Raw File Data Collection

Here on f.64 Academy and f.64 EliteI talk about data manipulation quite a bit.   More specifically, I show you how to edit your images in Photoshop (data manipulation).  I have done well over 300 tutorials on data manipulation in Photoshop, but I have been remiss about a critical element to the process.  Not all data is created equal!

When I am on location, I consider myself a data collector.  I am using my camera (it’s sensor) to collect the data from the scene to use it later in my post-production efforts.  I understand this process, and the importance of the data that I collect, because I have done countless experiments with the received data.

So where have I been remiss?

I haven’t shown you all of these experiments and assumed that you know about this sort of thing.  In today’s tutorial, I want to take the time to show you how I analyze data, make judgment calls on tradeoffs, and empower you to experiment with your own data collection device.  This is probably the most crucial step in the whole process of image editing, so please take the time to experiment with your sensor as you may see different results than the ones in this tutorial.

What I have noticed with my Sony Cameras (a7rII and a7rIII):

  1.  When shooting, I tend to shoot more to the left of the histogram as I noticed it handles noise pretty well.  I can get away with a lot of pixel pushing in the dark areas.
  2. I noticed that when I increase the dark areas, I do get noise (not unbearable), but it comes with a green color shift in the shadow areas.  Easily fixable on both accounts.
  3. I noticed that the Sony’s do not handle highlights as well as other sensors I have used.  When pushing the RAW data with a heavy positive exposure, I find highlight recovery to be less than desirable.  A lot of blown areas.
  4. Also, there seems to be a Cyan color shift in blue skies when heavy positive exposures are reduced in post.

What do you notice about your camera sensor when manipulating the Raw data?

Download the Raw Images

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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