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In iPhoto '11 Essential Training, Derrick Story offers an in-depth tour of the popular photo management software from Apple, demonstrating its various features for organizing, editing, and sharing images. The course covers techniques to categorize and combine images into custom collections using iPhoto's geotagging, face detection, and Smart Album features, and offers insight on how to perform key image corrections and enhancements. Also covered are tutorials on building customized slideshows and outputting collections to calendars, books, and greeting cards. Exercise files accompany the course.
Well, I am going to talk a little bit about RAW files. This question comes up a lot in my workshops where people go, "Well, what is the difference between a RAW file and a JPEG?" Well, all cameras capture JPEG. Some cameras will capture RAW and the big difference is that when you shoot in RAW, if your camera is capable of doing that, and by the way, that's mostly digital SLRs. Some compacts can, but almost all digital SLRs can capture in RAW. You are basically getting all the information that your camera can capture into a nice little container that your Mac then will process.
Now what's so wonderful about iPhoto is that it does this so seamlessly, you can't even tell when you're first uploading your images if they're RAW files or JPEGs. It handles them very well. It brings the RAW files in, it processes them, and then it generates a JPEG for you to look at while you are doing your work. So RAW files, the advantage to them is of course you have more image information available to you, and I am going to show you an example of that here in just a few minutes.
Now, this is the Help menu. You get to it from Help within iPhoto and the reason why I am pointing that out to you, other than it has a pretty good explanation of RAW files, if we roll down here, Apple keeps a link of the compatible RAW format cameras. iPhoto can handle most cameras on the market that capture in RAW but not every one of them. So you want to make sure that your camera is on the list so you don't run into a frustration problem.
Go on a vacation and shoot everything in RAW only if you come home and find out iPhoto can't handle it. That would be sad and we don't want that to happen. So you can click on this link and look for your camera. As I said, most cameras are supported but you want to be double sure before you start shooting in RAW only. So I am going to get rid of Help right here, and let's do some RAW work in iPhoto itself. First of all, how do you know if you even have RAW files in your library? You may have some from shooting with your digital SLR or something.
So let's find the RAW files. We're going to use our Smart Album to do that. So I am going to come up here and we are going to go New > Smart Album. We're just going to call Raw and I am going to say Photo is RAW. That's all there is to it. Click OK and now all of these images are RAW files. Everything else in my library is a JPEG.
Now, you get one extra slider when you do image editing with a RAW file and it's a biggie. I am going to show you how it works right now. We're going to take this image right here, which we've worked on in earlier movie. I am going to click Edit and let's go to Full Screen. Now, earlier what I did was I used the Highlights slider to recover the sky right here. We'll take it down. Remember how this is all white. I moved it and I recovered the sky here.
But we still have this big white area. The advantage of a RAW file is that there is image information in here and you just can't see it. Now, with a JPEG, that information usually gets thrown away but with a RAW file, it gets retained and we have sliders to recover it. So, even if you can't see it, a lot of times it's there. Now, that magic slider, that only works with the RAW file and again we know we have a RAW file because we have the RAW badge up here and this only will show up with RAW files.
The magic slider happens when you hold down the Option key. Look what happens right here. This turns into a Recovery slider and that helps recover highlight information and I am going to slide it right now. Watch what happens to that cloud. Look at that. So that is fairly dramatic. In other words, we had absolutely no information there earlier. Look at that.
Now, we have recovered both blue sky and even the bright information in the cloud. So again, you hold down the Option key and the Exposure slider. It turns into a Recovery slider. That will only happen with a RAW file. If you are working on a JPEG, it just stays as an Exposure slider, and it allows you to recover even more information than is visible to the eye initially. Now, all images are not this dramatic, but they are potentially this dramatic. It just depends on the shot and the exposure and all of those variables.
So RAW files take up more room on your hard-drive and you have to have a compatible camera with your application. But if you can meet those requirements, you also have great potential when it's time to image edit those photos.
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