Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Understanding RAW files

From: Aperture 3 Essential Training (2012)

Video: Understanding RAW files

I want to take a minute just to talk about RAW files, because even though they've been around for a while, when I teach and when I'm talking to people, I still sense some confusion about RAW files and their role in photography. This is especially important in Aperture because Aperture handles these RAW files so well. Now first of all, not all cameras can shoot in RAW. A lot of compacts can't. In fact most compacts can't.

Understanding RAW files

I want to take a minute just to talk about RAW files, because even though they've been around for a while, when I teach and when I'm talking to people, I still sense some confusion about RAW files and their role in photography. This is especially important in Aperture because Aperture handles these RAW files so well. Now first of all, not all cameras can shoot in RAW. A lot of compacts can't. In fact most compacts can't.

But then again, most digital SLRs can capture in RAW. What does that mean? Well, I always like to think about a RAW file. We have our little RAW badge, so we know that we're looking at a RAW file right now. I'd like to think about the RAW file, if you're watching Martha Stewart and she's making the cake, and she has a bowl of batter and all the ingredients are mixed up and everything, all she has to do is put it in the oven and bake it, and that bowl of batter, that's the RAW file. It has not been processed.

It comes out of the camera basically as the batter. Then Aperture will do the processing. And it does it so seamlessly that you don't even really notice that you're doing anything different than if you're shooting a JPEG. Now if you're shooting a JPEG on the other hand, the difference is that the camera actually does the baking also. So what comes out of the camera is a fully baked file. That's why you can just hand it off to somebody else and they can look at. So a JPEG is baked, but a RAW file still requires some baking which can be done by Aperture.

Now as we're looking at these files, the beauty of working in RAW is that you have more image data available to you. So for instance, when you're in the Adjustments panel here, and you want to do things like recover highlight information using this slider here, we want to recover information that may be lost in the highlights. For instance, stuff like this. When you're working with a RAW file, you just have more image information to work with.

So these sliders are essentially more effective with RAW files than they will be with JPEGs. And because, Aperture makes it so easy to work with these files, you don't really notice that you're doing anything different than with a JPEG other than maybe a little bit more processing time. You may have noticed when I did that Recovery slider. We had the little processor going here. Let's see if we can make that processor come back. Let's just make some movements here. We'll go here.

So if we-- there it goes. So it just processed for a second there. If you have a slower machine, that processing will take a little bit longer. Part of the reason is because these RAW files are much bigger than JPEGs. JPEGs are compressed. That means that they are made smaller. They use these very ingenious logarithms that supposedly only throw away information that your eyes are going to see. Some photographers will debate that matter of course, whereas RAW files, they keep everything.

So for instance with this Canon that I shot with here, we'll go to the Metadata panel. In the General view here, this file from this Canon T1i, this RAW file, is 21.66 megabytes. One shot, 21 megabytes. That's a lot of data in that RAW where as a high quality JPEG would only be around three-and-a-half megabytes. That's because it's compressed and some image information gets thrown away.

That leads us to the question then, if you're going to be a heavy-duty Aperture user, if you're going to use Aperture as your photo management system, and you have the ability to shoot RAW with your the camera, should you? I would say if you can, I would honestly. You're going to need more hard disk space because of this file size thing that we talked about. You have to think about that. You will probably need a more modern computer because of the processing that happens with these RAW files, when we start making these changes.

Here on a fast computer, you noticed that processing was not very long at all. On the slower computer, it would be longer. So those are a couple of considerations. The payoff, however, if you can have newer hardware and if you can afford more disk space is that you have so much more information that you have to deal with. You can pull parts of your picture out that you didn't even know existed. Aperture is very good at doing that. You have everything available to you. So it's really up to you on which route you want to go.

The point that I want to make here is that if you've ever wanted to shoot RAW, and you know you're going to Aperture, this is the perfect time to start shooting RAW because Aperture handles these files beautifully.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Aperture 3 Essential Training (2012)
Aperture 3 Essential Training (2012)

128 video lessons · 15327 viewers

Derrick Story
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 16s
    1. Welcome
      1m 5s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 11s
  2. 41m 2s
    1. Understanding the system requirements
      1m 46s
    2. Understanding key Aperture terms
      6m 5s
    3. Touring the interface
      4m 43s
    4. Setting essential preferences
      7m 41s
    5. Customizing the top toolbar
      2m 5s
    6. Setting up two monitors
      2m 44s
    7. Configuring for faces and places
      5m 37s
    8. Understanding RAW files
      5m 5s
    9. Following the recommended Aperture workflow
      3m 23s
    10. Running Aperture Library First Aid
      1m 53s
  3. 45m 49s
    1. Preparing for import
      7m 38s
    2. Using managed libraries or the referenced file approach
      8m 7s
    3. Creating metadata presets
      5m 23s
    4. Adding keywords on import
      1m 44s
    5. Importing images from a digital camera
      4m 48s
    6. Using the RAW+JPEG option
      3m 36s
    7. Importing movies from your digital camera
      3m 10s
    8. Importing images from a hard drive
      4m 29s
    9. Importing images from an iPhone
      3m 48s
    10. Importing live images from an iPad or an iPhone
      3m 6s
  4. 39m 22s
    1. Working in Projects view
      6m 33s
    2. Working in Photos view
      3m 22s
    3. Viewing in full-screen mode
      5m 25s
    4. Zooming to actual size
      1m 23s
    5. Using the Loupe for a closer look
      3m 24s
    6. Showing focus points
      1m 28s
    7. Using Quick Preview
      1m 22s
    8. Proofing profiles and on-screen proofing
      2m 58s
    9. Customizing metadata overlays
      5m 26s
    10. Managing previews
      5m 34s
    11. Learning the heads-up displays
      2m 27s
  5. 24m 21s
    1. Creating projects and albums
      3m 22s
    2. Rating images by stars and color
      9m 52s
    3. Flagging images
      2m 0s
    4. Organizing a series with stacks
      5m 47s
    5. Grouping images with Smart Albums
      3m 20s
  6. 17m 22s
    1. Understanding the Aperture 3 library
      2m 45s
    2. Switching between Aperture 3 libraries
      2m 21s
    3. Exporting single or multiple projects as libraries
      3m 0s
    4. Merging multiple libraries into one
      3m 53s
    5. Splitting libraries
      3m 5s
    6. Sharing libraries
      2m 18s
  7. 58m 21s
    1. Defining the difference between master and version files
      4m 47s
    2. Working with the Adjustments pane
      6m 28s
    3. Updating RAW processing from previous versions of Aperture
      5m 55s
    4. Reading a histogram
      2m 8s
    5. Adjusting white balance
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting exposures
      4m 37s
    7. Enhancing photos
      3m 24s
    8. Adjusting highlights and shadows
      2m 34s
    9. Customizing auto adjustments for levels and curves
      1m 50s
    10. Adjusting tonality with the Levels tool
      5m 45s
    11. Adjusting colors
      5m 5s
    12. Converting color pictures to black and white
      4m 14s
    13. Sharpening edges
      5m 54s
    14. Using the Vignette effect
      3m 9s
  8. 41m 13s
    1. Cropping images
      4m 39s
    2. Retouching blemishes
      7m 39s
    3. Fixing spots
      3m 2s
    4. Using Straighten Crop and Flip
      2m 19s
    5. Fixing a chromatic aberration
      2m 9s
    6. Reducing visual noise
      3m 5s
    7. Making adjustments with the Curves tool
      8m 53s
    8. Rotating images
      1m 22s
    9. Removing the Vignette effect
      2m 0s
    10. Using the Color Monochrome and Sepia tools
      4m 27s
    11. Considering the Sharpen tool
      1m 38s
  9. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing brushes
      2m 53s
    2. Using quick brushes
      7m 7s
    3. Using adjustment brushes
      4m 26s
    4. Retouching portraits with adjustment brushes
      5m 10s
    5. Creating multiple bricks for a single adjustment
      3m 25s
    6. Applying presets
      5m 46s
    7. Modifying presets
      2m 39s
    8. Highlighting hot and cold areas
      1m 51s
    9. Roundtripping to Photoshop
      3m 49s
    10. Using the edit plug-ins
      2m 52s
    11. Customizing the Adjustments pane
      1m 30s
    12. Batch processing with Lift and Stamp
      3m 9s
  10. 20m 41s
    1. Setting up face recognition
      4m 37s
    2. Searching for faces
      3m 43s
    3. Working with images that have existing tags in places
      3m 18s
    4. Adding geo tags using places in Aperture
      4m 28s
    5. Searching by place
      4m 35s
  11. 15m 42s
    1. Applying keywords
      4m 52s
    2. Creating unique captions quickly
      3m 17s
    3. Batch changing
      7m 33s
  12. 7m 0s
    1. Using the Search box
      4m 24s
    2. Creating Smart Albums for searching
      2m 36s
  13. 12m 48s
    1. Exporting masters and versions
      9m 10s
    2. Using the export plug-ins
      3m 38s
  14. 6m 44s
    1. Developing a backup strategy
      2m 23s
    2. Backing up with vaults
      2m 18s
    3. Restoring from a vault
      2m 3s
  15. 29m 52s
    1. Viewing your images via a quick slideshow
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up complex slideshows
      8m 19s
    3. Customizing individual slides
      8m 6s
    4. Adding video to your slideshows
      4m 13s
    5. Pulling a still frame from a movie
      1m 37s
    6. Exporting slideshows
      3m 43s
  16. 21m 39s
    1. Preparing your book project
      7m 9s
    2. Adjusting your book
      4m 54s
    3. Creating a custom template
      7m 2s
    4. Outputting your book
      2m 34s
  17. 22m 21s
    1. Emailing a photo from Aperture
      3m 27s
    2. Seeing your Aperture library from other applications
      1m 59s
    3. Building a web page
      4m 57s
    4. Publishing a web gallery
      3m 22s
    5. Publishing images to Flickr
      5m 58s
    6. Publishing images to Facebook
      2m 38s
  18. 10m 58s
    1. Printing a single image
      6m 32s
    2. Printing multiple images
      3m 4s
    3. Ordering prints from within Aperture
      1m 22s
  19. 36m 8s
    1. Taking advantage of Retina display Macs
      1m 56s
    2. Understanding the unified library for iPhoto and Aperture
      3m 2s
    3. Getting the most out of the advanced white balance adjustment
      4m 5s
    4. Understanding the changes in the revised Shadows and Highlights tool
      5m 23s
    5. Using Professional Auto Enhance as a starting point for image editing
      3m 24s
    6. Creating your own Auto Enhance presets
      2m 6s
    7. Using iPhoto effects in Aperture
      1m 34s
    8. Increasing performance with Fast Browsing combined with Quick Preview
      3m 40s
    9. Controlling Photo Stream in Aperture
      3m 52s
    10. Deleting images from your Photo Stream
      2m 2s
    11. Deleting images from the iPhone, reordering projects, and setting the desktop photo
      2m 33s
    12. Transferring photos into Aperture from the iPad and the iPhone
      2m 31s
  20. 1m 35s
    1. Looking ahead
      1m 35s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Aperture 3 Essential Training (2012).

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.