Raw Wars

Raw Wars File 1

Raw Wars File 2


There are many facets of modern digital photography. Two of the most important are image capture and image editing. The “best” photographers almost undoubtedly have the most sophisticated cameras and lenses and know how to use them. “Raw Wars” is not concerned with taking better photographs but concentrates on getting the best out of a RAW image. These base images will be supplied on the Society's website. The objective of the assignment is for different workers to demonstrate what editing and how they carry out editing (the Workflow) to obtain a better representation of the base images. In this way, we can all learn from each other.

Any proprietary RAW image editing software may be used. Examples of commonly used software packages are Lightroom, Photoshop, Affinity Photo.

The objective of this exercise is to enhance a RAW file, bringing out details in the shadows and highlights for example. As such, the basic rules of Nature photography plus a few that are not allowed in Nature should be followed closely.

- Nothing may be added to the image that is not already there. This means that composite images are not allowed. Addition of other images to form a composite will change the nature of the original image and make comparison between the various entries difficult, if not impossible. The object of the exercise is to demonstrate the different techniques that turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary one.
- Cropping is allowed.
- Dodging and burning are allowed.
- Removal of distracting elements are allowed in moderation but not so as to change the composition of the basic image.
- Sharpening and selective blurring of some areas of the image are allowed.
- Colour balance and colour cast removal are allowed.
-Selective enhancement of light and shade are allowed to draw the viewers' eyes to a particular area of the image. This includes vignettes.
- Conversion to monochrome is allowed.
- Presets or profiles supplied by the software packages are allowed. Reference to these adjustments should be made at the reporting stage.

Reporting of the techniques used
Reporting of the techniques used.
Covid-19 has had a terrible consequence in 2020. We have all been affected. However, in one respect it has proved us with the benefit of Zoom. Workers are able to share their desktops and take the audience through their workflow. If the software allows, the individual stages could be disabled at the start and then enabled after each adjustment to show its effect. This allows build up of the stages to the final masterpiece.

The following details may be apposite.

-Software used in editing.
- Adjustments of exposure, contrast, white and black points etc. in the basic edit. Since the sliders in different software packages have different ranges, the exact amount that the sliders were changed is not very enlightening and stating (for example) the contrast was increased is more important than saying the contrast was increased by 10 units.
- Any dodging or burning and to what areas of the image.
- Any gradients applied to the image to selectively brighten or darken areas of the image.
- Why the particular adjustment was made.
- Any other adjustments that have been carried out which may be peculiar to the software package being utilised.
- Any other pertinent details.

This is a fun exercise but with serious content. We hope that participants learn by the example of others. Be creative! Have fun!!