.NEF/RAW photos always turning out dark/underexposed for me?
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:10 PM   #1
Geniusdudekiran
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.NEF/RAW photos always turning out dark/underexposed for me?


Am I doing something wrong, or is it supposed to be this way? I shoot a Nikon D7000. For quick edits I use Picasa, because I can quickly just edit fill light, highlights and shadows. Plus all my photos open in Picasa by default anyway, so I've just gotten used to it.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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PS CS6 or even CS5 is BEST! I've never used Picasa but with RAW Editor, that's pretty much all you need. Some folks like to use Lightroom, but it's all the same.

Unedited RAW files are what they are, they need to be altered to your liking. They will not look great unless you put in some work to make them look great.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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The best photo is one that is not photo-shopped. With that said, most photos need a little touch up. If your images are dark, think about what you can do to brighten them. Higher ISO, slower shutter speed....

Just keep shooting, you'll get it.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antbug View Post
The best photo is one that is not photo-shopped. With that said, most photos need a little touch up. If your images are dark, think about what you can do to brighten them. Higher ISO, slower shutter speed....

Just keep shooting, you'll get it.
LOL I hear this a lot. Photoshop is a tool. Not many folks know how to use it properly or some don't even own it because it's too expensive. Like any tool, it helps out tremendously if in the right hands. There's plenty of tutorials on youtube now that anyone can crack open photoshop and learn how to use it. Same as shooting, keep at it and you'll soon be great at it.

Whether anyone want's to believe it or not, Post Processing (PP) plays a big role in great photography. It enables the user to do everything with a click of a button rather than spending countless hrs in a darkroom.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
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LOL I hear this a lot. Photoshop is a tool. Not many folks know how to use it properly or some don't even own it because it's too expensive. Like any tool, it helps out tremendously if in the right hands. There's plenty of tutorials on youtube now that anyone can crack open photoshop and learn how to use it. Same as shooting, keep at it and you'll soon be great at it.

Whether anyone want's to believe it or not, Post Processing (PP) plays a big role in great photography. It enables the user to do everything with a click of a button rather than spending countless hrs in a darkroom.
I know. It helps a ton.

I will start using photoshop, my dad can most likely get it through his office

I do have PS Elements, too though.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
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A raw file will look blah compared to a camera generated jpeg. In a jpeg the camera is doing the processing. A raw file has nothing done to it. But your shots should have the correct exposure.
As for working on a photo in PS. Even in the darkroom days images were manipulated to get an effect. Eyes too dark? Dodge them. Skin a little blown? Burn it in. Composite prints? Just cut the masks to get the parts you want from each negative. Color off? Use a different filter pack. Nothing that has ever been shot hasn't had something done. In the lab before things got scanned a typical filter pack was used as a starting point. Overall color could be changed by changing filters.

So antbug there really isn't any such thing as a pure image.

Lightrooom and PS are meant to work hand in hand. For most photogs lightroom is fine and it's as far as they go for most images. The ACR is identical in both programs.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:14 PM   #7
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The Gimp can do a lot of things Photoshop can do, and it's free.

http://www.gimp.org
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:07 AM   #8
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Yeah, RAW files always look underexposed and lifeless until you tweak them.

If you took some pictures of your wabikusa, send me over one of your best RAW files and I'll edit it for you to show what can be done in RAW vs the JPEGs your using now...

BTW, for general photography and very much your style, Lightroom 4 would be much more useful. It's all that 99% of photographers really need, and its actually a workspace and workflow handler. You can get a free trial of Lightroom on Adobe's site, I highly recommend it over photoshop, especially for your uses. People just say to get photoshop because most people don't know lightroom exists, and any time the general public hears about editing an image their mind automatically jumps to "Photoshop!"

By the way, Adobe offers an 80% discount on all their products to student, so Lightroom is only $79 with the student discount
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TickleMyElmo View Post
Yeah, RAW files always look underexposed and lifeless until you tweak them.

If you took some pictures of your wabikusa, send me over one of your best RAW files and I'll edit it for you to show what can be done in RAW vs the JPEGs your using now...

BTW, for general photography and very much your style, Lightroom 4 would be much more useful. It's all that 99% of photographers really need, and its actually a workspace and workflow handler. You can get a free trial of Lightroom on Adobe's site, I highly recommend it over photoshop, especially for your uses. People just say to get photoshop because most people don't know lightroom exists, and any time the general public hears about editing an image their mind automatically jumps to "Photoshop!"

By the way, Adobe offers an 80% discount on all their products to student, so Lightroom is only $79 with the student discount
Thanks. I've been super busy, but I'll send some over!

Thanks for the tip -- do they do this for high school students? I'm a junior in HS.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:27 AM   #10
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Thanks. I've been super busy, but I'll send some over!

Thanks for the tip -- do they do this for high school students? I'm a junior in HS.
Sounds good, and yes, it includes all students from K-12 and College!
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:38 AM   #11
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I really like UFRaw for processing RAW files. It is designed to integrate with GIMP, so maybe not so useful if you use Picasa. However, I find it to be a really nice program, and it is FREE!
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #12
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I really like UFRaw for processing RAW files. It is designed to integrate with GIMP, so maybe not so useful if you use Picasa. However, I find it to be a really nice program, and it is FREE!
Thanks! I'm certainly going to look into it.
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