Well I almost took the night off already. But I am developing this feeling of obligation to post each day no matter what, even though my eyes are thoroughly burnt out from staring at this screen all day(sob,sob…)
I was thinking of a topic this morning that would be helpful to those really trying to nail down a fluent way to work and also for those to fine tune the way they are doing things. So I thought we could discuss Digital Work-flow.
I think we will do this in a two part series since my eyeballs are about done for today.
The first part we must start with is the image capture and its different settings. I shoot Canon, but Nikon’s setting are probably going to be quite similar and most cameras are designed with similar characteristics when it comes to settings.
I capture everything I shoot in RAW. I have my camera set to a standard color mode and record in Adobe1998. One thing to realize is that your camera color settings(sharpness,contrast,etc) are only applied to JPEGS. So this really doesn’t matter a whole lot when shooting RAW. However your color space does and Adobe 1998 has a much wider color gamut than SRGB. If you are new to color management and some of this doesn’t make sense, I would suggest picking up Real World Photoshop series books by the late Bruce Frasier. His books have been a great help in understanding color management and how it applies to digital capture.
So the main thing to realize is it’s a big no-no to use that LCD screen to evaluate your color and exposure. It is a rough guide, but never to be used as an accurate one.
The habit you have to get into is utilizing your histogram. It represents all of your luminance values from 0(black) to 255(white). Again I would encourage reading up on this stuff if you are new to digital.
Anyway, when we used to shoot film we always leaned toward underexposure in photos to preserve highlight detail if needed. When I first started shooting digital I continued this practice and after a while realized the errors of my ways.
One of the reasons for this is that digital really has a problem recording detail in the shadows and sometimes has noise issues. It’s much easier to edit an overexposed image and preserve some of your shadows with minimal noise compared trying to salvage an underexposed one. Also once your highlights are blown, there’s no bringing em’ back.
So after getting over my bad habit in the beginning of underexposing my images and using my LCD to judge whether I had properly exposed them, I now utilize my histogram immediately and make sure that I am properly exposed. I still use my LCD, but just for composition and rough guidelines to how the photo might look.
So after I’ve got my images captured it’s now time to bring them to the computer into a RAW Converter Program. I use Adobe Camera Raw which is included in Photoshop. There are many others out there, but this one works great and has some very powerful tools within it.
We will get into that tomorrow since our RAW converters have many different tools to discuss and plus it means and I can go bed now. Sweet.