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"If you are serious about photography then it must be RAW to produce your JPG?"

 

 

Does that mean that those who shoot in jpg only are not serious about their photography? What about the people who simply have no time to sit an edit hundreds of raw files, with tight deadlines. I know 3 photogs in my locale that 'prefer' to shoot in jpg for a quick turnaround. I was just stating that there's some people that would rather do it. I was willing to bet that there's a large portion of the photography circle who would rather do it. It's a part of quickening or lightening a workflow. 

 

Not everyone wants to shoot raw. It's a simple observation based on lots of comments from other folk too when this debate comes up. Experiences of this sort of thing are going to be different for everyone. 

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+ 1

" I bet the best of photogs are shooting jpg only"

 

no

 

 

km

 

Why would anyone want to only shoot in JPG?   A quick look shows I have done so only a handful of times in recent years, and in most instances wish I had not done so - it did not save that much time, but did lose masses of editing ability.

 

If you are serious about photography then it must be RAW to produce your JPG?

Because we get the results we require.

It's not serious or not serious to do it one way or another.

I used to use amateur 35mm. stocks on occasion because they did something the pro films couldn't- high ISO, for example, before Vericolor or Ektacolor went above 160.

They worked and so does JPEG for my stock work.

I can think of only one licenced image that might have looked a little better if shot RAW. But it sold for $322 so I'm not too concerned about it.

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I always shoot RAW+JPEG. Use the RAW for images from my old Nikon DSLR and G12, but like having the JPEGS as 'reference' shots. With the Fuji X-E1, I use the JPEG unless it needs extra work for any reason. No point in practice bleeding...

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 Do you use Photomechanic Paul ?

 

Because I'll tell you why, and I'm re-iterating a point I made earlier. Choosing my selects and captioning (particularly for stock but also news) takes me far longer than processing RAW files to JPEG and making crops and basic adjustments.

 

If I'm shooting "Live News" images, and speed is of the essence, then having my IPTC information pre-prepared in Photomechanic, with code replacements for the specific variances I might need to add to individual frames and then being able to FTP or mail out JPEGs saves me a huge amount of time. It also uses the in-built JPEG preview in a RAW file to allow you to do selects and basic crops and edits while the full file is being pulled in. It is as fast from card insert to view as JPEG, if not faster with the auto import options and the ability to either only ingest or view "locked" files into the system at that time

 

The bonus is I still have the RAWs to use later if I'm doing a second edit, or a higher quality edit for stock when I'm under less time pressure.

 

If you did a poll around freelance news and sports photographers, and the big agencies, excepting those who have their own badged variant, then Photomechanic usage is almost monopolistic - because it shortens the workflow. You'd also be surprised at the number who shoot RAW, particularly in sport.

 

All of that said the OP is looking for some workflow improvements around stock - not news shooting. So whilst this discussion is interesting I'm not sure the news/immediacy angle helps the OP answer his question - and I wouldn't recommend Photomechanic for a pure stock shooter if they already have Lightroom for example. I also suspect that there is as much to do in saving time in some of the tasks that sit around the actual processing of files in the software that could be optimised. Workflow is an end-to-end process and not just about software used or file formats. Some of which is easily negated by being able to do other productive tasks while long duration (but automatic) process steps take place.

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I think there is no right way.... serious means having a good technical image at the end. How you reach the end is everybodies own thing. If somebody know the way how to do it only with JPEG then it is fine. I can add more colors, brightness or adjust white balance with lightroom but i can also choose to do it before you make the shot. As long you understand what you are doing. Some people prefer to do it directly in camera to save time afterwards and other prefer to shoot without loosing time and process the images in peace at home. Whatever you do it doesnt matter.

 

When somebody sees a great image on a magazine you will not think is it processed before or after....the image is important and there are many ways to come to that image.

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I think there is no right way.... serious means having a good technical image at the end. How you reach the end is everybodies own thing. If somebody know the way how to do it only with JPEG then it is fine. I can add more colors, brightness or adjust white balance with lightroom but i can also choose to do it before you make the shot. As long you understand what you are doing. Some people prefer to do it directly in camera to save time afterwards and other prefer to shoot without loosing time and process the images in peace at home. Whatever you do it doesnt matter.

 

When somebody sees a great image on a magazine you will not think is it processed before or after....the image is important and there are many ways to come to that image.

 

Well said, Mirco.

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I think there is no right way.... serious means having a good technical image at the end. How you reach the end is everybodies own thing. If somebody know the way how to do it only with JPEG then it is fine. I can add more colors, brightness or adjust white balance with lightroom but i can also choose to do it before you make the shot. As long you understand what you are doing. Some people prefer to do it directly in camera to save time afterwards and other prefer to shoot without loosing time and process the images in peace at home. Whatever you do it doesnt matter.

 

When somebody sees a great image on a magazine you will not think is it processed before or after....the image is important and there are many ways to come to that image.

 

Well said, Mirco.

 

Indeed.

 

Although in my idle moments, I do wonder how many potentially worthy images haven't made the cut because they were shot as a JPEG and not raw. 

 

<devil's advocate mode = off>

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What was the point of the OP? Oh, "Workflow simplification." But now we're debating the News workflow against the Stock workflow. That's apples and oranges.  If I were a working PJ or covering local news, which I've not done in many years, I would shoot JPEGs and get the stuff up and out as quickly as possible. But when shooting stock, I shoot RAW and deal with each image individually in Post.

 

With all the issues about failing Alamy QC that are constantly being discussed, I would think most of you would have a workflow similar to mine; and that trying to find ways to trim a relatively small amount of time from your workflow would be counter productive.

 

To end with a personal note: the only time I tried to move more quickly through my workflow I missed something and had the one and only failed image I've ever had. 

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Mine is similar, just the RAW part is missing.

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Mine is similar, just the RAW part is missing.

And for this thou shalt be burned at the stake.

 

Seriously, though, I think that with the much-improved processing and lens correction features now built into cameras, shooting RAW may be not be as important as it used to be, except of course in low light and other high ISO situations.

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I'm going to try to increase my number and size of Alamy submissions. At the moment I'm taking all my pictures in Nikon RAW and processing them with Nikon Capture and Photoshop and I'm not sure how I can simplify this workflow model to achieve new high levels of productivity. 

I would be thankful for any suggestions

Tim

 

I always shoot Nikon Raw and process 99% of the time with Capture NX2. (only use Photoshop to remove what cannot be removed in NX.).

As software technology advances we might be able to go back to Raw Files in a few years time to process them even better than we can now.

 

1.Open raw image adjust exposure.

2. +10 contrast

3. +10 color booster

4. Switch on tonal contrast (color Efex filter that shows up dust bunnies) Check image at 100% removing offending dust bunnies using auto re-touch brush.

5. Switch off tonal contrast filter.

6. Crop as required.

7. Use size resolution option to check image meet Alamy requirements and adjust if required.

8. Save changes in RAW image.

9. save JPEG to upload folder.

 

The majority of my images are processed as above and no sharpening is added. (a couple of minutes max for each image)

 

Additions to the above include using

 

(Better quality 2012) noise reduction in camera controls.

 

Control points to darken or lighten parts of the image 

 

Various Color Efex filters as and when i feel they will enhance the image.

 

Tim. What is your step by step workflow that you want to simplify?

 

Trying to work quicker might be not the way to go.

 

Regards

Craig

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Perhaps important to add: RAW is the only proof you have that you are the actual owner of the picture and thus owns the copyright. (like in the old days with negative film). Important in times where pictures are nicked on a daily basis - especially by bloggers and newspapers - and start leading their own life with all their data stripped on the big wide web.

 

I shoot in RAW + Jpeg but seldom use the Jpegs. RAW offers me far more controll and I like to show the scene as I saw it, NOT as the camera captured it. Meaning with no overexposed skies nor with pitch-black shadows, but with as much detail as possible.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

+1

 

I can't believe so many are advocating shooting JPEG only.  I have a Fuji X-E1 which is supposed to have great jpegs but I can still make a better job from the raw file.  Saving time isn't the most important consideration IMO.

 

Pearl

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Shoot Raw and process via Capture One Pro 7. I used to do Raw + Jpg but never used the Jpg's as the Raws had a lot more detail. You can pull the shadows a lot more. Once you set up a few common styles / presets etc, it doesn't take long. That said, I do spend a lot longer with images I consider to be print worthy. It's worth spending the extra time getting the best out of them.

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Mine is similar, just the RAW part is missing.

 

You mean you want to miss out on all this fun, Mark?  

 

(You must have your head in the clouds.   :D  Sorry, I couldn't resist the bad pun [or is that just a bad joke?])

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+1

Perhaps important to add: RAW is the only proof you have that you are the actual owner of the picture and thus owns the copyright. (like in the old days with negative film). Important in times where pictures are nicked on a daily basis - especially by bloggers and newspapers - and start leading their own life with all their data stripped on the big wide web.

 

I shoot in RAW + Jpeg but seldom use the Jpegs. RAW offers me far more controll and I like to show the scene as I saw it, NOT as the camera captured it. Meaning with no overexposed skies nor with pitch-black shadows, but with as much detail as possible.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

I can't believe so many are advocating shooting JPEG only.  I have a Fuji X-E1 which is supposed to have great jpegs but I can still make a better job from the raw file.  Saving time isn't the most important consideration IMO.

 

Pearl

I'm inclined to agree with Pearl on this one. There is no way I would ever shoot exclusively JPEG, but I am considering RAW+JPEG just to see if there is any advantage. When I first got my X Pro 1 I used RAW+JPEG for a while but always ended up processing the RAW files and dumping the JPEG's. I can see that under ideal conditions the JPEG might well be good enough to use with very little tweaking, but then, do I want to spend time comparing the two files to see which is going to give the better picture?

Probably not.

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Here is how I simplify my workflow.

 

I wait a week before editing my images because I am no longer in love with them, and I can save time by more deletions than if I processed the same day.

 

If I have spent several sessions shooting in one location I group the images shot on different days and edit and process all in one batch. This way I can keep only the strongest, and the keywording is easier because they are of the same subject matter.

 

I have a 4 page checklist of everything I might do to a digital file batch. The steps on the list are in the best and most efficient order. I check things off as I do them, or X them off if the step is not necessary for that particular batch. If I go for a pee, then I return later to exactly the same place in the process. No missed steps.

 

I keyword and caption to a raw processed DNG file before outputting to TIFF for refinement in photoshop. Done in this order the keywording is embedded in all subsequent versions of the file. I do all keywording in my own software and only use Alamy Manage Images to cut and paste keywords in order of importance.

 

I do all repetative work using ACTIONS in photoshop. For instance my Alamy action opens a folder of TIFFS and outputs a JPG to exact Alamy specifications from each Tiff in the folder. 1 or 100 JPGs it does not matter. I can read my email or write this post while the action does its thing. The JPGs are all to Alamy specs every time. When refining a folder of Tiffs in photoshop I have an OPEN action that opens a chosen file from that specific folder and also creates a curve layer, and a saturation layer. Once I am finished with the file in photoshop, I have a SAVE action that flattens the file, saves a TIFF to a "Make JPG for ALAMY" folder, and then finally triggers the OPEN action again so I can work on the next TIFF. I go round and round automatically between the two actions until I am through the folder.

 

Gotto go, Photoshop ACTION finished it's thing.

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I think that shooting JPEG only is analogous to shooting colour print film, getting your set of prints and dumping the negs. Not only are you losing vast amounts of potential info from the raw file but, as several people have already pointed out, possible future improvements in raw processing are ruled out forever. 


 


I doubt that the OP was thinking of JPEGS only when he posted. He is obviously into quality images (moreover he is using a D800 from the file size of his images) so it would seem ludicrous to me to have such quality kit and then throw much of that potential quality away. 


 


Mike@Meonshore hits the nail on the head in that it is selecting, captioning and keywording that takes time, not doing raw conversions - although a fast computer with plenty of RAM will certainly help when working with D800 images. I don't think the OP gives enough detail really about hisn workflow - what is he doing in Photoshop, for example. 

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I do all repetative work using ACTIONS in photoshop. For instance my Alamy action opens a folder of TIFFS and outputs a JPG to exact Alamy specifications from each Tiff in the folder. 1 or 100 JPGs it does not matter. I can read my email or write this post while the action does its thing. The JPGs are all to Alamy specs every time. When refining a folder of Tiffs in photoshop I have an OPEN action that opens a chosen file from that specific folder and also creates a curve layer, and a saturation layer. Once I am finished with the file in photoshop, I have a SAVE action that flattens the file, saves a TIFF to a "Make JPG for ALAMY" folder, and then finally triggers the OPEN action again so I can work on the next TIFF. I go round and round automatically between the two actions until I am through the folder.
 
Gotto go, Photoshop ACTION finished it's thing.

Two points here:

 

I used to use Photoshop actions a lot (I still do a bit) but Lightroom can do file conversion/outputting without the need to open the files -  definitely more efficient I find as I continue to use Photoshop at the same time.

 

Why use TIFF rather than PSD? PSDs are handled much better by Photoshop if retaining adjustment layers.

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Here follows a heresy.

Shoot JPEG and use Lightroom.

 

 

It is heresy, even blasphemy, but you may have found a convert here. I've always shot RAW. However, I've been shooting RAW+JPEG lately, and the the JPEGs out of my camera tend to look better than the processed RAW files. Alamy suggests saving the JPEGs as TIFs before tweaking them, which I've been doing (16 bit). This adds an extra step. Still, shooting JPEG certainly does simplify things. Now, time to run for cover...

 

Never mind heresy and blasphemy - what is the point in converting an 8-bit JPEG to 16-bit? You have already discarded the info in using the JPEG so you can't put it back in. This will slow you down in fact, as the 16-bit TIFF will take more time to save etc than an 8-bit TIFF for no gain in quality. 

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I used to use Photoshop actions a lot (I still do a bit) but Lightroom can do file conversion/outputting without the need to open the files -  definitely more efficient I find as I continue to use Photoshop at the same time.

 

Why use TIFF rather than PSD? PSDs are handled much better by Photoshop if retaining adjustment layers.

Quote from MDM and my answer is:

 

I use Adobe Camera Raw instead of Lightroom, so the Lightroom conversions are not available to me. Still thinking about Lightroom.
 
I save finished flattened 16 bit Tiffs and also the matching processed raw DNG files to my image archives. Very occasionally I save a layered PSD to the image archives as well, but only if it has a lot of extra work or elements I might want to change or use in the future.
 
The archive file is mainly a TIFF because I think the Tiff file is more universal than the PSD file. A TIFF can be opened by any system or any program anywhere. Once you get outside the Adobe orbit, old PSD files can sometimes be troublesome.

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My philosophy is to maximise on the quality of my resources. I only shoot in RAW unless buffer times are critical, sports, fast moving environments, or when quality is not relevant, kids parties, snapshot environment. I also only shoot in manual settings for camera and flash(es). I believe this saves time in processing, consistent settings, particularly for WB, and results in a better image. Probably it is because I am not a great photographer that I need to keep as much flexibility as possible to create a decent end product.

 

dov

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Quote from MDM and my answer is:

I used to use Photoshop actions a lot (I still do a bit) but Lightroom can do file conversion/outputting without the need to open the files -  definitely more efficient I find as I continue to use Photoshop at the same time.

 

Why use TIFF rather than PSD? PSDs are handled much better by Photoshop if retaining adjustment layers.

 

I use Adobe Camera Raw instead of Lightroom, so the Lightroom conversions are not available to me. Still thinking about Lightroom.

I only moved to Lightroom a year ago. Before that I had my own database for keeping track of my images and I used Bridge with ACR and Photoshop. I moved to Lightroom for the database mainly and it is excellent. It has speeded up my workflow on that level for sure. The ability to output various files in different formats using presets is a real boon and I find the map module really useful for keeping locality info from my GPS. Worth looking into I think.

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I can't add to what Mike has said really. The only time I don't shoot RAW is when I'm covering a football match and it's purely due to the buffer issues on the D700. Speed is of the escence because of deadlines so jpegs are fine.

 

RAW + jpeg at all other times. I use the jpegs for quick uploads for news and work on the RAW for stock later.

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Although I probably won't be changing over I'm prompted by this thread to try shooting raw+jpeg a bit, especially now I've found out how to make LR show both.

A change of camera is as good an excuse as any.

BTW don't drop an A350, especially not bottom right-hand corner first a foot onto a parquet floor. The sensor is displaced rather readily.

Edited by spacecadet

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MDM

 

Thanks for the info on Lightroom. I am using the system you were using a year ago. I am also using the personal edition of Portfolio software as an image database. However Portfolio will no longer be supported after Dec 31, so that means the dreaded software rot. I may have to start using Lightroom.

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