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1  General / General Discussion / Re: Camera histogram, RAW on: January 14, 2009, 12:42:40 PM
Interesting...I had assumed that it displayed a representation based on what it captured.  I.e. shooting in RAW, the RAW image; shooting in JPEG, the JPEG image.  Manual makes no mention. 

Live and learn.....

Andrew
2  General / General Discussion / Camera histogram, RAW on: January 11, 2009, 11:27:48 AM
Hi,

I nearly always shoot in RAW and use the histogram as a means of evaluating exposure. 

I've just read in Martin Evening's photoshop book that "The histogram that appears on a ... digital SLR screen is unreliable for anything other than JPEG capture.  This is because the histogram you see there is usually based on the camera-processed JPEG and is not representative of the true raw capture.  The only way to check the histogram for a raw capture file is to open the image via a raw processing program such as Camera Raw."

Views?  If it's unlikely to be representative, in what way is it "out" - too dark?  How could we judge that the exposure is good from the histogram?

Or have I misunderstood?

Regards

Andrew


3  Software Discussions / Aperture / Re: Aperture workflow on: November 10, 2008, 03:21:22 PM
Thanks all.

I had read that post Ed so was aware of the issues.  It seems, like Peter says, to not worry my brain so much about things that actually aren't likely to affect me.  In all the time I've been taking pictures, key to getting "clever" was the bucket system, keywording and cataloguing: that can still be achieved in Aperture without worrying about working files, original files, derivative files (in a similar manner to you Ed).  Smart albums are the best thing I've found about Aperture and a feature that has been sorely lacking in iView.  What I may do is Image Ingest as DNGs and stick with that format, exporting PSDs as necessary. 

My current combination of iView and PSE I find too clunky: PSE has no "batch" application so each image is loaded, adjusted and saved as DNG individually.  Even though I'm only a hobbyist, I still end up with hundreds of pictures after a trip out and this becomes a laborious task.  If I don't enjoy, I 'aint gonna be doing it justice!  I just can't justify myself the £500 upgrade to full PS - all the features are in PSE that I use so it's a lot of money for things I don't (although, I admit that sometimes it might be nice to work with channels, soft proofing - no more hair pulling when prints don't match - etc.)  Again, Aperture gives me (some of) that.

Incidentally John, I did import a RAW file from my existing set which had a sidecar and the keywords were recognised.  I suppose, looking back, they may have been synced to the file....Not sure what wasn't recognised.

I also thought I'd give Lightroom a go - it's free after all - and see how it compares.  I've worked my way through Apple's Aperture training book and will do the same with Adobe.  My current view is still to think of integration benefits of Aperture.

Cheers,

Andrew

4  Software Discussions / Aperture / Re: Aperture workflow on: November 09, 2008, 03:16:14 PM
I had imagined that with an open file architecture, the metadata (i.e. image changes) would be pretty open as well.  I suppose that removes a concern because it doesn't work that way!

I'm still trying to decide which is best.  Work on the RAW files in Aperture and forget DNG.  Or, externally, convert the RAW files to DNG and import those into Aperture instead.  Do you know if Aperture is "better" at the original RAW file than a DNG?  Experimenting myself, I can't see much difference.  Having imported a RAW and DNG file of the same image, it seems that the RAW and DNG can be manipulated in very similar ways.

Regards

Andrew
5  Software Discussions / Aperture / Re: Aperture workflow on: November 08, 2008, 12:07:30 PM
Well, I think I'm speaking rubbish actually!!

Masters and versions stick together like superglue - move 1, and all versions move together.  So working with different folders as buckets ain't going to work.  Looks like I could use folders to represent the bucket with projects inside those buckets to group, well, projects together.  This then forgets the idea of original files and derivative files (assuming I start with working files.)  I suppose smart albums could be used to segregate images through a workflow.....

Ok, so it appears that Aperture doesn't conform to any real notion of Peter's DAM workflow in terms of working files, originals, derivatives, buckets etc.  Shame.

I also had one other thought.  Because edits are performed on RAW files and are kept as non-destructive database "notes" in effect.  Any move from Aperture to another system would require one of two approaches:  (1) export as PSDs/TIFFS/JPEGS and re-import into new system.  RAW + derivative exists.  (2) import the RAWs into the new system and reapply changes.  Somewhat tedious one would have thought.

Now I TRULY understand why DNGs are worth having.  Once updates are written into their metadata, those edits are carried forward to any other DNG-capable program.  Much more portable and non-destructive editing...

Hmmm.  Could we rely on Apple to introduce the idea of DNG-exports of versions?  Would be nice to think so.  Could we rely on Apple to maintain the development of Aperture way into the future?  Who knows.

Andrew
6  Software Discussions / Aperture / Aperture workflow on: November 08, 2008, 09:12:40 AM
This isn't a very active sub-forum but I'm hoping that someone is interested enough to comment!  I'm not a pro-photographer, more of a very enthusiastic hobbyist.

I've just started with Aperture having had IView for many years coupled with Photoshop Elements.  I've followed the DAM workflow for the last year or so.  I bought myself a new iMac, upgrading my trusty old G4 finally and decided I'd like to simplify things a little.  It's not that iView has been a problem, nor PSE (esp. with Richard Lynch's excellent powertools) for that matter, it's just that I wanted something a little more integrated into the whole OSX toolset with batch capabilities - one of the irritating issues with PSE really for RAW processing.

Anyway, having played with it for a couple of weeks, it's obvious that it doesn't play with Peter's DAM approach that well.  But it did get me thinking how much of a problem that was.  If I could summarise the DAM workflow somewhat (well, quite a lot actually), it seems that it comes down to:
- organisation: buckets and naming
- rating and ranking
- metadata (as an addition to rating and ranking)
- cataloguing
- processing and mastering
DNG is at the heart of this.

The impression I have of Aperture is that it does cataloguing and mastering very well, with albums, smart albums, projects, RAW processing, plug-ins.  Rating and ranking is very good as well with stacks, picks and ratings.
Drawbacks in this area: roundtripping creates a new master (in the same location as the original) and re-imports.  It could use DNG but this seems to defeat the point of the software which is optimised to each camera.  Nevertheless, DNG is the file at the heart of the DAM workflow so this could be seen as a drawback.

Coming on to metadata.  Well, it does allow extensive use of metadata including a metadata editor/dictionary.  There do seem to be some drawbacks though: it doesn't embed into the files themselves, storing alongside as an XMP file.  It's also a little clunky for application of hierarchical taxonomies - each level having to be separately applied (I had written a little applescript that worked with OmniOutliner to allow the cut-and-paste of a full hierarchy into keywords box in iView).  I can live with the latter but I'm rather hoping they address the embedding of metadata.
It also seems to imply that importing new files that have embedded metadata it will ignore that metadata??

Buckets and naming:  this is a little more contentious I think.  Obviously it will work with referenced masters, so the original RAW files could be managed in buckets on the filesystem but Aperture hides this structure.  Is this a big deal?  At first I thought it might be a bit of a pain, but I did think about how I use the DAM now.  My RAW files are stored in a bucket system under "Working Files".  As they are converted to DNGs, they are stored in buckets under "Original files".  As I create Masters (PSDs, TIFFs, Jpegs), they are stored in buckets under "Derivative files". 
It would seem to me that these duplicates are easily reproducible.  RAW files come into a bucket system and imported, as references, into a "Working files" project, with folders to represent buckets (which could be named by DVD backup label).  They could be ranked and rated and duplicated into a new project named "Original Files".  They wouldn't be DNGs obviously.  Folders can represent the buckets on the hard drive, leaving albums to catalogue.  Actual Masters, roundtripped from PS or PSE, could be managed in their own folders although physically they would be stored with the original files on the hard drive.  A bit of a drawback, and a little clunky to manually relocated every so often.
I know Peter deletes his original RAW files as unnecessary, but I don't.  I know that John B likes to see his filesystem structure which is hidden in Aperture, but I'm not bothered: it seems to me that the point of buckets and catalogues is that we use the former to manage files and the latter to group irrespective of their location (i.e. catalogues hide the filesystem).

Naming doesn't work the way I want it to either.  I can almost get there, but the index portion of the name looks a bit of a pain.  I use iView to manipulate the original index in the filename removing the prefixes (e.g. R00100010) becomes 0010.  The name, date and importing metadata is easy though.
 
Drawbacks are that this is a little clunky.  Perhaps the answer is that initial preparation of RAWs and naming is performed with ImageIngester.

Overall though, it seems the biggest problems are the lack of embedded metadata and the roundtripping creating new masters.  Are these things I could live with?  I think so, I'm not a professional who needs to ensure the metadata sticks with their work, but I've only got going with Aperture, so i'm not sure I've uncovered all the gotchas yet.

So how to import all my currently catalogued pictures, complete with Metadata?  DAM, that looks nigh on impossible!

I'm interested in any thoughts, ideas from anyone who uses Aperture regularly.

Thanks for reading

Andrew
7  Software Discussions / RAW File Converters / Re: updates in raw images to appear in dng? on: October 08, 2007, 11:08:39 AM
John,

Perhaps I interpret Steve's question slightly differently but....

Steve,

Once you have a first-time DNG then subsequent changes to the "RAW" should actually be performed on the DNG file.  I.e. the DNG file becomes your new RAW.  This means when you go back into the RAW editor with the DNG file it picks up previous changes already made on that file.  This is the point of DNG: it's (supposedly) a global RAW format (as opposed to your NEF format.)

I think if you did what you say, i.e. edit the NEF file to create a DNG, re-edit the NEF file to make other changes then yes, you would lose your first set of changes because they are not stored in the original file.

Hope I haven't confused the issue!

Andrew
8  Software Discussions / iView MediaPro / Re: Catalogue sharing on: July 24, 2007, 11:56:32 AM
Thanks Peter,

one thing I have discovered - and it doesn't appear to have a fix - is that IView and networks don't like each other.  How slow can a piece of software get???  Back to the drawing board.

Andrew
9  Software Discussions / iView MediaPro / Catalogue sharing on: July 13, 2007, 05:44:59 AM
Hi,

I have a quick question (I hope) about sharing catalogues.  I'm aware of the catalogue reader software but all the info points to burning the whole shebang to CD/DVD and distributing.

What I want to do is set up a catalogue of digital assets that only I can import, catalgoue, categorise etc.  I want a group of other people to see that catalogue without being able to change anything but to get access to the digital assets stored there - for update if required.  I envision the catalogue and digital assets being on a shared drive and the access from remote computers on the network.

Can I do this with Mediapro (for me) and catalogue reader (for them)? 
Do the accessors have to have quicktime installed - I can't find relevant info on the website.

Thanks

Andrew
10  Software Discussions / iView MediaPro / Re: Keywords not showing in Bridge on: September 03, 2006, 09:34:02 AM
Thanks Dan.  I edited my last post because I found a solution.

I know Peter prefers to work with DNG and uses Bridge as his first reviewing step in the workflow.  However, I don't use Photoshop but Photoshop Elements 4: this has Bridge and ACR, but not exactly the same versions.  In fact, there is no bulk upload into ACR - it can only work one at a time.  I also use C1LE which does allow bulk RAW reviewing and processing, but doesn't save to DNG.

I'm still experimenting with the workflow, but there's a time and convenience trade-off here somewhere.  One-at-a-time RAW conversion to DNG with a tool that doesn't have all the adjustment tools that the Pro version has is time cosuming, because I then need to do additional processing in PSE4.  However, it does provide DNGs as the basis for subsequent processing.  You could almost see a "vice-versa" reasoning for using C1LE: upfront RAW processing, but only to TIFF.

Andrew
11  Software Discussions / iView MediaPro / Re: Keywords not showing in Bridge on: September 03, 2006, 09:07:00 AM
It seems that if, from iView, you do Action\export metadata, it will write the metadata to XMP sidecards.  Bridge can then see this.  iView will update Canon CR2 raw files but not CRW raw files (which I have).

I've noticed that whilst it creates these XMP files, not all of them seem to be populated.  I would say around 50% worked properly, 50% didn't...another bug perhaps?

Sussed it.  Delete the Bridge cache files and let it re-create them, bingo: everything's there.  There's still a problem though: if I add a further keyword in iView, re-export the metadata to the XMP file, it isn't picked up by Bridge, presumably because the cache files are still being read - seems like it.

Also, I've found that updating keywords in Bridge, then syncing annotations in iView (import, merge) brings them in.  Not sure why you would want to do that but hey.

Andrew
12  Software Discussions / iView MediaPro / Re: Keywords not showing in Bridge on: September 03, 2006, 08:21:48 AM
I'm seeing this problem: entered lots of metadata in iView, then switched to Bridge to see if I could see it, and no, it's not there, apart from Creator and Author (in IPTC IIM, Legacy).

Thing is, I'd tagged Canon Raw files.  The thread here:
http://thedambook.com/smf/index.php?topic=344.0
seems to suggest that iView cannot sync metadata to Canon Raw files - we're all doomed!!  If it's true, then I've just found the reason to use Bridge in my workflow!

Andrew
13  General / Comments about the book / Re: A few questions about the workflow Peter, to see if I've understood on: September 02, 2006, 02:31:00 PM
I was interested in the actual details of the workflow, I have to admit.  I find that missing out the detail can sometimes lead to confusion: conversely, of course, including the detail can lead to a DAM boring read!  For example, Peter also (at least in his book) saves his DNG conversions into a drop folder in the working files directory rather  than into the Archive\Raw\ directory structure - presumably there's a manual move afterwards into the archive structure.  I can't figure out why because the dialog (sp - US spelling!!) gives the opton to save where ever; it's not explained in the book but I'm sure there's a good reason.  Or maybe not - who knows, but now I have a niggle in my brain!!

The major issues I have with my current workflow is with folder structure and file naming, both of which I've got some good ideas for solving from Peter's book. 

I also only run with Photoshop Elements 4 rather than Photoshop CS2.  That gives a cut down version of Bridge and ACR: for example, no select all from Bridge and batch open in ACR - it's one at a time.  This leads me to think that Bridge might be a pointless step in my workflow because I can do all the naming, keywording to the RAW files in iView before going through the one-at-a-time RAW conversion with ACR as a helper app (via PSE).  There's another reason too: I have a Canon 10D which uses THM files alongside the CRW files - I need/want to associate these together and I have a script in iView that links the THM to the CRW via a metadata field and renames the two in sync.

Upto now I've also been using C1LE to do the RAW conversions (to TIFF) - this does work in batch mode, over folder contents, and I've not decided yet whether to switch to ACR with PSE4, the only deciding factor being (at the moment) the latter's ability to save as DNG...do I really need that?  The man from DAM monte says yes, as do most people on the forum, but what's important to me is keeping metadata in sync.  If I can do that from RAW -> TIFF -> PSD/Jpeg/Gif/etc then that seems ok right?

BTW, for those with PSE4, I can highly recommend Richard Lynch's The Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements.  It's that book, and the power tools that come with it that open up, for example, curves in PSE, that really means I can't justify the £355 cost of upgrading to CS2!  Which is a lot of money just to get batch ACR conversion from Bridge as well as a couple of extra tabs (e.g. curves) in the ACR tool itself.

This is a really interesting forum BTW.  I'm learning lots from here and the book that would have taken years to discover myself.

cheers all,

Andrew

14  General / Comments about the book / Re: A few questions about the workflow Peter, to see if I've understood on: September 02, 2006, 07:38:26 AM
Thanks Peter.
15  General / Comments about the book / A few questions about the workflow Peter, to see if I've understood on: September 01, 2006, 10:37:18 AM
Hi,

I like the book a lot Peter, it's given me plenty to think about.  As I make adjustments to my current workflow, I want to make sure I understand a few things properly:

1) Folder naming.  You mention that for originals you create buckets named RAW_[seqNo]_[dateLastImageAdded].  Doesn't this mean you have to keep renaming the folder right up until the point its contents are large enough to fit on your backup medium?  Does this screw around with your cataloguing software?

2) File workflow.  Let's see if I've got this right.  You suck in dsc_0010.nef (say) from camera into "All Images\Working Files\dsc_0010.nef".  Then, perhaps a few days later, you rename, rate, add metadata etc, ACR adjustments and convert to DNG, storing in "All Images\Archive Files\Raw Files\RAW_001_060901\Krogh_060831_1234.dng".  Then, perhaps, you skip into photoshop, do some tweaking etc and save a new master in "All Images\Archive Files\Derivative Files\DVD_001\Krogh_060831_1234Master.psd".

[Hmmm...you use separate disks of course to identify originals and derivatives, so the directory structure won't be exactly the same as above.  I.e. "All Images\Archive Files\Raw File" might actually be disk named "Original_01", so "Original_01\RAW_001_060901\Krogh_060831_1234.dng"

3) Would you rename dsc_0010.nef to Krogh_060831_1234.nef?  You throw away your raw files right, so I'm guessing not?  Or perhaps this happens automatically as part of the batch rename?

thanks

Andrew
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