The Practicing Photographer
Illustration by

The Practicing Photographer

with Ben Long

Video: Batch exposure adjustments on raw files

Hi, and welcome to this week's, The Practicing Photographer. I can try to do some forensics on, on my image here.
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  1. 7m 16s
    1. Tips for shooting panoramas NEW
      7m 16s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 9h 32m
    1. Choosing a camera
      5m 27s
    2. Looking at light as a subject
      2m 22s
    3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
      5m 45s
    4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
      6m 30s
    5. Let your lens reshape you
      7m 26s
    6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
      7m 44s
    7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
      3m 56s
    8. Shooting without a memory card
      3m 6s
    9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
      5m 28s
    10. Working with reflections
      1m 26s
    11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
      7m 25s
    12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
      7m 30s
    13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
      2m 13s
    14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
      4m 15s
    15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
      11m 41s
    16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
      3m 18s
    17. Using a tripod
      3m 33s
    18. Wildlife and staying present
      5m 58s
    19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
      6m 52s
    20. Why Shoot Polaroid
      11m 12s
    21. Seizing an opportunity
      4m 4s
    22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
      12m 24s
    23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
      4m 54s
    24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
      13m 36s
    25. Shooting wildlife
      7m 24s
    26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
      12m 27s
    27. Using a lens hood
      4m 48s
    28. Working with themes
      2m 48s
    29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    30. Processing an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    31. Two perspectives on travel photography
      12m 28s
    32. Scanning Photos
      5m 37s
    33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
      3m 13s
    34. Reviewing the egg shot images
      6m 47s
    35. Shooting in your own backyard
      4m 38s
    36. Jpeg iPad import process
      3m 17s
    37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
      9m 34s
    38. Reviewing the product shot images
      4m 5s
    39. Warming up
      3m 26s
    40. Taking a panning action shot
      10m 17s
    41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
      8m 17s
    42. Shooting a silhouette
      3m 9s
    43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
      5m 29s
    44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
      12m 38s
    45. Working with flash for macro photography
      4m 56s
    46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
      5m 10s
    47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
      4m 14s
    48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
      3m 4s
    49. Using Lightroom on the road
      6m 28s
    50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
      2m 20s
    51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
      7m 18s
    52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
      9m 48s
    53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
      6m 41s
    54. Shooting level
      2m 42s
    55. Photoshop and Automator
      8m 54s
    56. Shooting when the light is flat
      3m 23s
    57. Discussing the business of stock photography
      9m 48s
    58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
      3m 21s
    59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
      4m 45s
    60. Understanding the three flash setup
      3m 34s
    61. Shooting a three flash portrait
      4m 6s
    62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
      4m 43s
    63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
      5m 25s
    64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
      4m 43s
    65. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
      7m 29s
    66. Using your iPad as a second monitor
      5m 46s
    67. Understanding exposure with a leaf shutter camera
      3m 28s
    68. Photography practice through mimicry
      8m 8s
    69. Canon wireless flash with built in radio control
      5m 59s
    70. Posing and shooting pairs of people
      5m 35s
    71. Shooting with a shape in mind
      3m 15s
    72. Shooting tethered to a laptop
      4m 40s
    73. Softboxes vs. umbrellas
      2m 55s
    74. Getting your project out into the world
      6m 25s
    75. Exploring how to think about shooting a new environment
      3m 56s
    76. Discussing the book "The Passionate Photographer" with Steve Simon
      6m 4s
    77. Highlighting iOS 8 updates on the iPhone5S
      10m 46s
    78. Exploring manual controls with iOS 8 and ProCamera
      5m 30s
    79. Understanding how to compose with an empty sky
      4m 54s
    80. Using an iPhone to make a print in the darkroom
      7m 16s
    81. How to use glycerin as a photography tool
      2m 16s
    82. Understanding micro focus adjustment and Lens Align
      11m 19s
    83. Working with hair in post
      3m 28s
    84. Taking a quick portrait and directing a subject
      5m 50s
    85. Getting inspired through the work of others
      11m 22s
    86. Taking a flattering portrait with flash
      4m 21s
    87. Creating an unaligned HDR image
      3m 3s
    88. Exploring how to use Bokeh
      5m 38s
    89. Shooting stills from a drone
      6m 57s
    90. Using a monitor to get a first person view of the aerial camera
      8m 0s
    91. Understanding lens profile correction
      5m 33s
    92. Working with models
      2m 40s
    93. Understanding the labels on SD cards
      10m 32s
    94. Setting up a macro time lapse of a flower
      6m 18s
    95. Taking a portrait that's tightly cropped or slightly obscured
      3m 24s

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Watch the Online Video Course The Practicing Photographer
9h 41m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013 Updated Mar 05, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.

Ben Long

Batch exposure adjustments on raw files

Hi, and welcome to this week's, The Practicing Photographer. You know, it's called The Practicing Photographer, for a reason. You need to practice. Because, if you don't practice, you might make boneheaded mistakes. Let me show you one. So I'm shootin' these buffalo. I'm in this wildlife preserve. There's nothing but buffalo around. And I take all these pictures of increasingly angry Buffalo. And it's possible that they're angry because they're going this idiot, he's overexposing everything. Because look, all of my shots here are, are overexposed. They're, they're not outrageously over exposed but this background is way too white.

These blacks aren't black. Everything is overexposed. Here's the weird thing. I can't figure out why. I actually recognized it in the field and looked at my camera and all of my settings were okay. you can see here in my exit display. And, and this is a great thing about having an exit readout in your browser like I've got here in Adobe Bridge. You would have the same thing in LightRoom or Apple's Aperture, or iPhoto. I can try to do some forensics on, on my image here. I have no exposure compensation dialed in. I was if I come down here to camera data xif, I find out that I'm in auto mode.

I can see my aperture. I can see that I'm in evaluating metering, which is a matrix metering on a Canon camera so I didn't have a spot metering problem. honestly I don't know why this happened. I don't know if maybe the camera isn't messed up or something about this particular camera and lens combination. I want to go look into that and see if I can get the problem to come back. If so, I may need to send the camera into the shop. In the meantime, I've got a bunch of washed out buffalo here. Not washed up buffalo, that's a different thing. I've got bunch of washed out buffalo here. What can I do about it? I would like to save some of these shots. Now, I will say, a lot of these shots are just kind of boring.

this was a, a very noisy buffalo. So I like that. I like him looking at me. And I like him much better looking at me with his mouth open. I got a couple of different framings there. I think I'm going to go with one of these. So these are raw files which is going to help me a lot for recovering any overblown highlights. But I don't think I have anything completely blown out. I'm going to open this in Camera Raw. And sure enough my histogram shows me exactly what I was saying I don't have any real blacks. I don't have any real whites. So these are just basic tonal adjustments here.

I'm using the shadows and blacks sliders to drop my blacks back to where they're suppose to be. I'm using my exposure and highlights sliders To try to get those very bright parts under control. And I think that's better. Let me show you, that's before, that's after. So I've just put black and white back to where they're supposed to be. You can see there's no highlight clipping here. I do have some shadow clipping, which means these very darkest tones are probably going to complete black. I don't care about that, they look fine. That should be a dark shadow. So that looks pretty good.

That said, this image still has some possible tonality problems. I think I'm going to start though by, by cropping the image, now that I can see that my tones are going to work. You may think, well why didn't you crop first? honestly an image that that's washed out, that's that washed out, I just want to see if I can get it back to normal before I do anything else with the image. I'm going to take this down to a square, I think. And just crop in on his head, maybe something more like that. I, I kind of, he's wearing little pantaloons which is kind of funny but you can't really seem them in that image, so I don't really mind getting rid of them altogether.

And, I don't want some angry buffalo coming at me for making fun of his pantaloons. Now I've got all of this bright stuff behind and that's not actually an exposure problem. That is just, that's how the image was. It was a bright day out and I got this dark buffalo. I don't like that bright stuff so much back there. I can try and selectively darken it. In this case, I can cheat it pretty easily by going over here to the Effects Tab. Going down to the post crop vignetting section and just throwing some vignetting into, into the edges and the corners. Because my bright spots are in the edges and the corners that's a really easy way to darken it.

So that's looking pretty good. now I'm going to do something a little bit strange here. I'm going to stop my editing on this image before it's done. I'm going to hit the done button. And go back to bridge and when I do that I see my adjusted image here. Those edits that I made to adjust tonality are probably correct for all of these other images. So I'm going to select all of them, I'm holding down the shift key to do a contiguous selection. And then oh no I just opened everything, come back to bridge, start over here, select all of these. And now if I right-click or on the Macintosh I'm using Ctrl + Click, and come down here to where it says Develop Settings, I can say Previous Conversion.

And there we go. That's throwing in my tonal adjustments on all of my images. Notice it skips the crop, which is good. And it skips any. localized adjustments which I hadn't done yet. So, now at least I don't have to do all of that stuff. It did throw my vignette in, so I may want to take that off. I don't know if I'm going to use any of those other edits but that's a really quick way of getting all of those edits back into the, into my other images. The only last thing I would say here is oh, I need to recheck my white point here because my crop Has now changed my histogram some, so I want to put this up here.

Dial in some more contrast. That's looking pretty good. I don't like that eye being in shadow. So I just want to paint a little bit of light into there with my selective adjustment tool. It's currently set at exposure adjustment of half a stop so I can brighten some of that up and make it look a little more natural by extending it down to there. Might be a little too bright. If I want it to be a conspicuous edit there's before there's after. I like that better. Because it's his eye it needs to be visible. So I think that makes a difference.

Now I would take this into Photoshop, sharpen it, resize it. The good news is though, my camera messed up using basic normal tonal controls. I can still get my images back to normal. The bad news is Any image has only a certain amount of editing latitude that you can do before you start seeing tone breaks and posterization, banding in your image. I've used up a bunch of my editability just to get the tones back to where they should have been in camera. If I was going to do a lot more wild editing now, I might find that the image wasn't holding up so well. This is as far as I'm going to need to push it.

So it works pretty well here. So I'm going to give you a suggestion here. Go back through images you've shot. Take a look at images that you thought maybe weren't that useful, images that were very washed out like these were, images that were overexposed. And now that you know a little bit more about how much can be recovered Try going back to some of those images that you thought were losers and see if you can tweak them back up into usability. You may find you got some keeper images that you previously thought were bad.

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A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
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