Or: Why I shoot Raw
I shoot a lot of Performing Arts. That often involves “difficult” lighting: Different light sources, with different color temperatures. And to make matters worse, they are fitted with colored gels most of the time.
While I mostly try to go for “pleasing color”, rather then “neutral skintone” (the lighting was done a specific color for a reason I think), this still poses some challenges every now and then.
Simply setting ‘tungsten’ white balance is an okay starting point, but with certain types or colors of lighting, I need to do quite a bit of tweaking to get the image where I want it.
For that reason, I choose to shoot Raw: Gives me the most flexibility, and allows me to change whitebalance without causing too much harm.
Most of the time, I use Lightroom 2 for editing these images: I prefer the workflow over using the combination of DPP and Photoshop: I can do local edits on the Raw file in LR, and I can save the DNG with all edits included. With DPP/PS, I have to save a layered psd file of each image (which might be about 100Mb or so. With hundreds of images, that eats up HDD space rather fast).
This might not make sense to everybody, but makes sense to me.
DPP offers better noise reduction and sharpening in my opinion, but most of the time LightRoom is good enough for the intended purpose (images for the web).
Occasionally however, I come across an image that simply will not give decent results in LightRoom. Blue gelled lights often give problems: For one: No way to reduce noise without obliterating all detail on the process. A while back I processed one of those images.
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