Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photography Blog by Trifon Anguelov Photography

1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040 | (650) 930-0743 | http://www.trifonanguelov.com


2 Comments

3 Reasons Why Photographers Don’t Give RAW Files


Bridal Flowers Photo by Trifon Anguelov Photography

Bridal Flowers Photo by Trifon Anguelov Photography

Welcome to the digital imaging age. No longer one has to buy rolls of films, load them into their camera and later wait for them to be developed before seeing the final images on prints. The digital revolution made all this obsolete. The age of instant gratification started long time ago and there is no way going back.

Nowadays clients expect to receive and see their images few days after the portrait or events sessions (for weddings few weeks). And many photographers share the digital images with their clients, enhanced and ready to print. But still, there is one questions which I hear from my clients: Can I have the RAW files from my portrait session?

Although the short answer is: NO, the fact that the clients are asking the question deserves a reasonable explanation. Portrait, Event and Wedding Photography, in which Trifon Anguelov Photography is specializing, is a service based business and a photographer cannot expect everyone to known the RAW files details.

One way I try to explain to clients is that asking for RAW files is the same thing as going to Ihop for breakfast and instead of ready to eat pancakes, the waitress brings the clients bag of flour, eggs, milk and mixing bowl and expecting them to cook their own pancakes instead of enjoying the weekend and time with their families. Not to mention that the reason they came to Ihop was because of the ready to eat delicious pancakes only Ihop can make.  

RAW files by itself and the intermediate step for photographers to capture, process and deliver the final ready to view and print images to their clients. It’s not the end product and therefore sharing them doesn’t make sense.

1. RAW files are not the final product:

They are like a granite boulder, the sculptors use to carve a beautiful statue, or a canvas, brushes and oil paint the painters use to pain their master pieces, or the ingredients master chefs use to create the delicious dishes for their restaurants. As the raw ingredients are not enough to create the flavor, taste, presentation and experience we get from restaurant to restaurant, so RAW digital images by itself don’t provide the entire experience.

As such, all the enhancements and creativity a photographer does on top of the RAW digital files, cannot be presented and provided to the clients unless these changes are captured and saved. The process of enhancing the RAW files and saving all the changes a photographer does, is possible by creating a JPEG, TIFF or PNG file and sharing it with the clients.

2. Hard to View and Share:

Most commonly used image viewer applications don’t understand and can open RAW files.

Photo sharing websites, which make sharing and viewing images very easy, also cannot handle RAW files. To see an example of shared images online, take a look at Trifon Anguelov Photography’s Portfolio.

3. RAW files are huge:

They contain lots of information which cannot be easily displayed on a computer screen. Because the RAW files very large  sharing, downloading and uploading them is a time and network bandwidth consuming process. RAW files contain information which is used for enhancing the images, but once the look and feel are finalized, the RAW files are exported into compressed and more manageable digital image formats as: JPEG, TIFF, PNG.

Think of the RAW files as video footage captured during filming the latest movie blockbuster. The same way as the raw video footage is then edited, certain scenes are selected to implement the film director’s vision, audio and video effects are added to come up with the final movie we all see in the movie theaters, the RAW digital files are being processed and enhanced by the photographers. The final results are much better version than the original RAW files.

Conclusion:

I hope this blog article explained what digital RAW files are and why photographers don’t share them with their clients. It’s not that they cannot or simply don’t like sharing them, but it has more to do with the customer experience the photographers are trying to provide to their clients. The digital images shared with the clients in JPEG format are the final product of photographer’s talent, creativity and experience. The RAW files are simply the raw material, the photographers use to craft the beautiful and stunning images their clients hired them to do.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can read more about the author and follow his work on his Bay Area Wedding Photography Site

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Is Using Photoshop To Post-Process Photos Cheating?


Trifon Anguelov Photography - Octopus Is a photographer using Photoshop to create composite images or alter digital images cheating the viewers?

This is the question which comes so many times on photography related forums and blogs, topic of so many Facebook discussions and debates. I have been hearing this question so many times while talking to photographers and decided that this deserves a dedicated blog entry.

So let’s first start by explaining what the argument seems to be all about. A photographer captures a digital image, then downloads the picture into his/her computer and starts a digital post-processing in Photoshop. This might include replacing the background of the image, adding additional light sources which were not in the original image, removing subjects or objects from the image, adding objects into the image from another image, combining exposures, etc. All form of digital editing used by nowadays photographers.

On one side of the debate there are the so called “purists”: photographers who believe in pure documentary style of photography and that the main purpose of a photographer is to capture the reality unaltered and unmodified. No changes to the digital images after being captured whatsoever. On the other side of the debates are the “artists”: photographers who don’t like to be constrained from what the reality has to offer and like to add their own vision and touch to each image. They believe that reality is fine by itself but the role of the photographer is to use the reality and communicate the photographer’s vision by altering the digital images.

Each side has their logic behind their choices of course. The photojournalists are trained to capture the events as they unfold, set the stage and wait for the moments to happen, communicate the truth about the moment and emotions as they really happened. While the artists are creative minds, which are bored to death to see the same images of the same subjects or objects over and over and need to express themselves, not just capture the reality.
For me, I am more of the mix from both. Capture genuine moments and emotions and use all tools available to enhance the image and bring the viewers attention to the focal point if the image. A picture needs to have a story with both interesting subjects or objects but also with refined post processing to make an impression.

Why I think so. Simple. Ask yourself: Is adding special effects to movie cheating? Don’t we all enjoy the movies with special effects exactly because they invoke certain feelings by enhancing the main story?
Is painting the walls of our homes cheating, or dressing in different clothes every day cheating? We were definitely not born with clothes or our the walls of our homes didn’t come painted with the colors we like. Are women dressing their hair and putting make up cheating? The examples, go on and on.

The point is that photographs need to be genuine and not fake. The photographs are intended to documenting the reality and it is what the photographer should do but in the same time a photographer need to be able to inspire the viewers, provoke their feelings and generate ideas. Adding digital effects or altering digital images is not a sin but a creative process in which the photographer creates their own masterpieces from what seems to be everyday reality. It’s what differentiate one photographer from another photographer. It’s what makes one picture to look different and communicate different ideas from another.

Agree, disagree, have comments or feedback? Drop me a line in the comments section and if you like this post, share it with your friends so they can also benefit from information.

Written by Trifon Anguelov

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a premiere Wedding and Events Photographer, Mountain View, CA
Photography Portfolio at: http://www.trifonanguelov.com/Portfolio/

 

 


12 Comments

Analyze Your Lightroom Catalog With Lightroom Analytics


Lightroom AnalyticsAdobe Lightroom is commonly used nowadays from many photographers to edit and post process digital images. It’s a very useful and powerful application on a more affordable price than Adobe Photoshop which undoubtedly is Adobe’s crown jewel for digital image editing. Lightroom also provides digital image files management along with the editing, as well printing and publishing capabilities which makes it very popular choice among both hobbyists and professional photographers.

Lightroom stores metadata about all digital files imported into its catalogs but so far doesn’t offer any analytics of the metadata. Questions like, what is the most frequent used focal length by a photographers in a certain catalog or time period? Or how many images have been processed with a certain noise or sharpness settings? Also no visualization of these metrics is currently provided by Lightroom.

I found a software application which can easily answer these and many more questions: Lightroom Analytics

Once Lightroom catalog is exported and imported into Lightroom Analytics application, different metrics and pie charts are created to reveal the details from the metadata. Why this is important one might ask?

Related: New DSLR and Lenses Are Not Enough

For example: If you bought an expensive 400mm L telephoto lens after seeing beautiful images of birds in flight but your Lightroom metadata shows you only have 5 or 10 images taken with this lens last year, isn’t time to put this lens for sale and pick another lens which would better serve the current needs? Or if one finds most frequently to use f/4 and higher, does he still needs the expensive f/1.2 or f/1.4 lenses in his back?

Of course, this application doesn’t provide all answers or can be a definitive guidance on which lens or camera settings one should keep or use but offers good insights into the camera settings, post-processing settings and lenses used in the past.

Conclusion:

Analyzing your Lightroom catalogs can reveal useful information about the usage pattern of the lenses, focal lengths and apertures you have been using. As a wedding or portrait photographer, this is a valuable information to understand which lenses you most frequently use, as what focal length and aperture. You can make a decisions based on this information by utilizing the information from the Lightroom Analytics. If you are looking to learn about what mistakes to avoid as a photographer, consider reading my other guide: Top 10 Mistakes Every Professional Photographer Should Avoid

Think differently, agree or disagree? Drop me a line or comment below.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days. To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


Leave a comment

Free Lightroom video training


Many photographers IMG_9804are using digital software to edit their images before submitting to their clients. For professional or paid photographers this is a MUST.

No doubt Adobe is the king on the hill and has been developing and releasing amazing digital editing software over the years. In the beginning Photoshop was the only offering Adobe had for digital imaging. Truly amazing software and very smart acquisition for Adobe. Over the years Photoshop expanded to add more filters and capabilities but the fundamental concept of using non-destructive editing by introducing layers and layer masks is still very useful even today.

But as every software suite, the list of features and capabilities has grown to the point that even seasoned and professional digital editors used just a fraction of Photoshop vast bag of tricks. So Adobe came up with another smart idea: pick some of Photoshop functionalities and bundle them into separate products: Photoshop Elements and Lightroom.

Well while Elements seemed as crippled version of Photoshop and somehow justifies the low cost, Lightroom on the other side with its extremely easy to use interface and capabilities is in many cases the first choice to edit and publish digital images. From the way how the editing tools are organized in panels and the panels are organized according to the post-processing workflow (from top to bottom) is nothing short of user friendly.

Adobe last year released Lightroom 5 which adds even more editing capabilities and makes it even more robust and useful tool. If you are just starting or have been using it for a while and looking to learn more ways to edit your digital images with Adobe Lightroom here is a collection of videos worth watching:

The first one is kind of long (good thing there is a forward button in Youtube), but the instructor gives accurate information and good editing advice. All content applies to both LR4 and LR5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyYVvwCWVC0

The second video is about portrait retouching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYxu17-R_wQ

The collection of videos below is for Lightroom 2 but the concepts and workflow is pretty much the same so I recommend if you don’t already know how to do these edits to watch these videos as well:

  1. Soften the skin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ahrmz5o_1yo
  2. Luminance features in LR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZKCWZ-5JtxM
  3. Selecting coloring in Lightroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fUID64bquHw
  4. Batch file processing in Lightroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VZLxSeLv0dE
  5. Using adjustment brush in Ligthroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Jh1oCs3fbhE
  6. Convert images to Black & White: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L3OeAafsoEs
  7. Sorting and ranking images in Lightroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rUCIxDA_Vhg
  8. Creating virtual copies in Ligthroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZVLZmkMMblM
  9. Watermark images in Lightroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IqZoHhBTEvY
  10. Remove unwanted objects in Ligthroom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P9lP1ZEYAi4

And if these are not enough there are 10 additional free videos you might want to watch: http://www.meetup.com/Florida-Center-Creative-Photography/messages/boards/forum/4271082

Think differently, agree or disagree? Drop me a line or comment below.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site