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1  Software Discussions / Aperture / Re: JPEG looks different from RAW on: June 03, 2007, 05:30:00 PM
I don't really know about the iPhoto vs. AP color issue, but in the Lightroom forums, the usual explanation for color differences between a LR image and an exported jpg is monitor calibration.  Have you calibrated your monitor?  Oh, another frequent reason is a corrupted monitor profile.

2  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: Expression Media Serial Number on: June 03, 2007, 06:19:44 AM
I got the Mac serial number yesterday, entered it, pressed "continue" and nothing happened - I just got back to the main window (no confirmation of correct entry).  I then choose "Enter serial number" (or whatever the menu is) and had a blank text box to enter the number.  So I entered it again with the same result.  Looking at the About window, there's a number entered (not the serial number, but some other long number - not sure it that is an indication of having the app registered or not).

Later, I closed EM and reinvoked it.  Now the "Enter serial number" no longer appears.  Does this mean EM is properly registered?  For those of you who have not had your serial number work - what happened?  Did you get an error window or some indication that it didn't work?

- Pierre
3  Software Discussions / Bridge/ Camera Raw / Re: DNG as a "standard" file format, but not for adjusted files on: November 29, 2006, 07:13:24 PM
Thanks for clarifying statements I copied in my original post.  I had forgotten about the thumbnail vs preview.

- Pierre
4  Software Discussions / Bridge/ Camera Raw / DNG as a "standard" file format, but not for adjusted files on: November 29, 2006, 05:34:20 AM
A poster in the Aperture forum (Apple's) asked why a DNG the was created in ACR, having had adjustments made, did not show the adjustments in Apterture, only the original RAW was displayed.  Another poster provided the following, one of the best non-technical overviews of DNG I've seen.  I thought I'd share it here.


When you adjust a RAW image with ACR (a RAW converter), the settings are saved in an XMP sidecar because ACR doesn't like to modify a RAW file. But when you adjust and save to a DNG file the settings that would otherwise be saved in the XMP sidecar are saved in the DNG. Adobe can do this because Adobe created both ACR and DNG. (Also, Adobe wants you to use Photoshop.) The settings saved in the DNG are just instructions that tell ACR and only ACR (at present) how to process the RAW image when it is brought into Photoshop.

ACR saves an updated preview thumbnail in the DNG and that is what you see in IVMP and PhotoMechanic. IVMP and PhotoMechanic are not RAW converters. In other words, they can't take the ACR instructions inside the DNG and change the RAW to a JPEG, TIFF, or PSD. They just let you see the preview thumbnail. They don't care about the original RAW data because they are not RAW converters, so they don't need to show you the original. They show you the adjusted preview thumbnail so you will use their program in conjunction with your Photoshop workflow.

Capture One is another RAW converter. It cannot take ACR conversion instructions and apply them in Capture One because CO uses it's own conversion algorithms. The same with the proprietary camera manufacturer's RAW conversion software.

Aperture is also a RAW conversion software that uses its own conversion algorithms. It is not Photoshop, so it cannot use Photoshop's ACR conversion data. When you load an adjusted DNG into Aperture it initially sees the adjusted preview. But then Aperture builds a thumbnail with the original RAW data (as it should) because Aperture adjusts the RAW master file.

White balance, exposure, and other adjustments settings are not imported into Aperture. I would not expect them to be. Those are ACR (Photoshop) adjustment instructions, not Aperture adjustment instructions.

Even Lightroom, another Adobe program that offers RAW conversion, does not currently read the ACR adjustments from a DNG. Load adjusted DNGs into the current beta of Lightroom and it does the same thing as Aperture. It looks past the ACR generated preview in the DNG and creates a preview from the RAW data. However, being an Adobe product, you might expect Lightroom to eventually be able to read the ACR adjustment data in a future version. Lightroom may be the route you will eventually have to take to perserve your many adjustments unless you are willing to convert your DNGs to TIFFs or PSDs and import those into Aperture.

I believe the DNG specification was intended to create a standard in the RAW file format (unadjusted). It is not a standard for transferring image adjustments between diverse RAW converters.
5  General / General Discussion / Re: Firewire II drives on: July 31, 2006, 05:42:57 AM
I do the same thing (except the CD or DVD backup).  I have all pics on one external FW drive, a portable at that.  I also do backups to a file server.  When the FW fills, I move the pics to a server for storage and later access.  (The server also backs up all non-backup drives to its backup FW drive.)  All my files are on drives, including backups.  The backups are on file servers at two locations, so I have twin backups.

- Piere
6  Software Discussions / RAW File Converters / The new world of RAW processing software - some observations. on: July 14, 2006, 04:49:58 PM
After reading the DAM book, I've been using Bridge, ACR, DNG Converter, and iView, and am okay with these apps - for now.  I've also kept one eye on evolving software like Lightroom, RAW Developer, and LightZone.  Having followed numerous forums, it appears to me that the big issue in RAW/DNG processing is how and where the the editing information is stored.  Most people who have jumped on the DNG bandwagon expect this data to be stored in the DNG file itself.  Unfortunately, as I've discovered, the format used to describe photo editing is not standard, and reading this data requires the software to be familiar with that which wrote it.  For example, Bridge/ACR can't read Lightroom's code (although Adobe is focusing on this).  There's also the issue of whether an editing program modifies the DNG's preview file.

Yesterday I came across LightZone, and I was really intrigued by it.  It seems to have some new approaches to tweaking pictures.  While the app works with RAWs and DNGs, it keeps editing changes in separate files, like sidecars.  Once again, these are proprietary.

It seems to me that while one product may offer great features, the long-range question is... will it be around in 5 years, and will other apps, like iView, be able to read the sidecars and display the proper image.  (BTW, LightZone does not yet change the DNG preview picture.)  I fear that, while one app such as this looks promising, the prudent thing to do is stick with an industry leader - one whose proprietary formats become "standands" that other companies support.  I'm sure that when Lightroom version 1 comes out, others like iView will be soon able to read its embedded edit metadata (either inside a DNG or in a sidecar file).  And as much as I'd like to spend more time with something like LightZone, I think it may be a waste of time and money to use it.

Of course there are the other heavyweights like Capture One (I confess that I'm not sure whether this is just a converter or whether it offers editing of RAW files using the new approaches that improve on Photoshop's command structure) - if they survive, then perhaps we should consign ourselves to nonstandard code formats and choose one company's product(s) that will be around in five years.  I dread the thought of migrating from one app or family of apps that support one format to another set of apps (I still have some AmiPro wordprocessing files but not the application - a lot of good they do me now!).

These are just some thoughts of mine, but I'm hoping to stimulate some discussion about the direction of the RAW editing software field.  As for Lightroom, I'm giving up on its DAM support, at least for now.  I'm just looking for a Bridge/ACR/DNGconverter replacement, one that uses photo-specific commands, not one like PS that supports the needs of graphics artists, photographers, and others who work with graphics files.


- Pierre
7  Software Discussions / Lightroom / Re: Where would Lightroom fit in? on: July 11, 2006, 02:19:08 PM
I find quite a number of posters in the LR forum say they are not interested in a DAM component built into LR, at least not a full-featured one.  The wedding photogs, for example, contend their only organizational needs are in the folder structure, not a database manager.  But with good metadata support, you'd think LR would eventually support good file management.

- Pierre
8  DAM Stuff / Backup Strategies and Tools / Re: Backup software for Macs on: July 09, 2006, 03:30:51 PM
You should do a search on Google on comparisons of backup software on the Mac.  I did that some time ago and found that CCC, while good, had a problem with, I think, maintaining permissions, or something like that.  One of the few backup programs that did things right was SuperDuper.  I've got and have used both in the past.  I like SuperDuper's interface (look and feel) better.  I also use Tri-Backup because of its ability to connect to a server and backup to it.

- Pierre
9  Software Discussions / Choosing Software/Other DAM Applications / Re: For the Intel iMac: Parallels vs. Boot Camp on: June 29, 2006, 09:36:58 AM
As luck would have it, my new MacBook Pro 17 has arrived at the college so I'll be driving in to get it.  I have done some reading on Boot Camp and Parallels and purchased Parallels Desktop for Mac and downloaded Boot Camp.  On my current Powerbook, I have Virtual PC which I very, very rarely use now - just a compiler and special tools for the PC platform.  And as everyone will say, it's dog slow (that's a technical term).  In the 2 1/2 years since I've switched from the PC world, I'm pretty much Mac based now.  Aside from programming tools, I have only one piece of PC software that I occasionally need - Garman's maps for my portable GPS.  It will not sync via USB to the GPS under Virtual PC, so I've kept that software on my wife's Dell laptop.  But now she'll be getting my Powerbook and the Dell will move out of the house (to my daughter).

I'm hoping that Parallels will handle this software, but I've read that software that uses USB to manage external devices may have trouble running in Parallels.  Most likely, it should have a better chance under Boot Camp - but here's the problem:  I have a new Win XP Pro disk in the "upgrade" version.  I"ve read somewhere that the "upgrade" version won't work, that I need a full version of XP.  Marc - what version did you use to set up Boot Camp?

The specs for Boot Camp indicate that I need XP full version with SP2.  I can't install an older version of XP and upgrade to SP2 - BC won't let me, so I've read.  What are your experiences?

As for Parallels - everyone says it way better than Virtual PC.  If so, then that should suffice for running the very few Win apps that I might use (other than Garman's).  The next two days or so, I'll begin the migration process.  If I survive and remember, I'll post back here with any insights on the XP on Mac issue.

- Pierre
10  Software Discussions / Choosing Software/Other DAM Applications / Re: Non-destructive edit applications and future viability on: June 20, 2006, 06:30:15 PM
There will be two categories of photo software: the image editing apps and metadata writers that write edit code into such formats at DNGs, and the viewers that display the edited image files as part of their workflow (like DAM software).  Of course there will be the apps that straddle both fields.

I agree with you Jason, the giants like Adobe will call the shots on formats and the smaller companies will continuously scramble to keep up.  That's one reason I didn't look at Aperture too closely (aside from the original price) - Apple is not an image processing company like Adobe.  Of course I don't consider Apple small.  The really small companies will struggle, but I'm sure there will be those that carve out a sustained niche market with clever applications.

- Pierre
11  Software Discussions / RAW File Converters / Re: The changing DNG spec on: June 18, 2006, 03:59:17 PM
Well, here's Adobe's reply about DNG files and compatibility:

"DNG is an open format with versioning built in. Old DNGs -WILL- be able to be processed into Lightroom correctly when the Lightroom/Camera Raw pipeline is fixed. DNGs -FROM- Lightroom should be able to be processed by any DNG supported converter once the DNG spec is versioned. I believe we're already at DNG version 1.1.0 which incorporated the new functionality of Camera Raw 3.x which can even be read and processed by Camera Raw 2.4. And yes, other 3rd party apps that are DNG readers/writers will need to be rev'ed to compliant to new DNG spec versions. . .that's the nature of an open standard with versioning built in."

- Pierre
12  Software Discussions / RAW File Converters / Re: The changing DNG spec on: June 18, 2006, 08:42:23 AM
Okay, Peter - let's see if I get this: 
1) A DNG file contains the original image information that was converted from RAW (or is still the RAW, but in a wrapper file??). 
2) Included in the DNG may be a preview.  The preview is used by apps that display the image (like IVMP). 
3) Also in the DNG are special commands that are placed there by an editing app like ACR or Lightroom to describe changes I may have made (like exposure or tint).

If this is right, then if I decide to further edit the picture in the future, I need to use an editing app that understands the commands (3) that were previously saved and that adds to them.  In addition, the preview (2) should be updated so other apps like IVMP can display the new version of the picture.

Is this the right overview?  If so, then I gather the problem with LR and ACR is that neither understands each other's edit commands.  Once Adobe fixes this, each app will be able to read the older commands when opening an older DNG and when saving further edits it will use the newer command format.  Right??  Somehow I think it's more than just the preview being unreadable.

- Pierre
13  Software Discussions / RAW File Converters / The changing DNG spec on: June 18, 2006, 05:08:04 AM
I thought I'd give a heads up under this topic (from a similar thread in the Lightroom topic).

It seems Adobe's Bridge/ACR and the Lightroom beta can't read each other's edits of DNG files.  Adobe says it will be revising ACR along with DNG to make their apps read DNGs.  If interested keep an eye on the forum thread:

As I ask there, will third party apps have to upgrade each time Adobe changes the DNG specs?

(I hope I'm not being too much of an alarmist Undecided)

- Pierre
14  Workflow Discussions / Stock Photography / Re: Stock sites with ftp? on: June 18, 2006, 04:57:57 AM
We're all blind or are all thumbs  :Smiley

- Pierre
15  Software Discussions / Lightroom / Re: FYI: Lightroom doesn't support DNG format yet (in Beta 3) on: June 18, 2006, 04:38:23 AM
Herre's another more recent post in the Lightroom forum (with two typos corrected) - from an Adobe spokesperson:

"Lightroom supports DNG. . .what -ISN'T- working is that metadata settings from Lightroom can not yet be understood and rendered by Camera Raw and Camera Raw settings can not be rendered and understood by Lightroom yet. So, if you set the settings in Bridge/Camera Raw, Lightroom doesn't render them correctly. Same way if you export as DNG, Camera Raw can not render the Lightroom settings.

This will change...Thomas Knoll and Zalman Stern ('Z') are now working to adapt and adopt Camera Raw and Lightroom settings to be able to read each other and render correctly. This will take -AT LEAST- one more update to Camera Raw and another Lightroom beta. There will also have to be a rev of DNG as well (which happens when Camera Raw is rev'ed)."

What surprises me from all this is that DNG is still a moving target.  I thought the DNG specs were defined and fixed - that all software would be able to properly read DNGs.  Now it looks as though each software product can implement the edits in a DNG in a proprietary way, making other software not compatible when viewing the DNGs.  I wonder- if the next Camera Raw/DNG revision changes things, does this mean IVMP will have to update their product so we'll be able to view the new version DNGs, and I assume products like IVMP will have to be backward compatible to properly view older version DNGs.  And how long will this "revision" thing keep occuring?

I keep following the Lightroom forum and tinkering with LR, but it's a good thing I haven't used LR as part of my workflow.

- Pierre
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