In a previous post I outlined the benefits of editing your images so I thought it would be a good idea to outline the thought process behind my choice and some of the trade offs that need to be made. Admittedly it is nowhere near as important a decision as buying a camera but it is still a significant purchase than needs time and thought.
Free bundled software
I started of using the software that came with my camera, Olympus Master. However I quickly became frustrated by certain elements of the program and how it worked. Here are the main things that bugged me about it:
- It’s slow as hell. Doing any adjustments took time and converting a RAW to JPEG took over 60s and killed the rest of the computer while doing it.
- Lack of features, particularly for RAW development
- Ropey looking results (although this is probably user error!)
- Destructive work flow. Any edits made to pics are permanent so seeing the effect of what you have done is difficult.
So I decided to upgrade. I chose Photoshop Elements but why?
Continue reading ‘Progressing to the Next Level – Photoshop’
In my post about whether to buy a DSLR or not I noted that one of the plus points was that it could shoot RAW. But what is it? What difference does it make to my photos? Should I use it? There is a lot of opinion out there on this issue so I went back to the facts to make my own mind up.
What is RAW?
RAW is a file format that your camera can use to save your photos, you have probably hear of JPEG which is probably the other format your camera can use. JPEG files have the extension .jpg but, confusingly, RAW files have different extensions set by your camera’s manufacturer. My Olympus creates .orf, Nikons .NEF and Canons .cr2. So how is a RAW file different from a JPEG? The RAW file is just that, raw data straight from the camera’s sensor where as a JPEG file has had all of the camera’s settings applied to it to process the image into a use-able format. The JPEG image has also been compressed to a smaller size by discarding some of the RAW data it no longer needs now the settings have been applied. The flow chart below is probably the easiest way to describe it.
Continue reading ‘Should You Shoot RAW?’