From RAW to Final Image

I took this outdoor portrait of an Ottawa model. The day was overcast which made for a lovely soft light. The World’s biggest “softbox”. I shot in Pentax (PEF) RAW 12 bit format. I’ll start with the Original image converted to png and downsized from the 3008×2004 pixel (12.6 MB file size)

Pentax *ist D, SMC Pentax-M 85mm f:2 lens. PEF format, 1/125 sec @ f:5.6

Overall not a bad image, the camera default 2:3 aspect ratio will be cropped so I composed the shot to allow cropping from the top down to a 4:3 format.

I was content with this low-key image for a bit, but decided to see how it would work as a Black and White image. So I did a B&W conversion with Photoshop CS2.

I always add just a slight hint of warm tone (sepia) to my digital Black & White images. Often not even that apparent but I find they print a bit better.

Finally while playing around with the RAW(PEF) in Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta 2 I saw what the final image could be. I adjusted the levels and warmed the photograph up a little. That created to me a nicer image.

None are really better, just different interpretations. Just like when I used to go into my darkroom with a negative.

The final image did win an Award of Excellence as mentioned in my previousBlog post.

Darrell Larose


About Darrell Larose

I am a highly motivated self confessed techno-geek. While rooted in traditional analog photography, I have embraced the new technologies in photography. I am just as comfortable under the dark cloth of a large-format view camera, as I am with a digital camera. I can produce award winning photographs within the darkroom, or from a digital-desktop. With 40 years of photography as a both hobby, and over 30 in the professional arena I have always produced. I am self-taught in the digital media, I have been a PhotoShop user since 1995 (version 2.5) I found the transition fairly seamless due to my long experience in labs. I have worked within various Government photo units, including the Forensic Photo Section of the RCMP, as well as various professional labs. I can easily converse with a police forensic photographer as I can with a wedding sports or commercial photographer. I have worked for several of Ottawa’s top photographers. I have worked at several pro labs. As well as many years in photo retail.
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