Raw Editing Tips: How to Get the Most From Your Photography

Do you shoot raw or jpg?

Here’s a reason you might want to try shooting raw in the future if you don’t already…

Yes – you should aim for perfect exposure. Yes – you should try to get your white balance correct in camera if you have the time.  But, NO, even for the professionals, they sometimes get in tricky situations where a flash does not trigger or where they quickly clicked the shutter before adjusting all settings so they did not miss a shot.

Christine O’Connell, A Million Sighs Photography, shared this image below and explained, “First of all, this cake was amazing… like straight from a magazine! Second of all, if you’re on the fence about shooting in RAW, this is why you MUST! This venue had horrible fluorescent lighting and despite playing with my white balance, I could not get color I was happy with. Thanks to the RAW file, I was able to bring it back to life. Once in Photoshop, I edited with MCP Color Fusion Mix and Match: and set the following layers: Ellie’s Field of Dreams (11%), Creamsicle (9%), Rustic (16%), Sentimental (50%), and One Click Color (75%).”

Here’s Christine’s results after fixing the white balance in a raw editor and then running a Photoshop action.

 

 

 

Raw Editing Tips

To adjust exposure and white balance in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, you will use the exposure, temperature, and/or tint sliders, the white balance selector tool, and/or your histogram. If you want your image to be cooler, move the temp slider to the left.  To warm your image, move it to the right. On the tint slider, if your image appears a tad too green, move the slider to the right.  If you see extra pinks and magentas, move it slightly to the left.

You can also select an area that should be neutral, something that was gray, black or white.  Touch that dropper tool to that spot. If you did take a picture of a grey card or white balance card, this is the spot you’d click.  Then use the sliders to tweak if necessary.

Screen shot 2013 02 17 at 1.35.19 PM Raw Editing Tips: How to Get the Most From Your Photography
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The histogram is a complex tool.  A little too complex to handle here.  But let us know if you would like a future tutorial on using it to better understand your images.

Screen shot 2013 02 17 at 1.40.34 PM Raw Editing Tips: How to Get the Most From Your Photography
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Additionally you can take photos while shooting in different scenes of a gray card/white balance card (such as theLastolite EZ Balance,Whi-bal and more…)

BONUS TIP: You can use Lightroom Presets, such as our Quick Clicks Collection or the Enlighten Lightroom presets, to hover over pre-determined exposure and white balance presets, to find the perfect one for your photo.

We hope these few quick tips helped.  We have many articles on our blog on white balance, exposure, and editing, so use the search bar and keep reading.

 

 Raw Editing Tips: How to Get the Most From Your Photography

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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4 Comments and 0 Replies



  1. 1
    Shana says:

    I’d love to see a tutorial on the histogram… specifically, when I get an image that has one (or both) of the triangles in the top corners highlighted certain colors? Thanks for these great tips!

  2. 2
    Carol says:

    I’m just starting to use RAW. Thanks! You make it sound ‘not so forbidding!’

  3. 3
    Antoinette says:

    I would like to see a tutorial on the histogram too please.

  4. 4
    Bryan says:

    I too would also like a tutorial on the histogram if you can.

    Thanks.

    ( I have your presets and they are great. )



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