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Post-Shoot RAW Processing

Lesson 7 from: Studio Photography: Shoot and Edit While Tethered

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

7. Post-Shoot RAW Processing

Lesson Info

Post-Shoot RAW Processing

We have four different looks here between the lighting, the clothing, the backgrounds, and everything else. So now we have some images to go through. And we kind of have a little bit of a plan of what we wanna do with the images based on how we were tethering, the settings we were using, and it gives us some direction going forward with what we wanna do in the post-work. So one of the things we wanna do next, now that we've done this high-key type of shoot is I wanna go through and show what I do after we're done shooting with the raw images. So we'll start off by moving those around, making our adjustments and our selects. So what I wanna do first is go through all of the images we shot. So within any type of structure, any type of shoot, there's always favorites, there's always selects, there's ones you're looking for that you wanna keep editing. So one thing that's pretty neat within Capture One is going through and looking at all the images. And you can hit numbers on the keyboard ...

or you can select 'em by color. So you can see, underneath each thumbnail we have five dots. Each of those dots can be a rating. So if you hit one on the keyboard, on this image, you'll notice underneath, now one of those dots is starred. If you hit five, it's five-starred. So you can make your selects based on that. And if you hit zero, it gets rid of 'em altogether. So first thing I wanna do is go through and make selects. So basically when we're doing that, I'm just going off first impression of how the image affects me, how it speaks to me, if it's what I was looking for, or visualizing in my head. With any shoot, there's different things you're looking for but you usually know right away. So we'll go through, I'm just gonna one-star, and then we'll go through and do culling. So again, I'm just going off first impression. This could be whether I'm looking at the light, the expression, the way the clothing sits, the way the background looks, whatever it is, it's kind of hard to explain. It's all personal preference. This is your choice as an artist what works for you based on what you were shooting or what you were going for. Again, I'm just looking for genuine expression and a look that really works well with the lighting that we were using. As I go through, I'm just hitting one to go through the first round. And then I'll show you how we go forward from there. And again, we're gonna end up resetting these all back to zero, as far as settings, so I'm not even concerned about the color toning or any of that. I'm only going off of composition, expression, lighting, anything like that. Now we're on to the second outfit. I'm gonna continue to just one-star these. Definitely got a lot of different variety for a quick shoot. I better pick a couple more of these ones, I didn't pick too many. And now for the last setup, pick a couple of these. So once you've selected a number of images, it doesn't matter how many, you can go up to this little tool here in Capture One, above the thumbnails, and you can select by rating. So right now, now we can view, you notice all these ones on here don't have any stars but as we go to the top, these are all your one-star images. So as you go through, if you wanna select further and you wanna get rid of what we selected, you can always click, so right now, the total in this gallery is 108 images. Of the one-starred images, there are 12. Well if you wanna break that down even further, say we just want two of each outfit, you can go and you can two-star those, and again, they'll go automatically to the top because it's sorted by rating. So I do like this image, and I do like that image. So now as we move, those two are now our top two. And we'll select two from the white, that one, and that one. And those are now at the top. So we selected four images that are our main selects. And what we can do now is if you wanna start off with your processing as it is, that's great. If you wanna start fresh and kind of rework those images through Capture One, you can do that as well. So what we'll do is we'll rework this first image, so we'll just reset that image, hitting the reset arrow up here, top left. And that brings it back to totally raw, nothing done to that image, it's straight out of camera. So with that, we can go back through our selection, white balance again, we were shooting with studio strobes balanced at 5,500 Kelvin, so we're gonna leave that. We can then up the exposure a little bit. I'm gonna come in and adjust the highlights and the shadows. Then after I do the shadows, that's when I go back and do the contrast because I like it to be nice and contrast-y but with nothing blown out. We're then gonna de-saturate just slightly and that's mostly for skin tones. We can get rid of those two dropdown menus. Now we're back to our color balance. So this is, again, a matter of taste, or what you were going for within that shoot. This is something that, I'll do some of this color within Capture One but I'll also do some of it later with some other programs that I use. So I like to lightly colorize and color-tone everything in here but I don't get too over-the-top knowing that the final color-grading is gonna come later. So I just want a little bit of a loose idea of what it's gonna look like here. As we continue though levels, up the contrast by adjusting those levels even more. And then our skin tones. So again, just selecting the skin tones, getting rid of any of that red we don't like and this one has a little more because the shirt was definitely casting some extra red. I think we got a pretty good-looking image here. Now what we're gonna do, I'm gonna up the shadows just a little bit more. Again, I like to work with an image, I like to export an image that doesn't have all the contrast, knowing that I'm gonna do some color later. I need to leave some room in the dynamic range to push it even further. So now that we've made all of our adjustments to this image, we can select those again. You can either hit this arrow or you can go up here to edit. Sorry, adjustments, copy adjustments, or you can hit this arrow up here, it's a shortcut. Go back to this one, we'll reset it. You can either hit the apply arrow or go to adjustments, apply adjustments, and now you'll see these two images have the same, all the same settings are applied to both of those images from the color to the highlights and shadows, to clarity, to everything we did, even the skin tones, it's all the exact same. So this is handy for bulk processing or batch processing if you have a large shoot and you want everything to look the same, which, for the most part, you probably should as a photographer because you want consistency from image to image. And your color palette is probably something that identifies you as a photographer when people look at your work, whether you're someone who has more blues in your shadows or more saturation, or black and white, whatever it is, I always try and keep a similar look to every photo I shoot, as far as color goes. There's obviously different things you can change as you go through it. So it's totally dependent on your look. But I like to start here and adjust a lot of it later. So the next thing we're gonna do is adjust two of these lighter colored ones. Again, I'm gonna reset, actually, I'm not gonna reset because I actually like how that looks. I'm gonna up the shadows just a little bit. I don't mind the background's nice and white. Again, it's crazy. This is the same background from one photo to the other. So just knowing how you can control the light, that's why I always use a white background, because you can go from something that's almost black, like our very first image, to gray, to white, just by light placement and light modifier. So you don't need all these different backgrounds, you don't really need anything. In my studio, I just have a white wall that I shoot on. And that's all the background we need as far as from black, to white, to gray. So just depending on how you light it, you can control that.

Ratings and Reviews

Anne Dougherty

Very good class, I thought. Dan is very clear about what he wants to emphasize and what he wants to tone down, in order to support the personality and interests of the subject. He is personable yet focused on topic. Just find him very watchable and a great teacher.

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