How Three Photographers Edited the Similar RAW Information

How Three Photographers Edited the Similar RAW Information

There was a time when images needed to defend its place within the solar amongst conventional creative disciplines. It was accused of being a soulless copy of actuality with solely a touch of the writer’s artistic creativeness. These days are fortunately over.

Creativity abounds in images. I all the time discover it attention-grabbing to see how completely different photographers {photograph} the identical scene on the identical time in distinctive methods. All of us have our personal methods of wanting on the world; we’re every an authentic. That is additionally evident within the post-processing stage, the place the RAW information hatch into images.

To display this actuality, I got here up with a bit problem for our workforce. Spencer, Jason, and I every contributed a pair of photographs: one panorama, one wildlife – for a complete of six photographs. We despatched one another the RAW information and edited them as in the event that they have been our personal.

One of many situations I set was that nobody would see their colleagues’ remaining photographs till they have been achieved with their very own edits. This was to forestall us from converging on an analogous visible answer. Earlier than you check out how we dealt with every file (I’m intentionally not calling them photographs but), let me present you what elements we cooked with. Under you’ll be able to see the unedited photographs as exported instantly from RAW to JPEG.

Unedited Panorama Pictures

Spencer landscape RAW
NIKON Z 8 + NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S @ 800mm, ISO 250, 1/1600, f/6.3 © Spencer Cox
Jason landscape RAW
DC-G9 + 50mm f/2.8 @ 50mm, ISO 1250, 1/50, f/13.0 © Jason Polak
Libor landscape RAW
NIKON D300 + 12-24mm f/4 @ 12mm, ISO 250, 5 seconds, f/8.0 © Libor Vaicenbacher

Unedited Wildlife Pictures

Spencer wildlife RAW
NIKON Z 9 + NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S @ 120mm, ISO 800, 1/2000, f/4.0 © Spencer Cox
Jason wildlife RAW
NIKON D500 + 500mm f/5.6 @ 500mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000, f/5.6 © Jason Polak
Libor wildlife RAW
NIKON D500 + Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR @ 500mm, ISO 2500, 1/1250, f/5.6 © Libor Vaicenbacher

Panorama Pictures

Spencer’s Panorama

Taken with a supertelephoto 800mm lens, Spencer’s panorama superbly compresses the attitude of the rock massif and historical jagged glacier. {A photograph} that evokes awe and respect for nature.

Spencer Landscape (Spencer's Version)
Spencer’s edit

Spencer’s enhancing consists of slight compositional corrections by cropping from the perimeters and prime. That is most noticeable at nighttime ridge of the glacier on the left, the highest of which touches the sting, inflicting the viewer’s eye to slip again into the body. A small element, but it surely works properly. The general really feel of the {photograph} is darkish, dense, and nearly monochromatic. Solely the rock within the background and the occasional glimmer of blue from the glacier reveal that it is a shade {photograph}.

Spencer Landscape (Jason's Version)
Jason’s edit

In his enhancing, Jason revered the artist’s authentic composition and left the photograph uncropped. Jason processed the RAW into lighter tones and maintained a lower-contrast look, emphasizing the gap of the panorama. The shadows usually are not as darkish as in Spencer’s model, and the blue of the ice is a little more pronounced. Though I wasn’t on location, I believe that is what the entire scene appeared like in actuality by a pair of binoculars.

Spencer Landscape (Libor's Version)
Libor’s edit

I predicted that the blokes would stick extra to actuality when enhancing the information, so I made a decision to get a bit extra adventurous in my processing. And this exhibits it. Previous, compressed, bubble-free ice tends to be a stupendous blue, which I needed to emphasise. I did this by regionally adjusting the white stability to sunlight, which gave the ice a cool tint. I darkened the browns and blacks for distinction, so the temper is someplace between Spencer’s darkish and Jason’s lighter model.

Jason’s Panorama

I ponder if this photograph, full of gorgeous pastel tones, price Jason his dry pants and a superb portion of his physique warmth. In that case, it was definitely worth the sacrifice. On a late autumn day, Jason captured a stupendous picture stuffed with refined shade transitions. The concord of heat and funky colours so typical for this time of yr can also be pleasing.

Jason Landscape (Spencer's Version)
Spencer’s edit

Spencer “minimize down” the 2 bushes that contact the fitting fringe of the body by cropping them out. He additionally cropped a little bit of the sky to protect the side ratio. His selection of white stability and darker strategy to the picture suggests a later second within the night, post-sunset. The lower-contrast look is comparatively just like the unique, however the small saturation enhance evokes a film-like look.

Jason Landscape (Jason's Version)
Jason’s edit

Jason took a barely completely different strategy than Spencer. He left the photograph uncropped. He additionally brightened the tones within the sky much more, however maintained a lower-contrast look. Within the time that I’ve been watching Jason’s work, I’ve gotten a way of his creative model. It exhibits within the gentle pastel colours, the decrease distinction, and the general dreamy environment.

Jason Landscape (Libor's Version)
Libor’s edit

I made barely extra radical edits to Jason’s picture. Whereas I didn’t crop the photograph, I used the Draw Therapeutic Masks device to take away some rocks within the water and a stick protruding from a boulder within the foreground. I saturated the entire shot a bit extra, and I additionally added some distinction and readability. To make the rocks on the water’s edge inviting to sit down on, I brightened the shoreline by growing brightness and readability.

Libor’s Panorama

The mountain steppe, or páramo, of northern Ecuador and Colombia is characterised by particular vegetation referred to as frailejónes. Because of its proximity to the equator, the post-sunset panorama is bathed in a bluish mild, fog, and (regardless of the tropical local weather) a chill. The photograph was taken at an altitude of over 4,000 meters.

Libor Landscape (Spencer's Version)
Spencer’s edit

As soon as once more, Spencer’s crop device wasn’t idle, chopping out a frailejón on the far left and an honest quantity of the sky. The white stability has decreased among the blue solid. Spencer’s enhancing appears to have turned the clock again about half an hour, not lengthy after the solar had set behind the horizon.

Libor Landscape (Jason's Version)
Jason’s edit

Once more, Jason retains his enhancing model. The gentle pastel tones, with out deep shadows or dramatic distinction, give the mountain panorama a brooding however serene character. Word that the variations in tonality between the dry and inexperienced grass are a lot much less pronounced than in Spencer’s edit. However, like Spencer, he brightened the unique file and in addition made the picture seem to have been taken earlier within the night.

Libor Landscape (Libor's Version)
Libor’s edit

If Spencer and Jason’s edits shifted the temper of the photograph again half an hour, I moved it in the wrong way by the identical period of time. I stored the robust blue solid and simply pulled out the shadows general. Conversely, I darkened the sky and added extra drama with the Readability device. I lightened the leaves of the frailejónes so they’d stand out in opposition to their environment.

Wildlife Images

Spencer’s Dragonfly

Dragonflies have been flying over our planet for the reason that Carboniferous Interval. A few of them have been a lot bigger than they’re at this time. At present’s dragonflies are smaller, however simply as lovely and simply as harmful – at the least to the bugs they catch in flight. Spencer captured a dragonfly at one in all its roosts, the place these small predators observe their environment and scout for prey.

Spencer Wildlife (Spencer's Version)
Spencer’s edit

Spencer’s most important edit was to extend the general distinction, which barely elevated the colour saturation and highlighted the tonal variations within the vegetation. The general darker really feel of the photograph is according to what I wrote in my caption above. Spencer’s model exhibits the dragonfly as a predator, lurking for its prey.

Spencer Wildlife (Jason's Version)
Jason’s edit

Jason went a very completely different route in his enhancing. His dragonfly can be extra worthy of its romantic-sounding French identify, “libellule” or “demoiselle.” In a dreamy tonality of brilliant colours, the dragonfly appears to be like as fragile as a snowflake. Most of Spencer’s and Jason’s edits have been (if I’m not mistaken) world and due to this fact comparatively fast. However as you’ll be able to see, the impact is dramatically completely different.

Spencer Wildlife (Libor's Version)
Libor’s edit

I positioned my dragonfly within the forest and let a beam of sunshine shine on it from someplace. By adjusting the brightness and distinction regionally, I introduced the dragonfly out of the shadows. To make it pop extra within the photograph and to contribute to the general “forest” look, I decreased the distinction and gave a extra uniform hue to the background. I additionally used a round masks to suppress the flare within the higher left nook. Lastly, I added vignetting to attract the attention to the principle topic.

Jason’s Redstart

Redstarts are small songbirds discovered primarily in Latin America. Early within the morning, lengthy earlier than dawn, they mild up the encompassing forest with their lovely tune, which appears to develop in depth because it progresses. As lovely as they sing, they’re a pleasure to observe. Until you’re one of many bugs they feed on.

Jason has supplied us with a bit second from the lifetime of this charming chook, so come see how we polished his photograph.

Jason Wildlife (Spencer's Version)
Spencer’s edit

this set of photographs, I really feel like a sure regularity is beginning to crystallize for us right here: contrasting realism (Spencer), pastel romanticism (Jason), and saturated junglism (Libor). Additionally, it’s attention-grabbing how all of us roughly converge on the cropping. Return to the unique RAW file for this picture, and also you’ll see that it’s cropped very otherwise. Our consistency in how we cropped this picture is outstanding.

Jason Wildlife (Jason's Version)
Jason’s edit

Jason’s Redstart is edited with an analogous aesthetic as his earlier photographs. In comparison with the RAW authentic, the processed photograph has a pinkish tint, and remarkably, the sharply outlined gradients within the background have largely dissolved – little question a results of cautious native enhancing. Additionally, the redstart and your entire department it’s perched on give the impression of being lit by a big softbox.

Jason Wildlife (Libor's Version)
Libor’s edit

As with the dragonfly, I selected the jungle search for the redstart. Utilizing Seize One’s auto-generated masks, I edited the chook, insect, and department individually. I then created a masks for the background and added inexperienced by shifting the hue slider about 15 ticks to the left. I then unified the background hue within the Portrait tab of the Shade Editor. The ultimate adjustment was to darken the sides of the photograph.

Libor’s Starling

Starlings are some of the frequent birds on the earth. They are often discovered from Europe to Australia, the place they have been launched by European immigrants. They destroy winemakers’ crops and, even worse, our enjoyment of wine. Due to their large flocks, it’s a good suggestion to hold an umbrella even on a sunny day in Rome. It could appear that it’s not simple to like these birds. However once you take a look at their lovely plumage, all is forgiven.

Libor Wildlife (Spencer's Version)
Spencer’s edit

I’d be repeating myself if I wrote once more that Spencer is essentially the most trustworthy to actuality. His edit finest captures the true shade of the entire scene. The unique RAW has a slight inexperienced tint from the sunshine coming by the leaves. Spencer eliminated it completely. He additionally brightened the entire photograph a bit, however by brightening the wings essentially the most, he emphasizes them specifically.

Libor Wildlife (Jason's Version)
Jason’s edit

If I wasn’t certain that I used to be the writer of this photograph, I might positively say that it was Jason’s photograph based mostly on the enhancing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dragonfly or a chook, the romantic Jason makes them appear like angels. To recap: the photograph has excessive brightness, decreased distinction and a type of glow, in addition to gentle gradients between shades and pastel gentle colours.

Libor Wildlife (Libor's Version)
Libor’s edit

And we’re heading for the finals. It most likely received’t shock anybody that my edit is kind of vital. The colours are wealthy and saturated. For the reason that starling was backlit, I needed to transfer the shadow slider fairly a bit. This made the metallic inexperienced, purple and blue feathers and their uncommon texture actually pop. I made this adjustment regionally by the masks on the starling solely, leaving the background softer.


So there we go. Three authors, three completely different enhancing packages, six RAW information, eighteen completely different photographs. However with every new set of photographs I checked out, I noticed that every of us had a definite, distinctive model. It exhibits that the journey to the picture is way from over when the shutter is pressed.

In fact, the journey from RAW file to {photograph} is an extended one, and the paths you’ll be able to take are numerous. You don’t have to lock your self into any explicit model, and almost certainly, your strategy to post-processing will change over time. Simply determine an strategy that you just like, and have enjoyable.

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