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Processing photos


Why is RAW better than JPG?

If you want to get the most out of your camera, then you need to shoot in raw format and process all the photos with Lighroom, CameraRAW or Photoshop. After all, taking a shot is only 20% of the photographer's work. Next, the magic of pixel processing begins!


So which format is better, RAW or JPG?

It is simply impossible to answer this question categorically. Because it depends on the task of the photographer, for what he shoots certain frames! Each of these formats has its own application. If you need to take a large number of pictures quickly, and as quickly as possible, they will be published in a small format, that is, they should occupy the minimum amount of space - then this JPG will handle perfectly. Its main advantage is that the images take up a small amount of memory - somewhere 6-7 times less than the same image in RAW format.


JPG is a ready-made image that your camera, using its own sensors with the help of its processor, transforms into a photo that can be immediately posted on social networks. The image loses all additional information about the image. That is, the camera processed the photo itself and immediately saved it in a convenient format for later use.


RAW is a specific format that can be displayed as a film. In this case, the image has all the information about the image. It can be prepared independently without losing image quality. Getting the most out of RAW and squeezing everything out of every pixel can be said to "cook" RAW indefinitely. All those operations that the camera processor does on its own can be performed manually. As a result, you get much better and more spectacular photos.


But RAW files take up a lot more space, and it takes some knowledge and processing time to convert. This process is quite interesting, and if you have a good RAW, you will get an unexpected end result.


So, as you already understand - here I will share my techniques of photo processing and these will be images from RAW files ...


Programs for processing

What software to use for

photo processing?

Photo processing is a creative process that allows you to get different results from the same source material. Selection of processing programs is also an individual choice for each photographer, depending on the requirements, tasks, camera capabilities or the desired result at the end.


What programs to choose to do it as efficiently, quickly and efficiently as possible. But less distracted by the purely technical aspects that require routine operations? ..


Let's break down the programs for the purpose for processing photos:

  • Viewers - view, sort, catalog archives;

  • RAW converters - convert digital negative to DNG, TIFF or JPEG;

  • Bitmap editors - collage creation, photo filters, drawing and graphic design.

The programs I use most often:

They are included in one of the Adobe Creative Suite packages that are specially selected for photo and video processing. I remembered the video in vain, as I shoot in 4K format and just like photos - the video is also subject to processing, correction and further editing. That is why I have chosen such a software package, but everyone can find their optimal set of tools.


So now I'll show you the sequence of the photos. Namely, how I do :


I use Adobe Bridge to view and catalog. I especially like the priority function, the ability to edit metadata, spell out keywords (I'll come back to this topic). That is, all mechanical work when the filmed material has to be laid out in folders before processing, because different processing methods will be applied, whether the filmed material is intended for different customers and so on ...


The next step is to manifest the RAW file. Most of all, I love the Camera RAW plugin, which is easy to put under photoshop and with which Bridge also opens "raw photos".

The interface of this plugin is similar to Lightroоm. It does the same conversion work, except that Lightroom has more features. But with Camera Raw, I immediately open a photo in Photoshop for retouching ...


Photoshop already begins the magic of filters, action and special effects. You can already remove unnecessary elements (garbage in the frame, in this picture I did not like branches without leaves), I still love to add different "fireflies", sunspots or rays, or blur the background beyond recognition. All this already has the magic of Photoshop. Techniques and methods in specific cases are different and I will share them in the section secrets of Photoshop.

Publication and print

How do I save photos for publishing,

printing and viewing?

Dumayu, kozhen zvernuv uvahu na te na skilʹky zminyuyetʹsya yakistʹ znimka, koly yoho zavantazhuyesh v sots merezhi (Facebook, Instagram ...). Abo koly zamovnyk zamovlyaye 4 mehapikselʹni fotohrafiyi chy zi shchilʹnistyu 300 pikseliv na dyuym (dpi, ppi) chy tochok na dyuym.  To shcho tse za aryfmetyka i yak pravylʹno hotuvaty fotohrafiyi dlya druku, publikatsiyi knyh chy prosto dlya postiv v sotsmerezhakh?.. Budemo rozbyratysya, yaka riznytsya mizh mehapikselyamy i rozshyrennyam!  I chomu inodi lyubyteli pomylkovo vvazhayuchy "chym bilʹshe tym krashche" - obyrayutʹ tsyfrovi kamery z bilʹshym roshyrennyam, a pry tsʹomu otrymuyutʹ znymok z velykoyu kilʹkistyu "shumiv" nizh takyy samyy tsyfrovychok z menshym rozshyrennyam vydaye zobrazhennya bilʹsh yakisne i pikseli menshe shumlyatʹ v temnykh chastynakh znimka. Lyubytelʹsʹki tsyfrovychky vvesʹ chas namahayutʹsya modernizuvaty i zmusyty podavlyuvaty tsyfrovf shumy, ale tse pryzvodytʹ do "zamylennya" znimka. V rezulʹtati kartynka vykhodytʹ ne chitkoyu i vtrachaye rizkistʹ. Pryblyzno te same vidbuvayetʹsya z yakisno obreblenoyu fotohrafiyeyu pry zavantazhenni yiyi v sots merezhi... ​ Nebudu dovho pysaty zarozumilymy frazamy, prosto vkazhu hotovi rozrakhunky i opyshu shcho oznachayutʹ tsi parametry! ​ Druk fotohrafiy: ​



I think everyone paid attention to how much the quality of the image changes when you upload it to social networks (Facebook, Instagram ...). Or when a customer orders 4 megapixel stills at either 300 pixels per inch (dpi, ppi) or dots per inch.

So what is arithmetic and how to prepare photos for printing, publishing books or just for posts on social networks? ..

Let's figure out the difference between megapixels and extension!

And why sometimes fans mistakenly think "the more the better" - choose digital cameras with a larger magnification, and thus get a picture with more

"noise" than the same digital camera with a smaller extension produces a better image and pixels less noise in the dark parts of the picture . Amateur digitals are constantly trying to modernize and make digital noise suppressant, but this results in a "snap" of the image. As a result, the picture is not clear and loses sharpness. About the same thing happens with a quality framed photo when uploading it to the social network ...


I will not long to write arrogant phrases, just point out the ready calculations and describe what these parameters mean!



Print photos:

Print picture, sm







Density, ppi






















Now I will explain by example. I have a full-frame camera and it shoots 30.1 megapixels with an extension of 6720x4480, that is, when printing 300 pixels per inch - we get a high-detailed photo 56x38 cm. 120 pixels per inch, and this image is approximately 150x100 cm. How to accelerate images to giant street banners - will be a separate topic ...

So a megapixel is 1,000,000 pixels, but it's not the main part of the image. What is important is how each pixel is formed. In the case of a digital camera, the key role is played by the size of the matrix: the smaller it is at the same number of megapixels, the more "noisy" the image will be.

Extension is the value that determines the number of points (raster elements) per unit area.



Publication on social networks:


Pixel expansion of monitors


I think everyone has encountered the problem of uploading photos to the social network. They become chewed and the sharpness of the images drops at times. Of course, for example, I amplified this effect on a photo to tell why it was happening and how to upload pictures, for example, to Facebook with minimal quality loss.

Each social network has its own criteria and weight reduction algorithms for uploading photos to your posts or albums. To save space - they sacrifice quality. But I will share how to keep the image sharp ...


For social networks, you need to upload as easy photos as possible. There are two ways to reduce the size and weight of a picture:

Image → Image Size

- by changing the density (dpi or ppi);

- due to resizing in pixels.

Sometimes for social media publishing, it is enough to reduce the image density to 72 pixels per inch. Of course, there are no restrictions on pixel uploads.


To ensure optimum viewing quality, you must download the image in the maximum size allowed on the social network.

You should not choose a size smaller than the maximum allowable social network, based on the display on the monitor of a particular model. For example, a 1000px image in height will be displayed without distortion on monitors with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 (that is, without resizing the browser). On monitors with the standard Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, it will already be compressed by the browser, resulting in loss of clarity. Given that the size factor will be small, the loss of quality and detail will be quite noticeable.

Facebook has several criteria for photos. Not all users view the full-size image, and the social network compresses them for preview. This just causes halos around the pixels and sharpness drops. Publications generally require 1200 pixels wide by photo depending on the type of publication. But the maximum possible upload is up to 2048 pixels on the larger side. But photography should still be as light as possible. Therefore, when saving images from Facebook, we get a picture weighing up to 100 KB after processing the site.


Photoshop has a very convenient way of keeping the image as light as possible and with minimal quality loss:

File → Save for Web, where "quality" can be used to reduce the weight of a photo while observing how much quality is falling, so we can set maximum parameters with a minimum loss of sharpness and sharpness of the image.


So, specifically Facebook, all images larger than 2048 pixels wide is compressed to 960 and the image weight can be 100 times smaller than the original. Therefore, we can prepare a snapshot ourselves to minimize the negative impact on site compression. I save 2048px photos at 72 ppi. On small gadgets you may not notice the difference - it will be noticeable on monitors with a large extension. Actually, when saving for the WEB image quality I leave high "High" (the image can be observed at 100% magnification). So I get a picture with a small amount and enough quality to view the albums.


Therefore, it is important in social networks that to maximize the viewing quality on different monitors and devices, it is necessary to upload images in the maximum allowed social network size.

It should also be noted that the loss of quality when re-compressing the JPG social media server for small-size images will be more visually apparent than for large images.

However, it is important not to overdo it when it comes to sizing. If the image size is larger than the maximum allowable social network, when downloading the server social network itself will reduce the photo and do it according to the fastest algorithm. Of course, in this case it will not be necessary for any change in the amount of sharpening that the photographer would do manually. The exception is, perhaps, Instagram, in which the processing of the image before uploading is performed not by the server, but by the user's smartphone, and the reduction of the picture takes into account the associated loss of detail.


The maximum size is 2048 pixels on the larger side.

The horizontal dimension is always 1080 px. With:

Standard "squares" are loaded at 1080 x 1080 px.

Horizontal photos can be 1080 x 568 px or closer to square.

Vertical images are limited to 1080 x 1350. Thus, cropping will occur when uploading photos from 2: 3 aspect ratio cameras. To avoid this, you need to add fields in advance ...

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