Comparing a RAW file before and after editing in LR

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A lady in a photography group on Facebook was asking why she should shoot in RAW and what the benefits were.  I suggested she make the file available to us so we could process it and show her what we would/could do with a RAW file and software that was capable of processing it.

She lives somewhere very picturesque with lots of snow which I am deeply envious of BTW!

I took the original RAW File and took it through the following post processing steps to generate my Base Lightroom Edit.  I then played with various presets I had to make some creative variations.

All editing done in LR6 only.

Post Processing Steps:

1.  Applied lens adjustment, perspective adjustment and cropped slightly

2.  WhiteBalance – changed to shade then pushed up to +8719

3.  Exposure +83

4.  Contrast +15

5.  Highlights -17

6.  Shadows +7

7.  White +43

8.  Blacks -38

9.  Clarity +14

10. Vibrance +12

11. Saturation +7

12 Dehaze +31

14.  Added a light ND grad over the sky

And then in a second image I realised I had forgotten this step

15.  Add a soft vignette

Hopefully the difference is obvious and considered an improvement 🙂




About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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7 Responses to Comparing a RAW file before and after editing in LR

  1. Steeny Lou says:

    Lovely! You made my house look spectacular. Thank you for illuminating things for me (pardon the pun), o fellow learner of Seeing The Light who is further along that path than I am. I’ll check out some of your other blog entries while I am here.

    • lensaddiction says:

      My pleasure, and your house is pretty cool and the scenery is wonderful (tho I expect you get sick of the snow after a while)

      Thanks for letting me play with your image and I hope my examples have helped you understand how RAW files can be processed to be much more than the flat file you initially see, and even better than jpg versions too.

      Always happy to help, my personal motto is “No day is a complete waste if you learn something” and there is ALWAYS something new to learn about photography!

  2. A great photo to start with – so many possibilities. I still shoot in jpeg – just out of habit but with my new camera a lot easier. That said the software today is great – I have edited and saved old photos taken on an awful camera – it over exposed everything and I was able to salvage some detail and then could be creative about what I did with it to cover all the noise.
    Now I must work in RAW – my new camera allows me so must play around with it.

  3. Well done! AN excellent example of the benefits of RAW.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Robyn, I know that LR initially looks pretty scary and hard to use but isnt that complicated really and totally CAN make a big difference to your images. I didnt have the original jpg SOOC that she also had to compare so I hope it was better than that too

  4. The Sound of Summer says:

    Whilst I am a fairly experienced photographer I do like to dip into photography classes at my local (arts) University. I finished a class a couple of weeks ago and on the course were a number of people, one with a brand new Nikon D4S and quality glass, who shoot Jpegs. One of those people shoots weddings in jpeg!!

    Shooting in jpeg is the equivalent of picking your nose whilst wearing rubber gloves. Admittedly shooting in jpeg is easier as you don’t have to process the files but it is so limiting. Your article gives a fantastic illustration of how creative you can be in lightroom without having to do a whole lot of work.

    Well done, great post

    • lensaddiction says:

      I love your description of jpg LOL. I know there are lots of people who shoot in jpg for professional images and they do it out of choice. Not sure what their rationale is when you compare the improvements you can make with a RAW file but it does take time and storage. I think its worth it and clearly you do too, thanks for stopping by to comment. I checked out your blog, some great images and info there, Im not into metal in the same way you are but you obviously love your music 🙂

Love to hear your thoughts on my post!

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