Tuesday, 15 June 2010

I want it RAW!

Good Tuesday to you all!

I cannot believe it's Tuesday already - where did the weekend go? David was a way all week with work - and he returned Saturday just in time to fix together my new Swing Seat/Bench - call it what you will. As you can imagine, he was so filled with joy at the thought of that! I explained to him that as I had bought it, he would have to pay 10 pence per sit (which I think is quite a reasonable amount), but then he said he would have to charge me £1,000 for fitting together (daylight robbery) so I think we'll call it quits.

Completely taken by this gardening malarkey, I nearly gave myself a hernia shifting play sand that had some type of triffid plant growing in it, and I decided to try and remove some ivy off the fence; boy -have you ever wished you'd never started something? Then on Sunday I went to the tip three times getting rid of garden detritus (LOVE that word!) such as an old lawn mower, clippings and ivy, etc etc. I was like a Tasmanian Devil - nothing was safe to stand in my way! The Joe and I took a trip to buy some cushions, a throw, lanterns etc etc to make my decking a la swing seat/bench look lovely - alas they have not made it outside yet, as I have had no time to sit there! Today I have more cleaning and treating of garden furniture planned and jet washing the algae off the concrete. MY lovely neighbour is even paining my side of the fence - how great is that..."that's when good neighbours become good friends".

Now enough of this waffling, I have something completely wonderful (well I think it is) to show you - and I'm not talking about the card (although it is pretty spiffing even though I do say so myself). A few weeks ago I was given a great magazine from the people at Future Magazines - namely Photoshop Focus Guide - there are different guides around Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, and this one focused on the use of RAW images (issue 80). I've been meaning to have a go with RAW files on my camera, Lousie Jolley - the super talented photographer at docrafts uses RAW all the time and recommended it to me, but I've always been a bit scared - don't know why - it's weird how we're sometimes daunted by something different from the norm - but now I'm so glad I have!

So firstly, let me explain what RAW is (in very basic layman's terms, which I may also get wrong - I'm certainly no expert! ). A RAW file is an untouched image caught by the camera - there has been no in camera processing such as in a JPG, where most of the tonal and colour detail has been lost as soon as you take the picture. Put simply, a RAW file is like an old fashioned negative, which you then process on a photo editing program such as Photoshop elements with a free plug in download from Adobe. You can usually capture RAW files on any modern D-SLR's. Now, please don't think you have to be a computer or photography whizz to do this kind of thing, as I certainly am not - sometimes I even have trouble using Facebook!

If you have RAW on your camera, why don't you give it a go? I'm so glad I did. I wanted to show you the difference in your finished picture from unedited, JPG Photoshopped and RAW.

Above we have the JPG unedited version of a card I've made using some scraps of Forever Friends Pink Parfait Collection, and one of the free stamps from a back issue of docrafts Creativity! Magazine. The photo is okay, but the white is not really white, and the colours are a little washed out. Even though I set my camera for the conditions, sometimes the lighting is not just right to capture a good representation of the image. And remember, being a JPG, a lot of the quality of the picture has been lost.

So, above is an edited version of the first photo. I changed the lighting levels, changed the white balance and increased the saturation slightly, the white is looking better, but the not perfect and the pink is just not right! Now....wait 'till you see this!

This is the edited RAW image. By changing things such as brightness, temperature, white balance and exposure, I can get the image from my camera to look as close to the actual card as I can. And I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to make your photos look better with editing - after all that's what we take photos for, isn't it.
Anyhoo, I hope I haven't bored you with all this waffling - off to go some gardening now....move over Alan Titchmarsh!


Beckie said...

switching to raw (power!) x

Gibmiss said...

Hi Claire
this is too much for me ...i have bought a Watermark from
http://whimsystamps.com/ but not sure how to put on...will need our guru friend for help

hope you are feeling better
Sylvie xxx

Sarpreet said...

hi Clare, thank you for sharing, it sounds amazing and I am a photo addict. Gorgeous card btw. i am also passing an award on.

Messi Jessi said...

Wow that is quite a difference! (Brill card by the way, fab use of scraps). I can't believe how much fresher the RAW image is - I'd never heard of it till now, and will definitely look out for a camera with this capability when I change mine. Jessi x