When you pick up a compact point and shoot camera, you do not realize the process under the photo goes on within the moment of taking shots and when you see it. What we did not know (or can not imagine) is the power that we have when we are able to dominate part of this process. So, there are few facets – one is RAW Image Format and Digital Negative; another facet is the Zone System; obvious part is Post Processing. Learning and Using RAW and Histogram is a combined important step because RAW produces the highest quality without losing information. It is kind of lossless codec.
Learning and Using RAW and Histogram : We All Start with the JPEG
Even after buying the SLR for a few months users only uses JPEG. Many mess up enough to understand how to find the right balance between the various parameters and to learn the various techniques. What is white balance? We might not be the best resource to explain it, but we do know that a wrong balance can give an unnatural color to an object (read here a study of the white balance ). The unnatural color is the one that has most of the times this balance towards the left hand of the camera. The picture looks OK, but it is often cold and lacking in liveliness. From the menu, we can change this parameter according to the situation of brightness (sunny day, cover, artificial light etcetra) and things changed a lot, the pictures looked more realistic and hotter. Also, when playing with the settings, even usandone one that did not represent the real situation (eg cloudy day when in fact it is not), you could get very satisfactory results.
Learning and Using RAW and Histogram : The power of RAW
But is there a way to apply this blessed balance in a different way depending on the photo? Of course there is, but you have to shoot in RAW. RAW is a format which, as a negative, but in digital format, retains all the values ??captured by the sensor and then with a digital software, you can change everything manually to give the desired effect. When shot is done in RAW, in fact, what happens is, the camera creates a file in which, for each pixel, the components captured by the sensor (typically in RGB) are saved and stored integrally without losing information and consequently, with the highest quality possible. However, when shooting in JPEG (which is a standard for lossy coding, i.e. losses data), to compress the image, reducing their size on disk, most of the information is lost forever and the balance of the components is determined by ‘encoding algorithm’ internal to the camera. Here lies the importance of learning and using RAW.
The histogram and retouching
The RAW format and the histogram go hand in hand. That is why we have named the article – Learning and Using RAW and Histogram. When you try to understand one strength you will need to understand the other. We know what is a histogram, but we just observe it coldly as a statistical indicator and nothing more. We take it as graphical representation of the number of pixels with a specified value and nothing else. However, imagine that this the representation of 256 levels of light. The histogram is a tool which is monstrous enough to understand how to improve your photos in post-production.
When we look at our own photos on computer, we are referring to pictures taken in JPEG, accept the reality it shows us the JPEG. When the same photo, opened it in RAW, we need to adjust and import it. And, while we do that, the histogram changes. It makes us to see how we are changing the weight of the three main components and in what quantity. It is very intuitive to see how the color of the sea becomes more intense by changing the weight of the blue, the same goes for trees with green. And it is amazing to see how it can become more alive and real.
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