
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Ditto the advice above to increase the contrast and saturation (if you haven't tried it already).  Also find the article on "Local Contrast Enhancement" on this site - works wonders!

Another issue is that colors coming out of many cameras can look muddy if they aren't reproducing real-world colors quite accurately.  It can help a great deal to tweak the "Calibration" tab if you're using ACR as your raw converter (I don't know if other converters have something similar).  A couple of years ago, Jonathan Weinke here in the forum posted a link to a little program that would start with a photo of a Gretag-Macbeth color chart taken with your particular camera and would automatically generate the numbers to go in the Calibration tab.  I wonder whether that's still available?  (Worth a search, if you use ACR.)  I used to get muddy-looking colors from my D70 and originally couldn't figure out what tweaks to use to improve them, and the calibration resulted in a major improvement.

Lisa
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KeithR
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2007, 10:27:36 AM »
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I think you are refering to the Tom Fors script, which can be found at www.chromoholics.com
The script is free and works very well. The process is an automation of a procedure that Bruce Fraiser wrote about.


Quote
Ditto the advice above to increase the contrast and saturation (if you haven't tried it already).  Also find the article on "Local Contrast Enhancement" on this site - works wonders!

Another issue is that colors coming out of many cameras can look muddy if they aren't reproducing real-world colors quite accurately.  It can help a great deal to tweak the "Calibration" tab if you're using ACR as your raw converter (I don't know if other converters have something similar).  A couple of years ago, Jonathan Weinke here in the forum posted a link to a little program that would start with a photo of a Gretag-Macbeth color chart taken with your particular camera and would automatically generate the numbers to go in the Calibration tab.  I wonder whether that's still available?  (Worth a search, if you use ACR.)  I used to get muddy-looking colors from my D70 and originally couldn't figure out what tweaks to use to improve them, and the calibration resulted in a major improvement.

Lisa
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117114\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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RMichael
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2007, 03:15:00 PM »
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Hi and thank you all so much for your replies. I am very lost with both the camera, PENTAX K10d and Photoshop.  . So I'll need your guidance as to what to tweak and where to find tweak buttons  

I don't know how to post a screen shot. But the color info says,

1. Settings : custom

WORKING SPACES

2 RGB : .sRGB IEC61966-2.1

3. CMYK : SWOP (coated),20%,GCR .Medium

4. Gray : Gray Gamma 2.2

5. Spot : Dot Grain 20%


COLOR MANAGEMENT POLICIES


6. RGB : OFF

7. CMYK : OFF

8. GRAY : OFF


I also got the AcrCaliberator. Now what do I do with it?. I'll need a lead-by-hand. I'm even more lost around computers.



Many thanks for taking the time.
Regards
« Last Edit: May 12, 2007, 03:24:06 PM by RMichael » Logged
Peleg
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2007, 07:43:50 PM »
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Hi

I have had my dslr about a month now and since hadn't picked up a camera ever before,I was shooting JPEG. The colors were nice and alive and needed little post processing. I started experimenting with Raw and my experience has been that they come up pretty dull and tweaking doesn't help. I am not too familiar with photoshop so I have no idea how I could get the spunk in my Raw photos. Funny part is my camera,as per the reviews,is supposed to have dull JPEG results and far better raw results. Could someone help please?
Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117072\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I too have the K10D and the default JPGs are dull.  Switch to Bright mode and they get a lot  better.  As far as RAW goes it all depends how well you edit them.  I use Bibble Pro.  Not familier w/ Photoshop.  But look for Contrast, Vibrance or Saturation, Shadow controls etc. and just tweak them till you get what you want.  There's really no shortcut.  You just gotta keep at it and printing a picture is the only way to really know what you're getting.  There is no real right or wrong but go easy on Saturation and Sharpening controls.  Too much can initially look good to newbys but it can give the picture a real unreal look.  Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Schewe
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2007, 12:26:52 AM »
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COLOR MANAGEMENT POLICIES
6. RGB : OFF

7. CMYK : OFF

8. GRAY : OFF

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117168\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Why do you have your Color Manamgnet OFF? That is the single most stupid thing to do...seriously. Desides the fact that you can't really turn it off (off ain't off, it's just hidden from you and gives you no control), what you are doing with management off is screwing up with your color.

Until you KNOW what you are doing, do youselft the favor of at least using Photoshop's default, North American General Purpose 2. Although I would actually suggest using North American Prepress 2.

And then ya gotta start some pretty serious learning to do bud...far, far more that what you can learn on a forum. Get some good books and stick your nose in them...Photoshop For Photographers by Martin Evening, Real World Photoshop by Bruce Fraser, Real World Camera Raw by Bruce Fraser...

Read those and then come back-do your homework. You got all the tools...now give yourself the education to use them. Seriously, you are so far from knowing what you are doing that trying to post info for you would really be hard since you need so much info...
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DavidJ
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2007, 02:47:09 AM »
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I agree with Schewe. It is impossible to give you the amount of advice in a forum such as this. I have learnt a lot by just watching and reading posts. However when it came to learning Photoshop there was no alternative than to prop up Martin Evening's book alongside the computer and work through it for half an hour a day for several weeks. I would suggest at the moment not to get too engrossed in the complexities of colour management until you have some of the Photoshop basics, there is enough on colour in Martin Evenings book for a beginning.  When Light Room 1 came out I watched the tutorials that Michael and Schewe posted here and printed the manual so it is there for reference.  So the message is lots of private study

Have you thought of finding a college course on digital potography, it is for many a sociable way of learning the skills, alternatively is there a local photography club that you could join where more experienced members are happy to teach? Another route you could look at is to find some of the web based courses on photoshop, there are quite a few out there easily found with Google. Also here in the UK the Open University has a course on Digital Photogrpahy (using Elements 4)which is managed purely online there may well be similar things in other parts of the world.

Happy learning

David
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David Allen
RMichael
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 04:55:05 AM »
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Ok schewe, before you jump to conclusions about what I've done with my settings, let me clarify I haven't touched these settings. Unless I've messed up somewhere to put it off.    .....I am aware that this is huge topic and I will need books and tutorials,nevertheless,I have been editing my jpeg photos without much trouble and have encountered some issues in Raw that I thought if raised specifically,might be resolved. I wasn't asking for a training in  photoshop here. I think David Anderson already  answered my query about dull raw.

I shared the information about the color settings in the hope that someone might spot something I've got wrong there. Which I obviously I have though I haven't touched color management.

How can I turn color management on? Does anybody have any idea how I might have turned it off?

Believe me, no topic is too big. You handle one specific question and help out and it goes a long way. I have seen a whole tutorial on selective color in photoshop in 3 posts  .

You've all been very helpful. Thank you very much. I'll get my hands on those books and tutorials.

DavidJ, I hadn't thought of photography clubs. Sounds like a really good idea. I don't get out of the house much. So forums.  


Regards


Regards
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 04:56:11 AM by RMichael » Logged
jani
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2007, 05:17:12 AM »
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How can I turn color management on? Does anybody have any idea how I might have turned it off?
You may have accidentally changed the colour settings. Follow Schewe's sound advice about using the North American Prepress 2 preset, that will enable sensible defaults for colour management. See also the following screenshot:

[attachment=2490:attachment]

Later, when you feel comfortable enough with Photoshop and raw conversion, try changing your working space to Prophoto RGB and 16 bits per channel, then downconvert to sRGB and then 8 bits per channel before publishing to the web. If that gives bad results, switch back to the preset.
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Jan
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2007, 11:58:31 AM »
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Ok schewe, before you jump to conclusions about what I've done with my settings, let me clarify I haven't touched these settings. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117244\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, you, or somebody who also has access to your computer HAS changed them...that's what I'm telling you. The DEFAULT should be North American General Purpose 2 (unless you ain't in North America I suppose-never launched a non-English version).

There is no way your color management settings could have changed by themselves...somebody, at some point did change them and if not you, you better find out who and tell them to stop mucking with your machine.
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Box Brownie
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2007, 12:19:33 PM »
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Sorry in advance if this hijacks the thread slightly.

I have my settings at the default and have never had an issue that I am aware of for printing on my inkjet or in a commercial lab using the likes a Fuji Frontier.

However, I am looking into getting some cards made by a commercial printer who needs files in CMYK JPGs, now doing the gamut check using CTRL+Y I do see some out of gamut areas showing but not on all images, obviously(?) a subject of personal choice as to whether they are (once I see a proof) acceptable losses or changes in colour.

My question is (for the Colour Management settings) what is best to use as I am in the UK and so far I have a little guidance from one printer but another said no need to make changes ~ so workflow wise I still need to be able to print off my inkjet or photo lab Frontier but also have the CMYK outputs right for the commercial card printer.  

Feedback very welcome please
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2007, 01:41:42 PM »
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I would propose a beginners section in the forum so these questions are answered  with kindness. From a beginners point of view if you donít know the answer you donít  where to go. A quick reply from an expert can help immensely, at least get you pointed in the right direction. A few of the regulars have a vast depth of knowledge but are a bit curt in their answers.  I feel uncomfortable when beginners get jumped on in this forum.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2007, 02:18:55 PM »
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Sorry in advance if this hijacks the thread slightly.

My question is (for the Colour Management settings) what is best to use as I am in the UK and so far I have a little guidance from one printer but another said no need to make changes ~ so workflow wise I still need to be able to print off my inkjet or photo lab Frontier but also have the CMYK outputs right for the commercial card printer. 

Feedback very welcome please
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117310\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Start a new thread...
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Schewe
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2007, 02:27:09 PM »
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I would propose a beginners section in the forum so these questions are answered  with kindness.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, there are plenty of places for "beginners"...the Adobe sponsored [a href=\"http://www.adobeforums.com/]User to User forums[/url] can be a help although at the moment they are very slow-and some of the same regulars will be there as well.

And there are plenty of books...

But, a "Forum" really isn't a good place to try to learn the "basics". The range of subjects that a beginner needs to learn is simply too vast and on-line written communication falls pretty short. I don't mind answering a few basic questions from time to time, but to go from zero-60 requires a lot more education than a few written answers on a forum can provide.

Michael can add a "Beginners" forum if he wants...but I don't see it working really well in this environment.
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RMichael
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2007, 04:24:33 PM »
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Well marcmccalmont, I'm glad someone understands the dilemma ......I have been thinking the same. I consider a forum a place to talk and share and learn. Most answers are really just about how much you want to make an effort to answer something. And the easiest answer is .."read a book!" I just learn better when someone "tells" me. I can't go out and get classes or join a club for personal reasons so why should a forum not be for learning? Everyone is learning on this forum. Unless the moderator explicitly states that it is for pros alone, I think any question is valid to be asked and be answered. I do get the feeling of being jumped on. But I guess knowledge has a lot of by-products. I've seen it all too often recently. And it saddens.

If I know something, I'll share. And I'll try to make it easy.  

A kind worded answer to something which you may consider basic but for  someone else  may be humongous really really helps. Even in critiques, you can be honest all you want, but with kindness. This is what makes the forum a community.


Schewe......like I said, No topic is too big for a few pointers and  a little lead by hand.
It's all really about the willingness to share knowledge with an empathy for the enquirer.


I did not change the settings. No one else touches my computer. But something did happen somewhere. I have changed my color settings.





Regards
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2007, 05:24:16 PM »
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But, a "Forum" really isn't a good place to try to learn the "basics". The range of subjects that a beginner needs to learn is simply too vast and on-line written communication falls pretty short.

I respectfully disagree.  I went from clueless amateur to being halfway competent just by spending the last several years frequently reading the LL web site and this forum.  It may have indeed taken longer than if I had set aside a large chunk of time to devote to a book or class, but it was more pleasant this way, and things have stuck with me better learning them bit by bit than if I had tried to pick it all up in a short period of time.  It really is possible; you just have to be patient and not mind learning a little at a time.

It seems to me, though, that the technical level of the topics discussed here has increased over time, presumably as the group as a whole has become more experienced.  Thus, it may indeed be time for a beginner's forum.

Lisa
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Johnny V
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2007, 05:59:02 PM »
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RMichael,

Go to Ian Lyons' site and read/study all the Feature Articles and Essays...take some aspirins after too:

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/home.htm

The above will give you a good foundation to understanding Color Management, Camera Raw and Printing via Photoshop.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2007, 07:34:36 PM »
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I have had my dslr about a month now and since hadn't picked up a camera ever before,I was shooting JPEG. The colors were nice and alive and needed little post processing. I started experimenting with Raw and my experience has been that they come up pretty dull and tweaking doesn't help. I am not too familiar with photoshop so I have no idea how I could get the spunk in my Raw photos. Funny part is my camera,as per the reviews,is supposed to have dull JPEG results and far better raw results. Could someone help please?
Thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117072\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

To get an idea of how nice the RAW results of your cameras can be, my personnal advice would be to start by using the RAW converter provided by your camera manufacturer (whether it is free or not).

Both Nikon Capture and the Canon equivalent are known to deliver the best possible image quality and colors for the respective cameras.

Once you see how nice it can be, you can then decide if the possible drawbacks of these softewares in terms of speed/workflow are a problem for you or not.

Regards,
Bernard
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