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Understanding why files look different on depending on device

From: The Practicing Photographer

Video: Understanding why files look different on depending on device

You're probably already familiar with the fact that, an image on one So it's a good idea to understand what your Just because it's got a really easy way for us And her we go.

Understanding why files look different on depending on device

You're probably already familiar with the fact that, an image on one computer screen, doesn't necessarily look like it does on another computer screen. And, I imagine if you've ever printed, you've really encountered how, an image doesn't look the same on the screen, as it does on a piece of paper. If you're a Raw shooter, you might also have encountered that, a Raw file doesn't look the same on the back of your camera as it does on your computer. And even once it's in the computer, it may not look the same as you move from application to application. This week on the Practicing Photographer we're going to take a look at why. Now, you may think oh this has to do with color management or the color settings in my image editor, and that can certainly have something to do with why an image varies in appearance from application to application, but to really understand how to diagnose this problem you need to know something about how Raw files work.

When you shoot JPG in your camera, your camera captures a bunch of raw data. It passes that data on to an onboard computer, where it is converted to a JPG file. That is then saved to the camera's media card and a little small version of it is shown on the back of the screen. When you shoot in Raw, that Raw data is captured and it's just stuck on the, in, in, into the media card, it's not converted in any way. A Raw file does not actually contain any usable image data. It's just a bunch of numbers that don't. Really mean anything in terms of red green and blue values, or pixel values.

It has to go through a lot of processing before that happens. So, when you're shooting a raw file, if that's ultimately all you want to save, the camera doesn't have anything that it can show you on the screen. So it goes through a little conversion process, and builds a tiny little JPG file, and shows that to you on the LCD screen. Now, if you've worked much with Raw files, you know that raw conversion is a really subjective thing. You can make the same Raw file, and make radically different images out of it. So when your camera is doing a Raw conversion, to show you a preview on the screen, it's having to make some decisions.

It's making some aesthetic decisions, if you will. It's of course following a recipe that the cameras engineers came up with, but still it's doing it. To have certain ideas of color, and saturation and so on and so forth. Consequently when you come into your computer with that same Raw file, and hand it say to Light Room, Light Room takes it and does a conversion based on its aesthetics, and its idea of how things work and that might be very different from what your camera engineers thought. That is why the image that you see on the back of your camera, doesn't necessarily look like it does right away in your Raw converter.

If I then take that same file and open it in Aperture, it might look different than what I got in Light Room. That's because Aperture has it's ideas of how a Raw file should be converted. Now, there is another tricky thing about your camera, which is it takes that Raw file, it builds a little JPG and it shows it to you on the screen. And maybe, you look at it, you go, I like the composition but I am wondering about the exposure. So, you switch over and look at the histogram. The histogram, you are looking at, is a histogram of the data in that JPG file. So it might be showing you overexposed highlights or something that aren't necessarily there.

They're there as a result of the way the camera did the JPG conversions. So, in addition to that image not necessarily being the color and contrast that you're going to see when you do your own Raw conversion, the. The histogram that you're seeing may not be accurate what what editing latitude actually exists in the image. You can work around that by doing a little bit of experimentation with your camera. I find that my camera over estimates exposure. It tells me that things are going to clip about a stop before they actually do. So when I see a spike on the right side of the histogram when I'm shooting in Raw format.

I assume assume I've actually got a little more latitude than that. So it's a good idea to understand what your particular Raw converter does when it open a Raw file. I want to show you something here in Adobe Bridge. Just because it's got a really easy way for us to see, it's kind of internal thinking, about Raw conversion. What I'm going to do is drop a folder full of images on Bridge. Right away, it's going to show me a bunch of thumbnails. These are all Raw files, by the way. Those thumbnails are not raw conversions, those thumbnails are the little JPG files that the camera built.

That are embedded in the Raw file. Once it's done doing that, it's going to immediately start calculating its own JPGs, and I'm going to just see those changes march across the screen. I'm also going to see a box change around the image. So I'm dropping this folder onto Bridge. And her we go. See the black box here disappearing. That's the switch between the built in JPG to Bridges generated JPG and that's the JPG that's being generated using Camera Raw. So as I scroll down I can kind of chase it.

I can see. Okay. These files are all camera-generated JPGs. And now, they've just re-rendered to the actual Camera Raw generated JPGs that are going to more match what I see when I open the image in Camera Raw. White Room goes through a similar process. Aperture goes through a similar process. So, it's important for you to learn exactly how your image editor. Handles the JPG preview that's included in your Raw file. You can easily learn about that with just some simple Googling. Any light room book, any aperture book is going to talk about this.

So there are a lot of different ways to figure this out. If you get a better handle on how that works, you're going to have a better understanding. Of why your color may not be consistent from camera to computer. And from image editing application to image editing application.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for The Practicing Photographer
The Practicing Photographer

74 video lessons · 46229 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 55s
    1. Softboxes vs. umbrellas
      2m 55s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 7h 13m
    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 55s
    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

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