RAW – a format used by many digital camera manufacturers to capture a “digital negative”.
The RAW contains all the information for the image to be processed into a usable format like JPEG. The beauty of the RAW is that you can choose how that information is extracted, using a RAW converter. You can then “develop” the image into something beautiful or realize your vision at the time of capture. We will be processing RAW photos for different moods.
One new website to pop up recently is Wesaturate, a website offering RAW files to practice on. Not all cameras take raw files but many do. It is best to check your camera’s manual or specification to find out. If you don’t have a RAW file option then you can grab one from Wesaturate to practice on. On the early setup of their website before the main launch, they posted a sample for everyone to access. I could not resist having a try out to see what I could come up with.
Processing RAW images
The RAW shot is shown below and then some processed versions. The results are a combination of a RAW converter and photoshop to fine tune the results.
In the First sample a dark ominous look over the mountain range. Two versions of the image were opened with the RAW processor. One with a dark moody sky the other with a contrasting foreground. They were then blended revealing some areas and not others. This gives a more dramatic look, allowing you to choose where to apply the dark and light sections.
In my second sample, night has become day and the sun is now rising in the distance with an early morning mist. Here I opened the RAW and changed all the settings to make a light version of the image. The photo was processed a little to add some morning mist in Photoshop.
In my third example, I ramped up the drama some more compared to version 1. I made the mountains visible and darkened the foreground and made the sky angrier.
In my final version, I made the whole image more orange to give it an “other world” look.
All these created within minutes of opening the RAW file. If you have not used RAW before you should. Practising creating beautiful scenes is now so much easier thanks to the “Wesaturate (dot) com” website. You can harness the effects of RAW photos and make your own creations. A RAW photo editor comes with Photoshop as standard. You can see all the images animated below. Try your hand at processing RAW photos for different moods