Project: Optimising Tone and Colour, Managing Tone

I have previously noted my fluency with manipulating jpeg images in Photoshop and the operations described in the course notes are part of my normal work process. I chose therefore to use this exercise to increase my understanding of working with RAW files. I chose to use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional as the software platform. The camera for these pictures was set to RAW + jpeg. The first of each picture shown is the jpeg out of the camera. This is compared with the worked up RAW files, saved after manipulation as a jpeg.

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The highlights here were slightly clipped so the overall image was reduced using “Brightness” until the clipping was just eliminated. The shadows were then adjusted using the Histogram until the clipping point. The result is a much more satisfying and punchy shot, particularly the distant buildings.

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As in the previous picture the highlights were slightly clipped so a similar strategy was adopted. Then I wanted to lighten the faces so I created a point on the tone curve and adjusted it by eye. Care was needed here as the adjustment tended to re-introduce highlight clipping in the clouds.

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The sky then was a little light, so I created another tone curve point to darken it.

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I used the same strategy again here, the clipped highlights were reduced using “Brightness”, shadows restored to the clipping point. The midtones were adjusted so that the overall image looked “right” using two points on the tone curve.

This was a useful exercise in getting to know RAW processing better and I feel more fluent with it now. I still have some way to go before I am as confident as I am with jpegs, but then I have probably put over 1000 images through that particular mincer.

All of these pictures require some colour correction as well so they will be further enhanced in the next exercise.

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