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digital vs film photography
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Aug 1, 2021 17:02:30   #
julian.gang
 
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian

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Aug 1, 2021 17:12:04   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
In the ideal world, you do as much 'up front' in the camera so as to (a) maximize the potential of the digital image for editing and (b) minimize the work-effort later in post processing.

What does maximize mean?

1. Get the subject in focus, sharp focus.
2. Position the subject within the frame where you visual the final composition.
3. Shoot at the appropriate shutter speed and / or utilize IS / VR support to eliminate motion blur of the subject or you holding the camera, as appropriate to the composition. Use a tripod when needed.
4. Minimize the need to level the image later and / or crop to remove unwanted elements from the frame.
5. Minimize the digital noise in the image by exposing to the right.
6. Take as many versions as needed to assure you have one that maximizes the potential. Don't get home and wish you'd taken more or tried some different setting.
7a. Shoot in RAW to maximize your edit options.
7b. If shooting in JPEG, assure you have the large / fine JPEG setting. Consider if a custom WB (even the camera 'scene' options) is a better match to your light vs AUTO-WB.

In your digital editor, then pick the 1 (or 2ish) that exemplify why you attempted this image and edit that one / few to completion. Do as much, or as little, as needed to complete the image. The seven items above seek to minimize the effort later, hopefully keeping your entire edit effort within the Lightroom workspace.

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Aug 1, 2021 17:19:45   #
burkphoto Loc: High Point, NC
 
julian.gang wrote:
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian
I remember back when I was in college that in film... (show quote)


Julian, I think you may be a bit confused or misled about the roles of raw capture and Lightroom post-processing.

Raw capture is saving all the information from the digital sensor, with no processing. That's opposed to the camera processing the raw data into a JPEG, according to your menu choices.

With raw files, you always work on your computer with every last bit of what the camera recorded. With JPEGs, the bit depth has been truncated the moment after exposure to 8-bits-per-pixel (instead of 12 or 14). That severely limits the tonal range of the file. And the JPEG compression is lossy, so some data has been thrown away by compression, as well. You won't notice it right away, but each time you save a JPEG on top of itself, you throw away more data.

Where you see the difference is with very underexposed, overexposed, or poorly white-balanced images. Raw files can be stretched quite a bit to correct these errors, much like a negative could be in the film era. JPEGs are more like slide film.

Lightroom is the digital equivalent of a darkroom. It is a parametric editor, a database of image proxies and data, a print engine, an export tool, and a lot more. It is the central hub of a pro's software, ready to send files to Photoshop or various plug-ins and other applications. It's the central repository for finished image files, and the creator of multiple files for multiple uses of the same image.

Lightroom is designed to work with raw files, but it will edit TIFF, JPEG, PSD, and some other formats, too. Whatever you "store" in Lightroom isn't the original file, however. That remains intact. Lightroom displays a proxy image, and works on a copy of the original. To get an image out of Lightroom is to Export a copy, or Print, or send to Web, or make a Book... You get the idea. It is a "non-destructive" editor that leaves your originals alone.

Raw files from your camera are like latent images on undeveloped film. There's one important difference, though. You can edit and re-edit a raw file as many times as you like, and start every time with the original, unaltered data. That's like being able to develop the same film image in an infinite number of ways.

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Aug 1, 2021 17:28:38   #
DirtFarmer Loc: Way too close to New York City
 
julian.gang wrote:
...I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera....Julian


You're in luck!

Modern digital cameras do a lot of the details for you. Exposure and focusing. There are still things to learn about just how to use digital, but you can leave a lot of the fiddling up to the camera.

You DO have to compose the photo yourself and pick the right moment to press the shutter.

julian.gang wrote:
...is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography...

But if you aren't comfortable with your camera fiddle, your best option would be to shoot raw. Lightroom and Raw go together well. It's not either/or.

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Aug 1, 2021 17:29:23   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
When you become a RAW photographer, you become the decision maker for these considerations in post processing, where many had been decided by the camera for the JPEG:

1. Sharpening
2. Noise Reduction
3. Color Saturation
4. Exposure adjustments, general
5. Contrast, general
6. Highlights and shadows
7. White Balance
8. Lens corrections
9. Color space
10. Pixel resolution for target image share platforms
11. Disk storage (for the larger files)
12. Image file back-up strategy (for those larger files)

You don't have to understand all these issues, but when you do, you'll be much more successful as a RAW photographer. A RAW file is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be a camera.

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Aug 1, 2021 17:51:03   #
BebuLamar
 
julian.gang wrote:
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian
I remember back when I was in college that in film... (show quote)


WOW!

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Aug 1, 2021 23:05:11   #
Wallen Loc: Middle East
 
julian.gang wrote:
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian
I remember back when I was in college that in film... (show quote)


Always start with the best photo possible.
A good foundation will always give a better outcome with whatever post op you apply on it.

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Aug 2, 2021 07:32:45   #
billnikon Loc: Pennsylvania/Ohio/Florida/Maui/Oregon/Vermont
 
julian.gang wrote:
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian
I remember back when I was in college that in film... (show quote)


I can do much more with photoshop than I could ever do in the darkroom. Plus, it is much safer, I have lost my early shooting buddies to cancer contributed to the chemicals we breathed in.
I now shoot RAW, used to be just a Jpeg shooter, but you can teach an old dog new tricks. And now it's RAW and photoshop. I can do a 100 times more now in Photoshop than I could even hope for in the darkroom.
Good luck and keep on shooting until the end.

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Aug 2, 2021 07:44:17   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
First off, it not a vs, nor will it ever be. The problem is that the tools used look similar. They can be compared but not competitively.

They are two distinctly different methods for accomplishing the same thing. That thing being capturing an image using a light sensitive material. The first part is capturing the ideal exposure. The second, processing that exposure to obtain the image which visualized at the time of making the original exposure.

Having almost all my experience in processing film laying in processing black and white. I've learned that the method applied to making the original exposure differs between film and digital in that exposure is determined in exactly the opposite manner. With film I expose for the shadows and process for the highlights. Using digital, I exposure for the highlights and process for the shadows. Both methods require controlled testing to determine how each will react to light and processing.
--Bob
julian.gang wrote:
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian
I remember back when I was in college that in film... (show quote)

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Aug 2, 2021 08:24:37   #
jerryc41 Loc: Catskill Mts of NY
 
julian.gang wrote:
I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian


I use both. I shoot raw, and I process in LR.

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Aug 2, 2021 08:40:45   #
julian.gang
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
When you become a RAW photographer, you become the decision maker for these considerations in post processing, where many had been decided by the camera for the JPEG:

1. Sharpening
2. Noise Reduction
3. Color Saturation
4. Exposure adjustments, general
5. Contrast, general
6. Highlights and shadows
7. White Balance
8. Lens corrections
9. Color space
10. Pixel resolution for target image share platforms
11. Disk storage (for the larger files)
12. Image file back-up strategy (for those larger files)

You don't have to understand all these issues, but when you do, you'll be much more successful as a RAW photographer. A RAW file is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be a camera.
When you become a RAW photographer, you become the... (show quote)

of it that
I never thought of it that way, but I guess you are right!...Julian

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Aug 2, 2021 09:06:27   #
Lucian Loc: From Wales, living in Ohio
 
julian.gang wrote:
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian
I remember back when I was in college that in film... (show quote)


Well if you were taught correctly back in college, about photography, you would have learned that there is only one way to make a correct photo and that is always... in the camera. Post processing is to help finish off what you might not have been able to do in camera, or alter what was available to you when you took the photo. Post processing is never to help correct what you should have done in camera, in the first place.

Please remember that contrary to popular belief, Dodging and Burning in post, are NOT steps to take care of mistakes God made, in establishing good tonal relationships.

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Aug 2, 2021 09:38:25   #
Jack 13088 Loc: Central NY
 
burkphoto wrote:
Julian, I think you may be a bit confused or misled about the roles of raw capture and Lightroom post-processing.

Raw capture is saving all the information from the digital sensor, with no processing. That's opposed to the camera processing the raw data into a JPEG, according to your menu choices.

With raw files, you always work on your computer with every last bit of what the camera recorded. With JPEGs, the bit depth has been truncated the moment after exposure to 8-bits-per-pixel (instead of 12 or 14). That severely limits the tonal range of the file. And the JPEG compression is lossy, so some data has been thrown away by compression, as well. You won't notice it right away, but each time you save a JPEG on top of itself, you throw away more data.

Where you see the difference is with very underexposed, overexposed, or poorly white-balanced images. Raw files can be stretched quite a bit to correct these errors, much like a negative could be in the film era. JPEGs are more like slide film.

Lightroom is the digital equivalent of a darkroom. It is a parametric editor, a database of image proxies and data, a print engine, an export tool, and a lot more. It is the central hub of a pro's software, ready to send files to Photoshop or various plug-ins and other applications. It's the central repository for finished image files, and the creator of multiple files for multiple uses of the same image.

Lightroom is designed to work with raw files, but it will edit TIFF, JPEG, PSD, and some other formats, too. Whatever you "store" in Lightroom isn't the original file, however. That remains intact. Lightroom displays a proxy image, and works on a copy of the original. To get an image out of Lightroom is to Export a copy, or Print, or send to Web, or make a Book... You get the idea. It is a "non-destructive" editor that leaves your originals alone.

Raw files from your camera are like latent images on undeveloped film. There's one important difference, though. You can edit and re-edit a raw file as many times as you like, and start every time with the original, unaltered data. That's like being able to develop the same film image in an infinite number of ways.
Julian, I think you may be a bit confused or misle... (show quote)


Bill’s summary is a brilliant capture of why Lightroom is my “Home” for all of my processing of all, now raw, images.

I didn’t immediately go that route, however. I originally tried LR for the database (The dreaded Library module.) but eventually learned it is far far more. In fact, understanding the recent capabilities added by the subscription model have become my primary learning method.

I am interested in hearing of Bill’s journey to Nirvana.

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Aug 2, 2021 10:11:31   #
Gene51 Loc: Yonkers, NY, now in LSD (LowerSlowerDelaware)
 
julian.gang wrote:
I remember back when I was in college that in film photography you had 2 options when you could correct photos! You could do it in camera or you could do it in the darkroom. I always felt it was better in the darkroom, this is because I'm pretty much a klutz when it comes to fiddling with the controls of the camera. I take it for granted this is also the case with digital photography. I guess what I'm asking is Lightroom the better choice over RAW photography as with Lightroom you have the choice of correcting after the fact along with the ability of creating a digital negative?...Julian
I remember back when I was in college that in film... (show quote)


Are you asking which is better, raw capture or Lightroom? I am a little confused by your question.

Lightroom is a choice for editing a raw file. It is very good software that enjoys the best support in the industry and is constantly being upgraded. Other quality choices include DXO PhotoLab, On1Raw, Capture One, etc. All are very capable of producing excellent results. And where they fall short for editing results, there is always Photoshop to be able to do the things that raw converters can't do. That is the primary difference between parametric (rules based) editing and raster (piixel level) editing.

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Aug 2, 2021 10:55:20   #
JBRIII
 
There was a camera made a few years ago, still available on Ebay, that kind of combined the two. It was said to capture all the light at different angles, etc. and you decided what to focus on later. Kind of like using focus stacking with every photo I quess and choosing which focus point to use. Thought about getting one, but only 1mp and $200, I think.

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