manage photos

Nikolai psalmos at
Thu Nov 23 23:22:21 GMT 2006

Jan Claeys wrote:

> Hm, I would include those RAW processing settings in the application
> that stores, manages & organises the original RAW images, because
> without it you can't really get a good impression of the RAW images.

The settings are infinite (or almost infinite), you can't store them in 
an application. What others have done is to store processing settings in 
a separate file. When you open your RAW file, the settings are read from 
that file and applied to RAW data (the RAW data itself never changes, 
which is why this concept is incredibly powerful, meaning you can 
interpret your RAW data in any way you like). Changes to those setting 
are saved back to that separate file. Ideally, it would have been nice 
to be able to save a few of those "settings" files.

> Conversion is a step you only need to take *after* looking at the
> available images, when you took a decision about which one(s) to use.
> (Or so I think...)

To be able to look, and to look properly, you should be able to apply 
various things first before you can actually decide what to do with the 
image. For example, you can have an otherwise good image but the 
exposure is off by a stop. You can change that if you're working with a 
RAW file. Similarly with the white balance, cameras are stupid just like 
computers are and often evaluate to a wrong white balance. If you have a 
RAW file, you don't really care what your camera thought the white 
balance was when it shot it, you simply set it yourself at the 
processing stage (this is obviously impossible to do once the RAW file 
was processed in camera and you've got your JPEG at the end despite many 
people claiming otherwise).

All in all, what you want from your camera is a RAW file, nothing else, 
that is, a bunch of pixels with light values. Everything else is taken 
care of after you get your RAW files onto your machine. You want your 
camera to stay away from any processing, it should only be allowed to do 
what it does best - open and close the aperture at the speed and size 
either you or the camera think is best. Essentially, this is no 
different, or should not be different, to traditional shooting where 
shooting and processing are two separate activities (often even done by 
different people). The advantage of digital shooting though, and it's a 
huge advantage, is that you can process and re-process your RAW (which 
basically your negative) file as many times as you like whereas in 
analogue photography, once your film has been processed, that's it, no 
more fooling around, it's yours now.


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