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Understanding why files look different on depending on device


From:

The Practicing Photographer

with Ben Long

Video: 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.
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  1. 20m 3s
    1. Pulling stills from a timelapse NEW
      6m 8s
    2. 1m 35s
      1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
        1m 35s
    3. 12h 10m
      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
      96. Tips for shooting panoramas
        7m 16s
      97. Carrying a point-and-shoot camera
        4m 44s
      98. Adjusting the color of shadows in an image
        5m 35s
      99. Evaluating camera-strap options
        4m 42s
      100. The 100th Practicing Photographer
        3m 31s
      101. Using light-pollution maps for planning night shoots
        3m 26s
      102. Shooting a series of star shots for a stack
        8m 32s
      103. Stitching together stacks of stars
        8m 59s
      104. Understanding how to clean sensor dust
        10m 27s
      105. Dry sensor cleaning
        6m 23s
      106. Cleaning the sensor with moisture
        7m 32s
      107. Composing in the center
        2m 48s
      108. Working with an electronic shutter control
        2m 50s
      109. Understanding how to use the Wi-Fi feature in some cameras
        2m 56s
      110. Exploring the software equivalent to graduated ND (neutral density) filters
        7m 8s
      111. Don't be predictable in your framing
        10m 21s
      112. Shooting with ND filter and flash to balance subject and background exposure
        2m 42s
      113. Understanding when to go low contrast
        3m 15s
      114. Reasons for shooting images alone
        4m 5s
      115. Working with colored lens filters and converting to black and white
        14m 4s
      116. Waiting for a subject when the light is good
        5m 2s
      117. Understanding options for tripod heads
        7m 23s
      118. Shooting a slow-shutter zoom-and-spin shot for light effect
        4m 47s
      119. Shooting and processing a long exposure at night
        10m 0s
      120. Getting creative with image curation
        4m 12s
      121. Why equivalent lenses don't always meter the same
        5m 42s

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Watch the Online Video Course The Practicing Photographer
12h 32m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 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.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

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.

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