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SLR changing to DSLR? read this first!


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In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 08:43:17 GMT
Hi TJ.
I have never used lightroom, but let me explain how photoshop 5.5 works and maybe you will see similarities in the workflow.

To begin with, PS 5.5 harbours three programs within itself, namely, Bridge, ACR, and Photoshop itself. These are distinct programs.

Bridge is a kind of index or filing program which allows you to move from folder to folder within and then displays thumbnails in the workspace, in a grid, so you can see the images and select the one you want to work with. It can show thumbnails of RAW files, jpegs, and PSD (photoshop work in progress) files, all in the same way, in the same grid.

When you click on one image, the exif data appears on a list to the left, giving the exposure details, shutter speed, aperture, which lens was used, which camera body, and serial number, plus a plethora of other information.

But... when you RIGHT click on one of the images, a fly out menu appears. One of the options there is 'Open in Adobe Camera Raw'.

When you do this, photoshop starts up, and moments later, ACR opens on top of it, with the image loaded into it.

We have arrived at the point I was trying to explain in my previous posting... what you see in the ACR window now, is the true RAW image (NEF as Nikon call it). The image is NOT the jpeg thumbnail that you see on the camera LCD, as that is produced by the camera as a guide, and for reviewing when using the camera playback mode. It is produced ONLY for use by the camera, and is NOT a 'file' which can be loaded off the card and onto the computer.

Once the file is opened in ACR, you have a range of different processing windows accessed with tabs across the very top right. The default window that you start with has sliders for exposure, white balance, fill light, blacks, brightness, contrast, clarity, vibrance and saturation. There are also tools there for straightening, cropping and spot removal - don't laugh!

The other tabs provide histogram adjustment with curves, one for sharpening and noise control, one for detailed saturation (or de-saturation) and a nice one which provides tools for lens correction, adjusting for barrel or pincushion distortion, AND chromatic abberation (those little blue and/or yellow lines you see around the fringes of objects, often when the sky is the background).

When you are done in ACR you go back to the original ACR tab, and you have two main options. Click DONE and the adjustments are saved to a new file which is placed on the same folder. It is invisible unless you look for it with windows explorer or my computer. From now on, when you open the RAW file, these adjustments that you made will be applied. ACR refers to the second file to get the adjustments, as you open the file again. If you made a mistake, you can delete that file (it is not a RAW or NEF file, it is designated .XMP with the image number before it, so you have two files now, say, for example, the image was DSC08.NEF, a second file called DSC08.XMP will be there too.

The second option, which is the one I use, is to hold down the ALT key when clicking on DONE in ACR. This cancels the adjustments made in ACR and returns the NEF file to the folder untouched - BUT - ACR passes the ADJUSTED version of the file into Photoshop, which now opens, with the image displayed, and all the adustments you made are retained. You can now save the adjusted image with a new name, and go back to the untouched NEF image to try again if needed. While in Photoshop you can apply further adjustments, or filters, etc before saving the new file.

That is pretty much the workflow, so all NEF images (RAW images) straight from the camera are always unadjusted, and therefore not very sharp, vibrant, or otherwise perked up, as the camera has not done anything to them.

Of course, this all refers to shooting in RAW only. If you set a camera to shoot JPEG you will get an image that the camera has adjusted. you can still work with it in ACR but the options are more limited.

Whew! hope that explains it all.

Regards Ross

Posted on 2 Feb 2013 08:43:46 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 2 Feb 2013 08:44:06 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 12:40:13 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Ross. "Spot Removal" Ha! Ha! The joke's on you.

Thanks for the detailed description of using PS. I've never seen the full programme in operation, but I can see where its use of ACR as a module within in it and your description of what happens in ACR does have some slight differences in operation. Much can be said to be similar but there are some distinct differences between them.

It seems very much like, say, moving to a Canon dslr from Nikon, they both achieve the same end result, but getting there is different. The work area of both is fairly similar. To start with, in Library setting, you have to first "import" the images you wish to work on into LR from wherever they are stored on the pc, this can be a complete folder, or single images. This I find a bit tedious. The images are not physically moved, it is a process of LR logging where they are for later reference, and your original folder names are then displayed down the left hand side window, and which displays the development history for the image being worked on. Naturally, if you move the original, LR can no longer find it!

There is a choice of how to view the images in the middle working window, thumbnails or individually. All the image processing adjustments are carried out in the Develop module and the various options appear in the right hand side window. As with ACR, the process in non-destructive and LR creates its own little side file with the adjustments recorded and "attaches" this to the original for later reference as an .xmp file and, just as in ACR, when you open a RAW file, it will open with these processing parameters applied. Within LR one can then save the image as a jpeg, TIFF, PSD and this opens in Zoner from where I do my printing. A slight bind, because LR needs to import images, this converted file can't be viewed until I go back to My Pictures, open the folder where it is located, and select the image to import.

An odd difference is LR does not display the original, unexpurgated version, of the RAW file that you see in ACR. Or, if it should, I haven't found out how. It creates thumbnails which have default parameters applied; you can change settings but I can't get back to the untouched original RAW file, not that I can see a reason to, to be honest.

I don't know if you know this, but the advancement of ACR and LR is largely due to Adobe buying out a small Danish software company several years ago, and they marketed a very nice piece of software purely for converting RAW files. The programme was called Pixmantec and it performed much better than Adobe camera RAW did at the time. So if you can't beat 'em buy them out! LR didn't exist but I strongly suspect it became the child of Pixmantec! I had the paid-for Pro version and was a bit miffed at the news but this turned out to be my introduction to LR - having been a customer of Pixmantec, Adobe gave me the first version of LR. I did like Pixmantec, though. It didn't try to be all things to all men, but just got on with the job of converting RAW files.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 13:21:23 GMT
TJ I get what you're saying, but as this forum is read by many who are new to DSLR processing, maybe we should emphasise what ACR is, and what it is for.

A straight 'convertor' would take an image shot in RAW (NEF on a Nikon) and save it as a Jpeg, unless you changed the defaults to save it in some other format, tiff etc.

ACR is a full blown image editor in it's own right, and offers many of the things that full blown photoshop offer, and implemented, if I may say so, far better. It is very easy to use, once you've gone through the pain of learning how to. Once you have the editing in ACR skills under your belt, your only use for photoshop really, is to apply filters. Ok there are dozens of other things you can do, but these are often one-offs, like adding text, or using layers or masks, to create special effects, a red rose in a b+w image for example, but those special tasks aside, ACR is the bees knees.

I don't know why the lightroom version of it is making adjustments before you even get your hands on the image, that is clearly not a good idea, the purpose of RAW is the same as (to use film analogy) using a negative, and then to adjust, dodge, burn, sharpen, icrease or diminish vibrance, straighten etc etc. If ACR is doing this already in lightroom as soon as you open the file, you're losing control of the creative side somewhat. I'd hit the help menus if I were you, and find out how to get the basic raw file opened untouched first. If you can't acheive this in ACR in Lightroom - which I find unlikely - you may just as well be shooting in Jpeg anyway?

Back to message though, if you are just dipping your toes in the water with DSLR's and wonder what photoshop is all about, it is three programs in one, first bridge, which is the digital equal of a sheet of negatives. You copy your raw files onto your computer, then point bridge to whatever folder you copied them onto, from there, all the images appear in thumbnail form, so you can find the one you want fairly easily.

You use bridge only for indexing and finding, and then opening the image.

I would suggest you right click on your image, and choose 'open in camera raw' which kickstarts photoshop first, then ACR which opens another window above photoshop. You do your main editing in ACR and then, you can click DONE or right click DONE to carry the adjusted image into photoshop proper, with the adjustments you just made in ACR.

Photoshop is then used to apply any filters or other effects not found in ACR which you need to apply, and then, save the file, either as a psd, a jpeg, a tiff or whatever you need.

So, Bridge is for indexing, ACR is for editing, and Photoshop for final editing and saving - to put it simply. I would advise anyone to get Scot Kelby's book on photoshop, titled The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers - or if you're using lightroom, his book The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers - which I am sure is up to the same standards.

The photoshop book has several chapters dealing with ACR, a chapter on using Bridge, and the rest is on photoshop itself - to be honest I am in the ACR pages a lot more than anywhere else, and it does cover it well.

Hope this helps newbies as information is quite hard to come by when you get that new camera and wonder, oh, right, I have these RAW files now, so what am I supposed to do with them?

Regards, Ross

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 13:42:46 GMT
Hi Ross,
Thanks for the concise explanations. Have you ever used the Nikon supplied software?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 14:08:13 GMT
Hi Dr G.,

To be honest, I did install the View NX software when I had the D5000 but it lacked so many features that I had with my (already owned) Photoshop 4 that I kicked it into touch very quickly.

Haven't looked back, the skills you gain using familiar software outweigh changing for change's sake. I know that ACR and Photoshop between them offer everything, but at a horrible price! I just wish Nikon would bundle a decent full editing program, and when a new camera is launched, it would be really nice if they would bundle a CD with an update to ACR for exsiting users (even if they only covered the last two versions of photoshop). I gather Canon do provide a lot more in the software department actually with the camera purchase, but I haven't bought a Canon so I don't know for sure what's on offer.

The world of digital photography is so complicated, but once you commit and embrace it, it is very rewarding indeed. Hope none of this puts new users off buying and exploring the full potential.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 14:53:36 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Ross.

It does seem that ACR is a completely different beast to Lightroom, especially as to how it renders RAW images. I am guessing that the way it works may be unique in that none of the imaging software I've used over the past 10 years and which have facilities for RAW conversion has ever displayed the sort of RAW file I am imagining you are looking at with .NEF. Or could this be something peculiar to Nikon and/or to ACR? Do you have any RAW formats other than NEF? How do these display in ACR?

I've used Paint Shop Pro, starting with V.7 and ending up with XII, Pixmantec Pro, Lightroom from V1 to 3.6, now Zoner Photo Studio 15 Pro, and of course, the RAW software that came with cameras I've owned starting with Canon's .CRW, .CRW2, Olympus .ORF, Sony .ARW, Panasonic's tie-in with Silkypix (various versions supplied for my LC10 dslr, Lumix LX3 and more recently FZ00) and I have even trialed the paid for version of Silkypix that was announced a couple of months ago and which will open all Panasonic RAW files. All preview a more or less normal image as a basis to start working with when displaying RAW. Unfortunately, I don't have access to any NEF files with which to do a comparison.

In principle, and only in principle, I agree that if I can't see an original, totally non-messed around with RAW file as you are getting in ACR, and which on the surface all my other editing programmes don't achieve, then one could argue that the FULL range of tweeking options isn't available to me as the initial images I see are closer to what will be eventually achieved. But, I would strongly argue, does this difference in displaying an original RAW file matter at all? What is actually happening is the programmes have been designed to apply a "standard" set of imaging tweeks. I can dial them all out if I wish, but having this pre-determined starter position is actually very helpful as it is taking a lot of suck it and see out of the process and may, actually, save a lot of time to boot.

I believe that if you now realise how these imaging software packages work to display a "preview" of a RAW image, I'm sure you won't feel a need advocating one may as well shoot in jpeg.

Going back to an earlier comment, if ACR displays different camera RAW files in the unprocessed image mode, then this must clearly relate to how ACR has been designed. Doing as the other software does, it will certainly help "newbies" venturing into RAW to have converted file that closely matches the subject and gives them a better basis to judge their image. Again, I must confess to not knowing how ACR rendered RAW to start with, but now that I do, I have to say I prefer the opposition! :-)

Posted on 2 Feb 2013 16:37:23 GMT
Hi TJB,

Are we at cross purposes? Lets forget software for a moment and go back to the camera instead.. ok?

In my Nikon at least, there are options to shoot RAW, Jpeg, or even RAW AND Jpeg at once. If I choose RAW I am saying to the camera 'record this vista, and don't mess around with it, I intend to process it myself later'. If I choose Jpeg, the camera, depending on which setting is used (vibrant, monochrome, landscape, etc) thinks... 'this guy just wants a photo, and wants me to process it for him based on a set of averages, to produce a reasonable result'.

If I choose RAW, the camera will leave the image alone, but, it will still produce an 'internal only' jpeg version of it, which is what it uses to display the image on the camera's LCD.

Now, let's port this across to the computer.

With a RAW file, it SHOULD be 'as the camera saw it, unprocessed' so that I can now begin to sharpen, change colour balance, or whatever else I wish to do. This is what a RAW file is supposed to be.

If I wanted my images pre-processed I would shoot Jpegs, allow the camera some lattitude on determining a good image, and then, later, process it further in software (but with certain options now closed off to me).

This is all I intended to say, I didn't design this stuff, no good shooting at me, I'll get you the CEO's email address at Adobe if you want to take him (or indeed, her, I have no idea) to task.

While your onto him/her, tell them how totally fed up I am at having to upgrade (£££) photoshop simply so that my newest camera can be used with ACR.

Have a good evening,

Regards,

Ross

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 17:23:09 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Ross,

We're not at loggerheads here. Sorry you have taken it that way. But it does no good your going on at me either by teaching me, in a rather childish manner, how digital cameras capture images. I've been there and done it.

I was merely highlighting the apparent difference between RAW images as displayed by ACR, and how all the competing software I've used, including Adobe's own sister product, LR , display the RAW image as shot by the camera. I have no idea why Adobe engineered ACR to display your NEF files in the way it does, or why the other software in my personal experience, doesn't and with a variety of RAW camera files thrown at them. It's decidedly odd, but that's all.

But despite LR not displaying the actual RAW image without any processing applied, I still question what the real value of being able to do this is. You've already indicated you can't really doing anything with it until it is processed further. And LR is, by all accounts, by far the professional photographers' (I don't myself in this category any more) choice, if they don't hanker after the full blown version of CS. All this points to is there are shedloads of professionals to whom this matters not the least. Are they all wrong? Or is this the start of another of your crusades? I added this last comment as I re-read my post that seems to have got your goat up, and honestly don't know how I hit your "Destruct" button.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2013 23:34:24 GMT
My reply was intended to cover the perceived problem in a way that every other, particulary, inexperienced users, might misconstrue what we have been saying. Going back to basics, for their sake, was intentionally basic, not intended to create a loggerheads situation with you, I am not seeking an argument or debate over this issue. RAW files are SUPPOSED to be unaltered digital negatives, I have no idea why lightroom is making changes to your own RAW files, I did clearly state that I don't use lightroom, it is for you to discover, when you do, let us know, it is interesting and a little odd, since it does seem to go against the intention of using RAW in the first place. When I said 'are we at cross purposes' I meant, are we talking about different things - it was not a 'destruct button' and I am saddened you think it so.

I have covered the relevant points very carefully, mostly for those who, like myself three years ago, are new to this RAW vs Jpeg issue, and hope they, at least, gain from my effort to explain. I hope we are all square now.

Regards

Ross

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Feb 2013 10:53:15 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Ross, OK with this.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2013 12:29:30 GMT
TJ since last posting on this topic, I got my magazine in the post, which oddly enough, this month, runs a really great article on ACR via Photoshop CS5. It shows the workflow, and how ACR is actually a full blown image editor and not just for converting.

If you're finding yourself in Tesco's, W H Smith etc, well worth a look, and even the £4.20.

They are continuing the ACR feature next month, but all the important info is in this one.

Look for Digital Photographer priced at 4.20, the cover of it screams RAW so it should be easy to spot. The subscription edition is out a little before its on the shelves so if it's not there now, it will be very soon.

Enjoy,

Ross

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2013 12:44:56 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Ross,

Thanks for the pointer. It is interesting to learn that despite its title, ACR does more than convert. I'm not presently in the market for a new editing suite, so my £4.20 could be more usefully spent, say on a roll of 36 exp film! And I am still trying to get to grips with Silkypix DSP5, which incorporates many weird and wonderful tools I've never come across before, and these only deal with noise reduction, colour noise reduction and sharpening that make Lightroom look like a kiddie's toy!

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2013 17:12:29 GMT
Now I understand why you were not following my earlier postings re ACR.

It is a VERY complete and VERY capable image editing suite in it's own right.

You really ought to take a peek at that magazine, while it is the current issue, in one of the major retailers, you don't actually have to buy it, but a quick scan of the half a dozen pages or so will maybe be a revelation to you and perhaps others who are unfamiliar with the extent of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw). It honestly leaves very little for you to do when you finally finish editing in ACR and port it across to Photoshop Proper, as it were.

I've abandoned film completely now, but it doesnt mean I've turned against it, it's simply a choice I made a few years back. I sold my trusty Canon and it's lenses at the time, which helped finance the Digital stuff, so I can't complain.

Regards

Ross

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2013 17:38:51 GMT
Thinking about it, when you say that you're not in the market for a new editing suite, I thought as a lightroom user that you already own ACR and would want to use it more fully? Confused again... but I've never used lightroom being a Photoshop user for many years it was just a case of learning the integrated ACR when it first arrived (I think in Photoshop 3 if I recall correctlly).

Posted on 10 Feb 2013 13:31:17 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Ross,

As a long-time film user and becoming a "newby" to digital in 2003, I started out using Paint Shop Pro 7 and which provided all I needed for my digital editing needs, except RAW conversion. My needs were, and still are, a requirement to produce the best image using the minimum of jiggery-pokery in an editing suite. I don't go in for what has been called "PhotoShopping", a term that I see has become to be used in a derogatory sense to explain what is seen by many as excessive use of digital tools.

So, with my personal view of image editing, a good RAW converter combined with a reasonable software programme is all I need. Naturally, over the years the editing software has been upgraded, as were the regular upgrades to Lightroom, but these were simply to take advantage of overall improvements in digital technology.

When you were posting about Adobe not supporting newer camera models in earlier versions of CS, I found the same problem with LR, but by then I was beginning to get a little fed up with some of LR's quirks and so, instead of upgrading, I investigated alternative software and alighted upon Zoner Studio 15 Pro, and which I find very user friendly and does a good job with my Sony and Panasonic images. Since then, as you will know, I bought Silkpix DSP5 for Panasonic cameras. As I have 3 Panny's, the LC10 dslr, Lumix LX3 and latterly the FZ200, this was the obvious choice for these cameras as it would seem it can do things with Panny images that other programmes can't.

So, requirements dictate what I feel I need and whilst the Adobe suites are up with the market leaders, the extra versatility they have is not one I have a need for.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Feb 2013 17:11:40 GMT
Hi TJ, I see you're point, some do overprocess images, to the point of stupid! stupid! stupid! It's like they can't leave it alone when they get the image right but keep going....!!

However, I remain confused at your stance on ACR as, ACR is a full blown image editing package, and is most certainly NOT just for converting the image, at least, the ACR supplied with Photoshop is.

Is there any other Lightroom user who could shed some light (no pun) on this for us? Is ACR in Lightroom a crippled version of ACR, or, is it the same ACR that is supplied with Photoshop, with the full range of features?

To help others following this thread, I am going to post again in a moment, outlining the use of ACR as a finishing tool for RAW images, rather than photoshop, which, as you rightly say, can be completely and stupidly overdone, I guess, from the images you sometimes see in magazines!

Regards,

Ross

Posted on 10 Feb 2013 17:21:16 GMT
TJ states that he uses ACR only as a conversion software package for his RAW files. Once loaded, he then uses lightroom or other software to actually to edit the images.

However, as a photoshop user, and to clarify the intent of Adobe in their Camera Raw module....

The purpose of ACR is to first load the inaltered image, the RAW (NEF) file from the camera, and then apply post processing to it which would normally be done IN the camera IF you had shot in Jpeg instead.

These processing steps include sharpening, vibrancy, fill lighting, contrast, exposure and many other things which, your camera, if left on Jpeg mode, would do automatically for you according to a set of editing 'rules' laid down by, in my case, Nikon.

So why not just shoot in Jpeg?

Well, while the camera will do a great job, in most cases, of getting colour balance, exposure, and vibrancy spot on, but, there are situations where there is tricky lighting, high contrast areas and other things in the image which can, and do fool the auto-processing system.

So why shoot in RAW?

RAW is the exact equal, in digital photography, to a negative film image, from the days of film cameras. Back then, as now, if you used a commercial company to develop and print your images, the negative film was processed in chemicals to a standard method, and when that dried film was run through the printing machine, the computer would analyse each shot, and make changes to exposure, colour cast, etc ect, in an attempt to print out a correct rendition of the image. This is very comparable to what a modern digital camera does, when you shoot in Jpeg, but these changes happen IN the camera, rather than at the printer. However, if you shoot in RAW you end up with an unaltered (digital) negative, which, by it's nature, MUST receive processing of some kind to bring it up to print quality - that is the purpose of a RAW image, it is left unaltered, and it is for YOU to pre-process it prior to printing, or, sending out for printing as a finalised image, saved to Jpeg.

This is the essence of shooting in RAW, and Adobe Camera Raw provides the tools to convert, yes, but most of all, to process the image and achieve the result intended while shooting.

What TJ says, concerning the over-processing that we sometimes see done by people who oversharpen, oversaturate and over apply effects and filters which turn images into garish nightmares, is true. However, if you want to make decisions about the basic processing, rather than leave it to the camera's internal Jpeg settings, then, you must shoot RAW and be fully prepared to learn how to use ACR to finish the image creation process.

I more often than not, when dealing with my RAW images, do not even take them across to Photoshop at all - as many of the things you would have done in photoshop's earlier versions, are in fact, done much better in ACR, particularly now that version 5.5 and higher are available. The defringing (chromatic abberation) removal alone is an incredible tool, masts on ships against a bright sky lose the yellow or mauve fringes that you often get, especially away from the centre of an image. There are many other tools in ACR, and used properly, and with the right care, you can improve, rather than wreck your images.

For those just starting out with RAW, maybe you should set your camera to shoot both RAW and fine Jpeg at the same time, I think most camera's have this feature now. If you later load both images onto a computer, you'll see how unsharp and lacking in vibrance a RAW image is! As I said, that is not a fault, it is simply that the camera has NOT imposed any sharpening or colour changes onto your image, and left it for YOU to do yourself, in ACR.

Hope that clarifies ACR for those unfamiliar with it, it took me six months and two versions of photoshop, plus a book or two, to get to grips with it, but it is well worth the effort, and starting out at the beginning, I didn't understand the concept at all.

Posted on 10 Feb 2013 18:08:36 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Ross,

There shouldn't be any confusion about ACR which I don't use, incidentally. It is just that I already have alternative software for my digital editing and which meets my needs, so there is little point in change simply for the sake of it. It's just some buy Toyota whilst others Ford (or any similar comparison one would care to make). Your observations about "Photoshopping" are spot on. This is what I was referring to and what I meant, but also image manipulation that PS is renowned for. It is favoured by graphic artists for this very reason, but this is not what I'm in to.

But regarding LR in use, this is the first port of call, as this is where RAW files are worked on, and from where the files are then converted to jpeg or TIFF and exported to one's editing programme of choice, in my case it is now Zoner Photo Studio Pro 15. Incidentally, I can ignore LR, should I wish, and work on RAW/jpeg/TIFF files entirely from within Zoner itself as this is a self-contained programme that can work with RAW files and save in jpeg, TIFF, or even .xjr which is a file format that I haven't come across before, so I am not sure if it can be universally opened or is unique to Zoner, and which is a noticeably higher quality of file than jpeg, being roughly 50% larger than a jpeg when saved, but much less than a TIFF file of the same imgae. I've also found that it is a much more user-friendly piece of software than LR is in general. In one respect it is easier to handle files converted from RAW, as these are handled from within the programme itself, rather than having to be exported first. And I have grown a little fed up with LR losing where my images are store if I subsequently move them to another folder.

I'm not sure if ACR does the same, but in LR one's images have first to be "imported" and LR creates its own little catalogue. This doesn't duplicate the files but logs where they are. So if you subsequently decide to move the file, LR doesn't know as it is expecting to find it in its original location. In Zoner, and with other Suites that I am familiar with, the image library displayed is that which is shown in the "My Pictures" tree, so moving images between folders means they are always accessible from their new location. I rather like Zoner, and am a little surprised not to have come across any other users of it. It's horses for courses, I know, but I do like how it works.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Feb 2013 18:32:32 GMT
Hi TJ, thanks for clearing that up, I think for the first time so far, you have actually mentioned using ACR for processing the RAW files, I had the strong impression that you only used it for converting the file, as you put it. That's all good, I get that you dont want to relearn different software. I would have to add that ACR seems to be the one they all reccommend, in the pro and semi pro field. I still think you should try to read that article I mentioned on Friday, it is quite revealing.

On the 'importing' thing, my own ACR makes no demands. If you go back a few posts, you'll see my workflow described there, images are copied onto the computer, each set into their own folder, using windows explorer. When I am ready to work on them, I use Adobe Bridge which displays them in thumbnails, and you can move from folder to folder at will, each time you open a folder, whatever images reside there are displayed, so if you do move anything in between times, this is reflected in the bridge window, with new files showing up, deleted or moved files vanishing, until you open the folder to which you moved them.

In the bridge window, you right click on an image or thumbnail and choose 'open in camera raw' to move on with processing.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Feb 2013 19:37:41 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Ross, I think this is possibly where confusion first set in. I don't think I did say I used ACR for RAW, only that I assumed that this is what it did, similar to LR. At that time I didn't realise it seems to be a more accomplished programme.

There is clearly a difference in the way your ACR and LR display folders to work on. LR will only allow those folders/images that have been imported to it to be worked on. Firstly, to import I select the drive where my images are stored, then all my folders are displayed, and from this tree I have to select the folder which will then display all the files within it, and from which I then chose all, or selectively, the files I wish to work on and then import them. Compare this to Zoner, for example, where when this is opened and my drive selected, the same tree as displayed in LR appears but, here's the difference, clicking on the folder produces thumbnails from which I then select the image needed. Zoner dispenses with the requirement to import first. One could argue that LR only populates its library with imported folders, not all of them, and reduces clutter, but there is nothing more frustrating to find that when I think I'd like work on a specific image file, only to find I've first got to import it, if it isn't already there. I know it may appear to be a small point, but it is a little niggling nonetheless.

Posted on 10 Feb 2013 21:01:55 GMT
Yes, I see that file management system in Lightroom is a tad confusing, but I haven't used it so thanks for the detailed explanation, I was thinking of trying lightroom in the future as it's cheaper than photoshop, but I think I'll stick with what I have instead, so thanks for that.

Regarding file management, ACR in photoshop does NOT have any file management at all - the files are displayed and loaded with something called Bridge, which is the first of three programs you'll encounter on the photoshop work path.

Bridge to display thumbnails, ACR to process the images, virtually everything you need is in that - and then, if you have something special to do, such as merge to hdr or the like, or filters or art effects etc, you can hop into photoshop at the end, to do that.

Do try to look at that magazine if you are out and about, its called digital photography magazine I think, look for a brown-ish cover and a very prominent RAW article on the front.

I think it will help you see what ACR in photoshop can do, it has clearly been written by a pro or semi pro who really gets it.
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Participants:  19
Total posts:  222
Initial post:  14 May 2012
Latest post:  10 Feb 2013

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