Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1

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  • Alain Briot
    Alain Briot
    Silver Member
    Posts: 21
    Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    on: April 27, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    I use the term ‘raw file’ to describe my photographs as they appear in the raw converter with the default settings applied automatically by the converter.    I could say ‘photographs as they open in the raw converter with the default settings that are automatically applied by the converter without any input from me  other than loading the raw files in the converter.’  This may be more accurate from an engineering perspective but this is not how I talk, this is not my voice, so I just say ‘raw file’.   If you find my use of the term ‘raw file’ confusing consider it my personal manipulation of the engineering-accurate raw file terminology and the re-writing of this terminology by Alain Briot so that it is written and presented in layman’s terms that make sense in the context of my essay and of my approach to the subject which is rhetorical and not technical.

    Author of Mastering Landscape Photography and 3 other books.
    http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
    [email protected]

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 294
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #1 on: April 27, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    I meant ‘unprocessed’ and in future essays I will use this term rather than ‘raw file’.

    They are processed. They have to be or they would appear as I provided. They are perhaps processed in some raw converter with some default settings. But again, they are processed. So again, it’s confusing to say unprocessed. I’m using two special products designed to show actual raw data prior to rendering, the actual appearance of the raw data itself. In those products, indeed there is no processing, they are unprocessed, and you see what the raw data really looks like from the sensor. Yeah, it’s ugly.

    You had a raw capture. You opened it in say ACR on a virgin machine that it was just installed on. ACR processes the raw based on the default settings out of the box just to show you a preview. You click Open. You see the processed (rendered) image in Photoshop and of course it appears like the preview in ACR. The defaults may not be to your liking. You might move the various sliders. You see a different preview of the rendering if and when you let ACR render the raw and open it in Photoshop.

    So, I think again, the label you want is ‘default rendering‘ or “default settings for processing” (I prefer the term rendering), something like that. That tells your readers, you simply let the converter preview and render the raw without any input from you. Then you show the edits you provided in ACR to subjectively render the image as you wish to express it.

    One of the best articles on this idea is from Karl Lang and the sidebar about Jay Maisel is also very telling:

    http://www.lumita.com/site_media/work/whitepapers/files/pscs3_rendering_image.pdf

    As for embedding images, I give up. Maybe it’s the source (FTP) they reside but this is the only site/forum I’ve seen this issue.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    John Sadowsky
    John Sadowsky
    Participant
    Posts: 169
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #2 on: April 27, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Since I started this shit-storm, let me restate my complaint.  We are all serious photographers.  We understand that our photos are all processed.  But to simply state “raw files as processed to give a realistic look” is bull shit!  When I see a sky that I know, when I see rocks that I know, and they don’t look the way I know they actually should look – I don’t give a damn about deltaE – it is just wrong!

    I totally appreciate surrealistic photography.  Just don’t tell us it is “processed to give a realistic look.” Our images are all processed.  Can we please be honest about that?

    JSS

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 294
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #3 on: April 27, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Ah, reality 😜
    Everything you can imagine is real.
      Pablo Picasso

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Alain Briot
    Alain Briot
    Silver Member
    Posts: 21
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021 at 4:41 am

    In this essay, and in my other essays past and future, I use the term ‘raw file’ to describe my photographs as they appear in the raw converter with the default settings applied automatically by the converter.    I could say ‘photographs as they open in the raw converter with the default settings that are automatically applied by the converter without any input from me  other than loading the raw files in the converter.’  This may be more accurate from an engineering perspective but this unnecessarily lengthy and wordy.  Most importantly this is not how I talk, this is not my voice, so I just say ‘raw file’.

    So far, over the course of 4 books and over 400 essays published online and in print, nobody has had a problem with it.  However, if you find my use of the term ‘raw file’ confusing consider it my personal interpretation of the engineering-accurate raw file terminology and the re-writing of this terminology by myself, Alain Briot,  so that it is written and presented in layman’s terms that make sense in the context of my essays and of my approach to the subject which is artistic and rhetorical and not documentary and technical.

    Author of Mastering Landscape Photography and 3 other books.
    http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
    [email protected]

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Alain Briot.
    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 668
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #5 on: April 28, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Since I started this shit-storm, let me restate my complaint.  We are all serious photographers.  We understand that our photos are all processed.  But to simply state “raw files as processed to give a realistic look” is bull shit!  When I see a sky that I know, when I see rocks that I know, and they don’t look the way I know they actually should look – I don’t give a damn about deltaE – it is just wrong!

    I totally appreciate surrealistic photography.  Just don’t tell us it is “processed to give a realistic look.” Our images are all processed.  Can we please be honest about that?

    John, I hear you, but what’s “realistic” changes every hour of the day, to begin with, every season of the year, every weather condition. When it comes to landscape photography the word “realistic” will mean different things to different people depending on their experience – what they’ve seen before, and if a photographer brings home something that looks realistic to him/her as perceived at the moment of capture and that no-one else has seen before, which happens, this too is realistic – a new contribution to a reality lived if only for a moment. It’s a lousy word to use in this context, because while it has an objective sound, it is in fact pretty subjective and experience-driven. So the only issue really is whether the colour pleases or not, and whether it pleases Alain but doesn’t please you, is again a subjective situation. Beauty in the eye of the beholder.

    Otherwise, there are photographic contexts where “realism” is everything and there is a way-station for assessing it. For example, I do a lot of outdoor mural art photography. The works I  photograph devolve from the imagination of the artists, and there is a whole “gesthalt” around how one does that photography. They know the colours and tones they painted, and if they expect from me “realistic” interpretations of their work, they know what they want and that’s what I deliver, because it’s not for me to redefine their palettes or their taste – they wouldn’t have it. Yet even here, I’ll use a gray card as a sanity check on the white balance, but they don’t paint with that in mind and the conditions in which they paint and then I photograph are highly variable, so it’s at best guidance from which to depart as necessary; hence even in that relatively controlled environment, what I render isn’t a dE-accurate version from scene to print, but a rendition of tone and colour that the artist and I agree renders their work about right to our eyes.

     

    Then there is the whole world of commercial product photography, where brand-colours and their dE-ACCURACY are vital to the clients, and that becomes a whole other conversation that has consumed tons of concentration in the photographic, print and packaging industries.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 294
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021 at 9:14 am

    As the Chinese proverb says: “The first step towards genius is calling things by their proper name.”

    The short and correct term is “default rendering” or even “default processing”.

    It is interesting some found these default rendered examples visually preferable to your renderings too; the crux of the OPs comments.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 668
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #7 on: April 28, 2021 at 9:43 am

    As the Chinese proverb says: “The first step towards genius is calling things by their proper name.”

    The short and correct term is “default rendering” or even “default processing”.

    It is interesting some found these default rendered examples visually preferable to your renderings too; the crux of the OPs comments.

    Yes Andrew, that’s indeed the term. At the same time, perhaps worthwhile appending the thought that even a default rendering isn’t cast in stone as a default. Our software gives us options for setting default parameters affecting the appearance of that rendering. No-one designing these algorithms ever considered that there’s anything sacrosanct about a default rendering. It’s just a decent jumping-off point.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 294
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #8 on: April 28, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Indeed Mark. And we can differentiate them by calling them use “user default”.

     

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Mike Broomfield
    Mike Broomfield
    Silver Member
    Posts: 36
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #9 on: April 28, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    The presentation Alain shows above makes far more sense side by side than the 3 vertical images with the same description in the article.

    Perhaps Alain should say “unprocessed by my brain” to the default files …

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
    Participant
    Posts: 294
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #10 on: April 28, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    So next question (because I’m sooooo confused <g>): what exactly is  “An iPod jpeg? “

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Terry Gipson
    Terry Gipson
    Silver Member
    Posts: 33
    Re: Creating Artistic Photographs 
Film to Digital Paradigm Shift: Part 1
    Reply #11 on: May 1, 2021 at 2:13 am

    The RAW file is just a table of numbers. It needs to be interpreted by a RAW converter. Setting all the RAW converter file settings to default gets an image of the RAW file. Otherwise one is left with looking at a table of numbers and not an image that is meaningful to the human brain.

    Terry Colorado USA [email protected] www.terrygipsonphotography.com

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