There is a great amount of flexibility when it comes to shooting RAW. So much that I need to practice on more RAW photos to understand how much more I can do. For those who don’t know, RAW is a picture format that most high end DSLRs can shoot in. The idea is an uncompressed photo that retains all the data you camera would normally trim off for you. When shooting JPEG, your telling your camera to do all the post work for you, the exposure, saturation, white balance, contrast, trimming the highlights, mid-tones, and shadows, and compresses the files to the smallest size possible. So when taken to post, there is no work to do on the photo. Shooting RAW, your telling the camera to take the picture as is, retain all the data and leave it to work on later. When looking at a RAW picture you can’t think much about it. here’s the RAW file I shot:
Doesn’t look very impressive. So step two would be to take the photo into Adobe Lightroom and begin working. Because the RAW files retains all the data, editing this photo almost felt to free. I used Adobe Lightroom 3.
-Fill Light Slider: to bring out all the shadows in the picture. Doing so, made the front of his face (that I took with a ring light) really blown out, so..
-Recovery Slider: To bring back all the detail on his face that was blown out with the Fill light slider.
-Vibrance Slider: Brought it all the way down to give it a slight desaturated look that I really liked.
-Clarity Slider: Brought that up a bit to bring out more of the detail on the hair on his face.
-I finished off with the brush tool here and there to specific areas on his face for detail and I was done.