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Image Processing and Workflow RAW, DNG , TIFF and JPG. From Capture to Ready for Publish/Display. All software and techniques used within an image workflow, (except extensive retouching and repair or DAM).

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  #1  
Old January 7th, 2007, 08:00 AM
jacob smith jacob smith is offline
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Default Need some help with workflow and other post stuff

Okay, since I'm just getting back into photography - let alone all the digital post stuff - , I need some things explained.

I recently got CS2 and I have Nikon Capture 4.4.

Then in reading some of the threads on here, there's Adobe Camera Raw as well.
Then there's also a plug-in for CS2 RAW (NEF) files?
Yikes...

What's more advisable to do or use?
I know it's all personal and relative, but I'd like to keep things relatively simple.

My current so called workflow is this...

Open a RAW image in Nikon Capture, adjust EV, contract, curves, color/colour (for us Canadians ;), image size and whatever else needs tweaking.

I will then save it as a jpeg (and a new RAW file renamed).

I'll then go to CS2 and do final touch ups there if needed.

Can I just use CS2 by itself, or Adobe Camera Raw (which I still don't understand, is it just a plug-in or an entirely different program on its own)?

I ask because I wonder if using CS2 alone would be better and/or better than using capture?


Thanks, sorry if it's long and/or repetitive, tried my best to search for something like this.
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  #2  
Old January 7th, 2007, 03:15 PM
Sean DeMerchant Sean DeMerchant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob smith
Can I just use CS2 by itself, or Adobe Camera Raw (which I still don't understand, is it just a plug-in or an entirely different program on its own)?

Yes you can just use CS 2 if you so desire noting that ACR is simply a plug in for opening RAW file formats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacob smith
I ask because I wonder if using CS2 alone would be better and/or better than using capture?
I depends upon the image. Most RAW converters have their strong suits and weak suits. ACR works well when the exposure is right one. I have not been happy with ACR with strong lighting due to color noise in shadows and extreme highlihgts. Canon's software (I shoot Canon rather than Nikon) gets nice color when it gets it right, but it is not perfect and I find the tool to have an poorly designed workflow.

The biggest thing here though is your vision and what image you want to craft.

enjoy,

Sean
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  #3  
Old January 7th, 2007, 04:41 PM
Tim Smith Tim Smith is offline
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I sometimes use Nikon Capture NX (similar to Capture 4.4) instead of ACR. It really depends on the image. There are certain cases where the Nikon software seems to have an edge over ACR, but most of the time I simply open the RAW file from within photoshop, which uses the ACR plugin to convert the file before it opens in PS. It is, to some extent, trial and error as to which will work best to my eye. Everyone seems to find their own favorite workflow sequence. Start with the best of what you read in forums and other resources, and then refine it to make it work for you.

By all means make sure you are using the latest versions of ACR, or if you decide to add yet another variable, the Adobe DNG converter.

Also, it's worth your time to download the free Beta of PS3. For a Beta, it's very solid and offers some nice new features. Since it's going to be your Photoshop at some point or another, it's worth getting used to now. There is (or was) a few hiccups with obtaining a correct serial number to activate the Beta, but if you hunt around on the Adobe site, I'm sure you'll find the information you need.

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old January 7th, 2007, 05:26 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Jacob,


Quote:
I will then save it as a jpeg (and a new RAW file renamed).

I'll then go to CS2 and do final touch ups there if needed.

Can I just use CS2 by itself, or Adobe Camera Raw (which I still don't understand, is it just a plug-in or an entirely different program on its own)?
It reads as if you are using cs2 to edit the jpeg. If you don't want to input raw to cs2, then save from nikon capture as a tiff, and edit that. It depends where the final destination is, as to how many jpeg compressions your image can stand.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #5  
Old January 7th, 2007, 06:49 PM
jacob smith jacob smith is offline
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Sean, you're right (in your last line), about what I want to create, just thought I'd ask to get a general idea as to the workflow process and what some of you guys do/use.
To help me essentially get some footing or start.

Tim, I got a trial version of the new Nikon program, I just found it a bit more complex than 4.4.
Does it essentially do the same thing and/or more?


Ray, that's essentially what I do.
But help me in understanding what you said.
For every layer, or for everytime I edit something on the final jpg in CS2, does it degrade the image that much more?
Am I better off saving from Nikon's program into a tiff format, then editing from there and saving the final product in jpeg format?

Thanks for the replies guys.
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  #6  
Old January 8th, 2007, 02:15 AM
StuartRae StuartRae is offline
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Quote:
Then there's also a plug-in for CS2 RAW (NEF) files?
Jacob,

I remember reading somewhere that you need to remove the Nikon plugin before you're able to open a NEF with ACR.

You may find the following links useful:

http://www.digisniper.com/2006/11/15...and-nef-files/

http://www.earthboundlight.com/photo...-problems.html

Regards,

Stuart
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  #7  
Old January 8th, 2007, 05:13 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Jacob,

The jpeg format uses a lossy compression algorithm when you save the file. If the final destination is the best quality high definition print you can achieve, then you would not want to keep saving and reloading jpegs as part of your workflow. It is like photocopying photocopies a number of iterations, the image will degrade. However, You can go back to your original raw file, if required. If the final destination is for the web, or small prints, you may not notice the difference.

Raw, and Tiff files are also compressed, but are 'lossless'. You will find that all raw processors will give different results straight out of the box if you stick with their default values, but I would expect any of them to be able to produce identical results if you can adjust the various settings.

If you want to keep it simple, then save the original camera raw file, and work on it in cs2, saving the results in whatever format you wish. Do not delete the original raw file, since you may want to go back to it again. Many folk, instead of saving the camera raw, will convert it to Tiff, and save the Tiff file only, believing Tiff will be supported longer than camera raw. They may be right. Tiff is also better for interchanging files, since the raw convertor should not be required. AFAIK Adobe own the Tiff copyright, but are now promoting something else.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #8  
Old January 8th, 2007, 07:20 PM
jacob smith jacob smith is offline
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Hi Ray, I understand that if say one day, I work on one of my RAW files then save it to jpeg, that if I want to work on the same image again, I shouldn't use the jpeg to edit.
Rather I should use the original RAW file.

However, my question (or lack of) is this, if say for one session of CS2, I'm editing a picture.
Will it degrade with more layers and editing in that one session?

Or will it degrade if I re-open that jpeg the next day, and the day after, and the day after, etc, etc...
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  #9  
Old January 9th, 2007, 03:30 AM
Ray West Ray West is offline
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Hi Jacob,

If you save an image as a jpeg as 'A1.jpg', then A1 is compressed in a lossy fashion.
If you open A1.jpg, adit it and save as 'A2.jpg' then more compression takes place.
If you open A2.jpg, and edit/save as 'A3.jpg' then more compression etc.
If you open A1.jpg, and carry out the same editing as for the A1 to A2 session and the A2 to A3 session combined, and save it as 'A4.jpg', then the overall jpeg losses in A4.jpg will be the same as in A2.jpg. It is the act of saving that generates the losses. Whether you notice it in you final image depends on many other factors. Working in jpegs may be fine for you.

An explanation can be found at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/jpeg-faq/part1/ (see question 10) and elsewhere, of course.

As you have cs2, then try it for yourself. See what happens if you, say, sharpen a jpeg image, compared with sharpening the same raw image.

Best wishes,

Ray
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  #10  
Old January 9th, 2007, 05:28 AM
jacob smith jacob smith is offline
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Thanks Ray, will definitely do so and let you know of my experience.
Thanks for clarification, very much appreciated. :)
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