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Preface: Real World Raw

Preface: Real World Raw

If you’re reading this book because you want to be told that digital really is better than film, look elsewhere. The term “digital photography” may still be in current use, but sooner rather than later, it will be replaced by the simple term “photography.” If you want to be told that shooting digital raw is better than shooting JPEG, you’ll have to read between the lines—what this book does is explain how raw differs from JPEG, and how you can exploit those differences.

But if you’re looking for solid, tested, proven techniques for dealing with hundreds or thousands of digital captures a day—moving them from the camera to the computer, making initial selects and sorts, optimizing the captures, enriching them with metadata, and processing them into deliverable form—this is the book for you. The entire reason for writing this book was to throw a lifebelt to all those photographers who find themselves drowning in gigabytes of data.

The combination of Photoshop CS3, Bridge CS3, and the Camera Raw 4 plug-in offers a fast, efficient, and extremely powerful workflow for dealing with raw digital captures, but the available information tends to be short on answers to questions such as the following:

  • What special considerations should I take into account when shooting digital raw rather than film or JPEG?

  • What edits should I make in Camera Raw?

  • How and where are my Camera Raw settings saved?

  • How can I fine-tune Camera Raw’s color performance to better match my camera’s behavior?

  • How can I set up Bridge to speed up making initial selects from a day’s shoot?

  • How can I make sure that every image I deliver contains copyright and rights management notices?

  • How do I make sure that all the work I do in Bridge, ranking or flagging images, entering keywords and other metadata, and sorting in a custom order, doesn’t suddenly disappear?

  • What are my alternatives to editing individual images by hand?

  • How can I automate the conversion of raw images to deliverable files?

Digital shooters face these questions, and many others, every day. Unfortunately, the answers are hard to find in the gazillion Photoshop books out there—much less Photoshop’s own manuals—and when they’re addressed at all they tend to be downplayed in favor of whizzy filter effects. This book answers these questions, and the other daily workflow issues that arise, head-on, and focuses on everything you need to do before you get your images open in Photoshop.

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