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Question for Photographers

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I was hoping the photographers on the forum can answer a couple of questions for me.


1) What editing software do you use?


2) Do you shoot most of your images in Raw or auto? & if you shoot some in Raw, what are those situations and why?


Just a little info, my DH and I are wanting to open up a business in the future (probably 2 years from now) and as a side job to tie into the business I was thinking about going into pet photography. But I have ALOT of stuff to learn before that ever happens, so I'm hoping for some pointers.


Thanks in advance.

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hi Tammy,

Adobe Photoshop is definitely the industry standard for editing - I use a combination of Lightroom (also made by Adobe) and Photoshop CS.


I mostly shoot Raw, but it depends on the camera I'm using (I love my Fuji S5Pro camera but it's unbearably slow in Raw so I always shoot jpeg with that one) But to clarify (since your question mentioned raw vs auto, jpeg isn't an auto mode - I shoot manual regardless of whether I'm shooting jpeg or raw.


this raw vs jpeg debate tends to be a huge point of discussion between photographers.. and I'm sure you'll be able to find waaay better explanations that what I can give - so please take this with a grain of salt..


- Jpeg files are smaller, and take up less room. But with jpeg you really have to nail the exposure because you don't have the same amount of latitude to edit.


The major advantage to raw has to do with the amount of data retained in the original file. (and here's the part where I get all 'photo geek' on you wink.gif ) When you shoot and edit in raw you do so in the full 16-bit mode (which allows for more gradation in colors and will hold up to more extreme editing). Jpeg is captured in 8-bit mode - and the integrity of the file is compromised every time you edit and resave the image (you lose compression). The thing is for most printing purposes you still have to convert the raw file to 8-bit mode, but in theory the raw file (shot in raw and edited in raw) will be a better 8-bits.


does that help at all? or have I thoroughly confused you? feel free to pm me to clarify (or call - sometimes it's way easier to explain over the phone than to write it out)

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A pet photography business sounds like fun!


OK, I'm not a pro but I can't help but chime in on a photo editing question.


I recently bought Kevin Kubota's Digital photography bootcamp for $20 on amazon. I think it would be a great book to get you started. There is a great explanation of RAW vs JPG. There is also a description of how to take jpgs, but make them more like raw files. You remove all the auto sharpening & stuff so you can edit & then add it back in.


RAW files sound like they give you more flexibility for editing. But, they are huge files & take up more memory & are slower.


If you were taking the photos with a studio set up it would be easier to get the exposure right. If you are chasing dogs in a park snapping away, you might want editing capability later.


For editing you will definitly want something like Photoshop CS or lightroom. Photoshop elements won't be enough because you need the tools CS has. A lot of the tools help you streamline editing which is important if you will be doing tons of editing. Just simple stuff like converting a picture to black & white can take a while in elements to do it right. With CS, you can use an action to do the conversion for you quick. I've been looking for an action that will quickly remove dog "green-eye." That might be useful too.


I also recently bought a Scott Kelby photoshop book. It has been very helpful for making the transistion from elements to CS3.


Both of the books are very easy to follow for a non-pro. There are tons of pictures & the descriptions are very clear.

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Thanks for the tips, I still need to learn how to actually change the mode on my camera to raw format.. lol. SO needless to say I still have alot to learn

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Hi Tammy....


As you may or may not know as well as being a bride I am also a professional photographer. So I can most certainly help you out.


The Jpg vs Raw debate....


I shoot Raw ALWAYS....the only time that I might shoot Jpg is if I'm running out of space or it's something not so important. Like Autumn said the Jpg file loses compression and will eventually distort from continuously opening and re-saving. A Jpg is a weaker file in that it doesn't hold as much information as a Raw file, with a raw not only is it easier for editing but you have SO much for latitude in the exposure which is so much nicer, not to mention because it holds so much for information you can crop to larger sizes with out distortion.


Editing software...


I use a combo of Lightroom and Adobe Bridge it depends on the day and what I'm trying to do. I must say I really do LOVE Lightroom it's a great program. As for Photoshop, you'll need to have CS3 to open the Raw files of most of the newer digital cameras. I shoot with a Canon outfit and you cannot open the Raw files in CS2.


I primarily shoot children whether it be in the studio or on location but I do shoot weddings and other things. When you are shooting in a studio set up there are A LOT of things you'll need to know, don't get me wrong you still have to know a lot while shooting on location as well. I find it easier to shoot my subjects on location but as far as technicals are concerned it's A LOT harder you really have to know your lighting and your camera. Studio shoots are a more controlled situation and you are able to control your lighting. Do you have any background in photography? Because that will certainly help.

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