Basic RAW Post Editing Advice - Photoshop CC & Lightroom

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27
Name
Joe
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Hello,

I have recently got myself an Olympus OMD-EM 5 Mark III M 4/3 camera & have also been bought a subscription to Photoshop CC & Lightroom. I am totally new to photography & post editing, but as i'm learning, I'm trying to shoot in RAW. However I understand that RAW files require some form of editing & so am looking for any advice, hints or tips to get me started with basic editing of a RAW file, so that it is at least except able as a JPEG.

Eg. some basic noise and sharpness settings to look for in Photoshop would be good or any other things i should be doing as a basic start to editing RAW images?

Many thanks in advance :)
 

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015
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Name
Chris
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I suggest you start with Lightroom and forget about photoshop for now. Perhaps the easiest place to start in LR is to import your RAWs, go into develop and press the Auto button to see what it does and then try moving the sliders to get what you want.
 

LC2

Negan
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Tim
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  1. Accept that you *will* overcook the edits.
    You're first attempt will look great, but walk away and come back after 15 minutes and you'll think "what was i thinking".

    I think an oft repeated trueism is that when you finish an edit, backing off the adjustments by a 1/3rd is probably a good idea.

  2. It's Lightroom you should be using for your initial edits, not photoshop. Lightroom is non distructive to the original raw files.
    Only swap into PS when you have some heavy lifting to do.

  3. Have a look at various YouTube tutorials. Aaron Nase at Phlearn is excellent in my opinion.
 
OP
J
Messages
27
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
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I suggest you start with Lightroom and forget about photoshop for now. Perhaps the easiest place to start in LR is to import your RAWs, go into develop and press the Auto button to see what it does and then try moving the sliders to get what you want.
  1. Accept that you *will* overcook the edits.
    You're first attempt will look great, but walk away and come back after 15 minutes and you'll think "what was i thinking".

    I think an oft repeated trueism is that when you finish an edit, backing off the adjustments by a 1/3rd is probably a good idea.

  2. It's Lightroom you should be using for your initial edits, not photoshop. Lightroom is non distructive to the original raw files.
    Only swap into PS when you have some heavy lifting to do.

  3. Have a look at various YouTube tutorials. Aaron Nase at Phlearn is excellent in my opinion.
Thank you both for your advice about starting with Lightroom.

Chris thanks for your advise about trying the Auto button to help show what initial things are done, that definitely sounds like a good plan.

&

Tim thanks for your thought too & I have had a quick look at the Phlearn on Youtube & they definitely look like they could be very useful for me needs.

Cheer again both :)
 
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3,193
Name
Steve
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You could do worse than to sign up to The Lightroon Queen and get her LR book (available as a download from her web site).

It is written in easy to read language for people with no experience of LR and takes you through every step from initial installation to editing images.

www.lightroomqueen.com
 

KIPAX

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KIPAX
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hints or tips to get me started with basic editing of a RAW file, so that it is at least except able as a JPEG.
Why not shoot in JPG. The minimum editing you want can also be done in JPG...

Just wondering :)
 
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15,454
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Toni
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I posted this in another slightly similar thread about using Lightroom. If you find it helpful then that's great, but if not then feel free to ignore it. :)


Wot 'e said. ;)

My workflow in Lightroom (6) goes bottom up:

Transform first to get the image properly straight IF NECESSARY, usually done manually because that way I can adjust the crop later.

Lens corrections, always applying CA corrections (occasionally manually - some of my lenses have huge CA) & toggling between lens profile on & off.

Sharpening next, I usually adjust radius to 0.7 or 0.8 for less sharp lenses, 0.6 for sharper glass - this helps sharpness a lot, reducing visible over-sharpening. I normally keep sharpening down to 55 (APS-C) or 65 (FF) and use masking to prevent excess busyness in OOF areas. Normally stay away from luminance noise reduction unless noise is extreme, but do sometimes use colour noise reduction in high ISO images.

Tone curve - I often boost highlights between 7 and 13 to bring a little sparkle unless the image is over-exposed & highlights need holding back.

Basic area - if the land and sky are unbalanced then I'll usually pull the sky back and boost the land using gradients or masking brush. Adjust temperature & tint, then exposure, then highlights & shadows if needed, then contrast & clarity (because this affects the W&B points) then white & black point. Very occasionally I'll lift or reduce vibrance, tend to leave saturation alone or reduce it slightly.

Sometimes at this point I'll go into HSL & adjust individual colour chrominance, saturation & hue, but not often unless I'm really struggling to get realistic colours in the basic panel. Occasionally too I'll use split toning - good for shots where highlights are warm & shadows cool etc. I don't do mono conversions in Lightroom.

Other things:
Using older Nikon & sony lenses I found myself wanting more clarity to increase contrast, apparent sharpness & pop - this often resulted in images that were hard & unrealistic, & needed to be reigned back. I also found that colours were warmer with these lenses, & typical daylight would require 5200K and +15 to +35 magenta for a more-or-less balanced image. Images on APS-C especially didn't tolerate excess sharpening well, with edges looking false, and halos could be a big problem if an image was pushed too hard. I also found the highlights and shadow controls to be very powerful.

Using modern Sony gear I often reduce clarity to get a softer, smoother image, because the combination of lenses and sensor deliver much more contrast and edge detail than is required or even desirable. Colours are much cooler, and daylight balance often required 5800K to 6000K with +2 to +7 magenta. I can sharpen a very long way if needed without artifacts, but that's unusual. Highlight and shadow sliders have far less effect, and I sometimes have to use the tone curve or local adjustments to get the control I want. The Sony A7 files have a huge amount of shadow recovery available.

I use brushes quite a bit where I want localised adjustment. The automask function can be very helpful, but is far from foolproof, and can cause trouble if you don't check what's been masked (press 'O' to toggle mask colour on/off). Reduce flow if trying to feather masking, building up layers in areas you want more mask, just leaving a single pass at around 20% where you want less. Generally it's best to work with what's in the image already, rather than trying to fake it (skies especially can look fake if overworked).

That'll do for now. ;)

Examples?

Rolling off clarity and choosing sensible sharpening allowed me to keep these beach huts looking clean & un-fussy, rather than harshly warts-and-all.
Next year yellow by Toni Ertl, on Flickr

This was shot on a day with overcast skies and rain in the air. I used the masking brush to darken & cool the water, then lift shadows & warm the foliage & bridge. They already had the right ingredients, but the image just needed a little help.
Bowmans Bridge 3 by Toni Ertl, on Flickr

Hope that's useful.
 
Messages
928
Name
Paul
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You could do worse than to sign up to The Lightroon Queen and get her LR book (available as a download from her web site).

It is written in easy to read language for people with no experience of LR and takes you through every step from initial installation to editing images.

www.lightroomqueen.com

I agree, the books easy to read and understand
 
Last edited:
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6,689
Name
Graham
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It's worth mentioning that lightroom does apply some default settings for noise and sharpening raw files. You don't necessarily have to do anything at all with them. You also have the option of just applying a preset rather than messing with sliders. You might ultimately want to take more control but it doesn't have to start that way when you're learning the ropes.
 
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4,816
Name
Phil
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If you are new to Lightroom, as well as the Lightroom queen mentioned above, take a look at the Julianne Krost videos on adobe.
Ps. Lightroom allows you to redo your edits, so don’t worry too much for now just have a play around. But one area I would suggest investing your time is understanding library management. Ensure your files are saved in a single folder with subfolders organised by date. Also read up on metadata and keywords. These are things that are often ignored early on but I can guarantee you will wish you had been more diligent in managing your library!

also ensure you are backing up your photos and the necessary Lightroom files.
Which Lightroom files do I need to back up?

these are the articles on library management

julianne krost tutorials
 
OP
J
Messages
27
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
I posted this in another slightly similar thread about using Lightroom. If you find it helpful then that's great, but if not then feel free to ignore it. :)
Thank you Toni, this was very helpful thank you, gives me a good idea of the sorts of things to look out for & to start with.

Much appreciated :)
 
OP
J
Messages
27
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
It's worth mentioning that lightroom does apply some default settings for noise and sharpening raw files. You don't necessarily have to do anything at all with them. You also have the option of just applying a preset rather than messing with sliders. You might ultimately want to take more control but it doesn't have to start that way when you're learning the ropes.
If you are new to Lightroom, as well as the Lightroom queen mentioned above, take a look at the Julianne Krost videos on adobe.
Ps. Lightroom allows you to redo your edits, so don’t worry too much for now just have a play around. But one area I would suggest investing your time is understanding library management. Ensure your files are saved in a single folder with subfolders organised by date. Also read up on metadata and keywords. These are things that are often ignored early on but I can guarantee you will wish you had been more diligent in managing your library!

also ensure you are backing up your photos and the necessary Lightroom files.
Which Lightroom files do I need to back up?

these are the articles on library management

julianne krost tutorials
I agree, the books easy to read and understand
Thank you all for our advice & tips, very much appreciated and I will take a look at your recommendations for reading and watching.

Thanks :)
 
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