Ashland Daily Photo
Ashland Daily Photo - A picture a day from beautiful Ashland, Southern Oregon USA in the Rogue Valley
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RAW vs. JPEG

from RAW file with minor post processing in Photoshop - skin color is more natural and background contains less noise, also more details in face and hair

I have had cameras that have the capability to shoot in RAW for over four years now. However, every time I have taken RAW photos I have done nothing with them. I have tried to convert them to .jpg format without much success. Usually my out-of-camera .jpg looked better than my converted RAW image that I worked on for 5-10 minutes.

Today, however, I believe I have made a breakthrough. These .jpgs didn’t look very good no matter what I did in Photoshop to them so I struggled with the RAW images and finally came up with something better than the original. What do you think?

from jpg (with minor post processing in Photoshop)

from jpeg with minor Photoshop processing


john javna

from RAW file with minor Photoshop processing - you can see John's face again and less noise

This second photo is of John Javna. He spoke at the Ashland Martin Luther King Jr Holiday Celebration. He is a major reason why we have ScienceWorks in Ashland. My son loves his Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers. On this occasion he delivered a message about the Ashland Food Project.

4 Responses to “RAW vs. JPEG”

  1. 1
    David Pasillas:

    Theres a bit of a learning curve with processing your RAW images, but once you get the hang of it you’ll see an improvement in the quality of your images. The D7000 has an awesome dynamic range that your RAW files will allow you to make the most of. Personally, I’d rather do the processing myself using my mac and photoshop instead of letting my camera’s processor make the decisions. And with a RAW you always have a digital negative.

  2. 2
    admin:

    The above two examples aren’t very good actually. I have since been able to turn some totally unusable images into decent ones thanks to RAW. There seems to be more bang (difference between RAW processed and jpeg out of the camera) with photos of people in weird lighting than with landscapes.

    I find I process RAW better in Photoshop than in ViewNX 2. However, I like how in ViewNX 2 you can change something shot in, say, Standard to Vivid or Neutral, etc. I would think that there would be something similar in Photoshop, but I can’t find it. Do you know how to change what ViewNX 2 calls “Picture Control” while processing an NEF file in Photoshop?

  3. 3
    David Pasillas:

    Adobe Camera RAW (version 6.3) is what I use for my Raw conversion. On the right side of the layout, there are a number of tabs you can click on, including Camera Calibration (its the camera icon.) From here, you can choose different camera profiles like you would in the camera.

    I think its about time for me write a short blog with some before and after comparisons to show what can be done with a single RAW.

  4. 4
    admin:

    Thanks, David. I found it.

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