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Thread: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

  1. #1
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    Default Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    Hi all. im looking thru my 7GB+ of RAW wedding shots now. i have a slight problem regarding exposure

    for example, how much do we expose of the groom. In Adobe Camera Raw, there are a few important features, (1) exposure, (2) recovery and (3) Fill Light.

    I have no problems with (1) and (2) but have problems with (3).

    the camera's meter naturally exposes to retain the highlights of the bride's dress, resulting in the groom's black suit being rather devoid of detail. However, i can use fill light to save me here. Fill light allows me to expose the detail for the groom's black suit thereby revealing slight creases etc that results in a more accentuated suit (i.e. i can see the suit's features more clearly)

    the trade off: there is noise (quite high in some photos especially if i shoot at ISO800) in the black levels of the suit. moving the luminance noise removal slider in PS doesn't help much there.

    My question is...should i therefore leave the suit underexposed and devoid of detail thereby reducing the amount of noise, or should i expose the suit a bit more and survive with noise which can actually be quite high in some situations.

    TIA
    Last edited by Isaiahfortythirtyone; 10th December 2007 at 06:50 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    how much noise you can accept is really up to you... also it depends on how big you will view the image, as it may not turn out to be that bad if it is only to be viewed as a 4R print or as a web image...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiahfortythirtyone View Post

    My question is...should i therefore leave the suit underexposed and devoid of detail thereby reducing the amount of noise, or should i expose the suit a bit more and survive with noise which can actually be quite high in some situations.

    TIA
    A suit devoid of detail lacks character. I wld bring out the details but do a noise reduction and sharpening at the end of the process. Camera raw also has a 'clarity' slider which is good for bringing out the midtones (it is essentially a contrast for the midtones).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    Quote Originally Posted by lightbrush View Post
    A suit devoid of detail lacks character. I wld bring out the details but do a noise reduction and sharpening at the end of the process. Camera raw also has a 'clarity' slider which is good for bringing out the midtones (it is essentially a contrast for the midtones).
    great! (: i think that makes sense. i'm rather new to shooting raw so do pardon me for another question: the noise levels in RAW are higher than that of a JPEG simply because the JPEG is processed in-camera right? i can't seem to get my raws to look like the JPEGs in terms of noise levels. somehow, even after NR is applied, the noise from the RAW files still seem higher

  5. #5

    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    The default noise reduction in CS3 is not too good. I suggest you get a noise reduction pluigin like Noise Ninja, Neat Image etc.

    After adjusting fill light, you might need to adjust contrast and blacks so as not to lose details in the shadows, but also make sure blacks look black and not grey. Can play with the curves as well.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    You might also try doing a HDR type montage exposing the Raw for the dress and again for the Tux - the Merge to HDR function of photoshop is quite good.
    In every photograph there are at least two people, the viewer and the photographer. (Ansel Adams)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiahfortythirtyone View Post
    Hi all. im looking thru my 7GB+ of RAW wedding shots now. i have a slight problem regarding exposure

    for example, how much do we expose of the groom. In Adobe Camera Raw, there are a few important features, (1) exposure, (2) recovery and (3) Fill Light.

    I have no problems with (1) and (2) but have problems with (3).

    the camera's meter naturally exposes to retain the highlights of the bride's dress, resulting in the groom's black suit being rather devoid of detail. However, i can use fill light to save me here. Fill light allows me to expose the detail for the groom's black suit thereby revealing slight creases etc that results in a more accentuated suit (i.e. i can see the suit's features more clearly)

    the trade off: there is noise (quite high in some photos especially if i shoot at ISO800) in the black levels of the suit. moving the luminance noise removal slider in PS doesn't help much there.

    My question is...should i therefore leave the suit underexposed and devoid of detail thereby reducing the amount of noise, or should i expose the suit a bit more and survive with noise which can actually be quite high in some situations.

    TIA
    hi, i have encountered similar problems as yours. most of problem lies with me underexposing the whole shot. i'm not exactly "there" as a photographer yet you see.

    i hope to share a few items and first of all, i have not tried some of the techniques the rest suggested. perhaps i should try them myself ha.

    i think if it's a close up shot, having details in the suit, and shadows is good. if it's not too tight a shot like a half body shot of groom, the details might not be too necessary. it might direct attention away from the face/expression. i think we never see the photos, so we can't assume much, but it were me, i'll look after the whole picture. if bringing back details distract the focus of that photo, then it might be better to leave it alone. but if the details is really impt, maybe cropping some parts away, like quite a bit of the bride's dress "might" work?

    i found that changing the pic to black and white is another way of focusing on the details and coping with high noise levels. use channel mixers to edit your black and white and you might be able to bring back much details without damaging the photo with more noise. of cos, it's a good way to deal with lousy colours in the pictures, eg totally orange skin cos of ambient light of street lamps or ballrooms.

    careful with using luminance noise correction. in ACR or in Noise Ninja. go to 100% and you might see that the noise removal algorithm might change your photo to patchy patchy --> painting like situations. which is undesirable for any more sharpening to be done, it will just bring out the edges of the PATCHES. ugly at close look. even in noise ninja, i take care to choose colour noise reduction and not luminance noise reduction.

    increasing brightness, adding +10 fill light, additional +5 black, and tweaking the light and dark and shadow sliders in ACR is how i cope with editing whole photo. i try not to increase exposure as it just makes the noise level worse. to get back contrast, use the "point" tab instead of the "parameter" tab (with those highlight/light/dark/shadows sliders) and adjust it like you would adjust levels in PS. you can do the "S" curve thing also to mimic "Curves" in PS.

    hope sharing my editing pains give you examples to bounce off. cheers!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    Recovering shadows is always bad, for what was not captured in the first place can never come into existence. Processing algos like fill light creates artificial stuff, ie an illusion.

    So usually I try to shoot high key and have as much details at capture as possible, ie fill-in flash is always much much preferred to fill-in algos. You can go low key later in processing. Throwing data away is not a problem, creating non existent tantamounts to creating noise.

    And then a JPEG cannot be noisier than A RAW, it can only be more, ie any processing always always increases noise.

    For your JPEG, it has been processed by your inbuilt camera processor, according to its NR settings, and here seemingly your camera has a better NR algo than in your RAW processor.

    And as pointed out you need a third party software to do good NR in RAW processing, eg Noise Ninja.

    Whatever that you can do apart from a reshoot have been suggested here, eg reduce size, NR, etc.
    Last edited by espion; 27th December 2007 at 07:51 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    One question.. Can noise ninja do noise reduction with RAW files? I suppose they only operate on TIFF and JPEGs?




    Quote Originally Posted by espion View Post
    Recovering shadows is always bad, for what was not captured in the first place can never come into existence. Processing algos like fill light creates artificial stuff, ie an illusion.

    So usually I try to shoot high key and have as much details at capture as possible, ie fill-in flash is always much much preferred to fill-in algos. You can go low key later in processing. Throwing data away is not a problem, creating non existent tantamounts to creating noise.

    And then a JPEG cannot be noisier than A RAW, it can only be more, ie any processing always always increases noise.

    For your JPEG, it has been processed by your inbuilt camera processor, according to its NR settings, and here seemingly your camera has a better NR algo than in your RAW processor.

    And as pointed out you need a third party software to do good NR in RAW processing, eg Noise Ninja.

    Whatever that you can do apart from a reshoot have been suggested here, eg reduce size, NR, etc.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wedding RAW Photos - Need editing help

    Quote Originally Posted by Limsgp View Post
    One question.. Can noise ninja do noise reduction with RAW files? I suppose they only operate on TIFF and JPEGs?
    Bibble Lab raw converter has Noise Ninja built-in and can do noise reduction in RAW files. Do also check out DXO Version 5 that does noise reduction in RAW files (supported cameras and lenses only).

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