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RAW v. JPEG and White Balance

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  • RAW v. JPEG and White Balance

    One advantage of RAW is that fine adjustments can be done after the fact with the White Balance, often giving a more sunny (or other) image. Are there techniques in Photoshop whereby I can accomplish the same thing as I could with RAW images (I prefer to work with digicam JPEG, as they're 1/2 as large, and I can review what I've got with Win XP quite easily by just opening the folder).

  • #2
    kcohn, Welcome to RetouchPro,

    Yes and No, when the file is saved in jpeg, some information is dicarded by the camera - information in the highlights and shadows and color information - it is everything that the sensor sees to my understanding before saving it as a photograph. Instead of the camera interpreting this information and converting it to a photograph of normal tonal and color information the raw conversion software does that for you. On top of that the compression used with jpeg loses some color information (shows up as color blockiness).

    Having said that mouthfull you can do a lot in 'lightening/darkening and adjusting color/saturation/contrast' in Photoshop. Search on any of these words in this site and you will find tons of info. You will need to run tests with your particular camera and learn the Photoshop techniques to answer the question. Cameras vary in:

    -how much they compress in jpeg
    -how much noise there is in the shadows compared to raw
    -if there is a difference in sharpness after sharpening the raw and the jpeg in photoshop
    -other stuff I will think of after hitting 'submit'
    And whether the quality difference in raw is worth the time.

    Hope this helps, Roger


    • #3
      Hi Roger: Thanks for continuing this thread. Let me say that I'm a fairly experienced Photoshop user, albeit not an expert. What I'm asking is, how would one(with Photoshop) make a bright out of a dull day--as you can do with a RAW image. How would you get an early morning light to begin showing through, when it's not really the early morning. And the same with the beautiful feel of dust?



      • #4
        Maybe post examples, then we can work out the photoshop equivalent ...

        for example, I think of a sunny day as a directional light source with saturated color, specular reflections and deep shadows with hard defined edges ... but I don't know which of these charachteristics you are focusung on ...


        • #5
          Thanks to both of you. I'm getting the sense I'm going to LOVE this forum. I'll check out that NIK and when I get settled, post a photo which we can try. Just back from vacation/photo shoot, so got to catch up first and see what I've got image-wise. Would love to see how the directional lighting works, so that it looks like a real sunset--my use in PS of the lighting filter tends to look artificial too often, as the periphery of the spotlighted area tends to darken.

          And yes, RAW images certainly have other attributes, including the ability to edit in 16 bit mode, thereby giving a bit more dynamic range and a smoother histogram (and then I further edit in PS in 8 bits). I was simply focusing on one of the aspects.



          • #6
            Keith, if you are PC based - then perhaps give this a look, the idea is similar to camera RAW file editors/converters - but for a processed camera JPEG/TIFF file and thus it is nothing like camera RAW. It is not a replacement for Photoshop, but for some users/situations it is a good start point or an end in itself.

            Hope this helps,

            Stephen Marsh.


            • #7
              Sunny Days

              Thanks for that suggestion.

              I had a few minutes to loosely play with Photoshop on one of my images which was taken during a dreary day. some of the suggestions above were followed: simply changing the yellowishness in levels gamma slider, and in HS, using a colored directional light, boosting sat, and adding long drop shadows. (Or adding an orange overlay in the color mode).Quite simple and quite effective!!


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