I’ve just returned from Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California for a week of ‘fun in the sun’ rock-climbing. I brought my trusty 350D along for the ride. While I normally shoot JPEG, I know that pro outdoor sports photographers like Michael Clark and Seb Rogers, whose work I like and admire, are strong advocates of shooting RAW. I decided to give RAW another look.
All is not well though. The biggest frustrations are the long loading times for each and the increased amount of storage
memory used. The main benefits for me shooting RAW are the flexibility to manage white balance and the increased latitude in controlling exposure of high-contrast images in post-processing. I’d like to continue to experiment with RAW for a while. The details of my RAW workflow are below and if somebody can offer any comments on how to improve it or any tips and advice, I’d appreciate it.
My RAW workflow starts by downloading all the images from my camera into iPhoto 6. Trash all the non-keepers. Then I get to work on the keepers. I transfer each image to Photoshop CS2, mostly using the default settings with Adobe Camera RAW except for white balance. Then, I open the image in Photoshop CS2. I crop and straighten the image, adjust the black and white levels, use the Shadows/Highlights tool if it needs it, apply curves, saturation, sharpen, convert to sRGB and, lastly, save as a JPEG file.
Let me know if you have any other ideas.
Top: Early One Morning in J-Tree... this low contrast image was captured in RAW and required very little post processing. Taken with a Canon 350D, 10-22mm
Middle: Trad Rack and Friend. This high contrast imaged captured in JPEG required some post processing to tone down the harsh highlights and bring out the dog lying in the shadow of the boulder. Taken with a Canon Ixus 850 IS.