Over the past couple months I have been getting into the world of fashion photography. It has been quite fun and a great learning experience working with other photographer, professional models, makeup artists and more. Through the help of meetup.com i have gone to many group shoots and I am really enjoying this aspect of photography. It is just fun.
So, what am I here to talk about today? The power of post production when you shoot in RAW. I shoot RAW all the time, even on my little Canon S100 P&S camera. Actually, every image you take with a digital camera is taken in RAW, but if you select a format other than RAW (JPEG, TIFF, etc), the camera uses it’s little processor and built in presets to generate a processed image. All a RAW file contains is all the data the imaging sensor collects when it is exposed. It is a lot of information, but if you are going to do any editing of your photos, you want to start with as much information as you possibly can. Technically, a RAW file isn’t even an image, it just contains a small JPEG reference image for display on your camera’s LCD screen. All RAW images need to be processed in a computer, using software designed specifically for that. The software for processing RAW images on your computer is far more sophisticated than the processing your camera can apply, so if you are willing to do the work, you can get much better results.
Check out this example below:
The image on the left is what comes right out of the camera. You can see that it is very flat, kinda dark, and many people would throw it away as an unusable image. However, when you work with RAR images you have a lot of latitude to fix issues. I first tweaked the RAW Fine Tuning in Aperture which yields a passable image. From there I moved on to some of my other editing plugins. One of my favorite pieces of editing software right now is the Nik Software suite. Now owned by Google, they have some really great plugins that are very easy to use.
So, before you start tossing out images, think about what you really can do with them. I have a handful of images I shot with Kasandra which tend to look a little flat and underexposed. I should be able to work with a bunch of them to make some beautiful shots.