About a Photo

(And why raw capture makes sense)

The finished article.  ©2010 Jason Hindle

The finished article. ©2010 Jason Hindle

This is a brief post about how a photo came to be, the camera that took it and the software used to create the finished article.  More importantly, I wanted to explain why a raw capture always makes sense from this JPEG shooter’s perspective.  The photo in question, can be seen above.  The exposure was taken during the second test shoot with my Olympus E-PL1 and on the day I took the exposure several times, trying out each of the camera’s modes and art filters.

The image as shot.  ©2010 Jason Hindle

The image as shot. ©2010 Jason Hindle

Now, I’m predominantly a JPEG shooter.  Getting the shot right while behind the camera, with minimal need for adjustment, saves time later.  That’s not to say I don’t post process.  I always do.  It is also not to say I don’t shoot raw.  I always do that too.   A slight boost to contrast and saturation in Photoshop will usually make an image that little bit better; and a little bit better can count for a lot when it comes to a photo.  I always shoot JPEG plus raw for a number of reasons:

  • Sometimes the white balance out of the camera (I always shoot auto white balance) is a bit off and the raw capture allows me to correct this easily
  • Sometimes I find I need the little bit of extra headroom that raw brings in the highlights and the shadows
  • As I’ve found out recently, time and technology move on and it is quite probable that future raw processing technologies might help me make better images from today’s exposures
  • The Olympus Master software that comes with my camera allows me to play with different actual camera settings on my MacBook.

So, my approach is to shoot JPEG + raw, hope the JPEG works but use the raw capture if I must.

The out of camera image though my normal Aperture workflow ©2010 Jason Hindle

The out of camera image though my normal Aperture workflow ©2010 Jason Hindle

This particular image got me thinking a bit.  Because I shot from the spot several times, trying out a different setting with each exposure, I found the straightest shot was taken in the camera’s natural mode while the best colours came from the camera’s iEnhance mode.  So, I took the raw capture of the straightest shot and tested each of the camera’s modes in Olympus Master.  The results can be found here:

Olympus Master Experiment

I took all the resulting images from Olympus Master and imported them into an Aperture project.  From here I compared them, put the natural image through my usual Aperture workflow and then tried boosting the contrast a little on the photo output using the iEnhance mode (the photo a the top of this page).  To get a real feel for the differences between the images, I recommend taking any two and flicking between them.

Does this mean I should shoot using the camera’s iEnhance mode rather than the Natural mode?  Probably not.  For one thing, the colours are going to be a little too wild for many shooting situations and I tend to prefer more natural looking images (this one being the exception, rather than the rule).  Also, iEnhance blows highlights more easily.


~ by jasonhindle on May 4, 2010.

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