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Old Jul 14, 2010, 12:38 AM   #1
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Default New Software Saving Old Files

We all have them. Shots too over or underexposed and, try as we may, there's just no saving them....at least, back in 2006, that is.

I've been going back to some older files I shot with my E300 that were previously either too this or that to do at all, or I did, but the results were marginal at best.

Adobe Camera RAW and CS5 to the rescue. I came back from Paris in 2006 with over 1800 files....every one of them RAW, and I am glad I saved them.

St. Denis Cathedral, burial grounds of the French monarchy. This image was so grossly underexposed because of the windows, which were more than just a little blown, and ISO 400 images from the E300 were difficult to work with back then at best, but with ACR/CS5, dialing back the exposure and using the recovery slider to bring back the glass and then the fill light slider to open up the dark shadows of the walls, then using the luminence and color noise sliders to mask all of that brought this out of a previously unuseable file..



The color noise was awful on the foreground in this next image, shot at St. Sulpice, and the background was full of noise that I did not deal with very well originally. Re-worked tonight yielded much better results..



The organ at St. Roch..



I am having as much fun doing all this old stuff as the new...

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jul 14, 2010 at 12:54 AM.
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Old Jul 14, 2010, 4:49 AM   #2
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Hi Greg,

I don't know what the originals looked like. But, these 3 images certainly look beautiful.

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Old Jul 14, 2010, 8:26 AM   #3
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Greg, these are great, They have a lot of depth & dimension to them & of course no noise. Glad your liking your new software.

Charles
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Old Jul 14, 2010, 8:38 AM   #4
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Thanks, Zig.

That first image I had never processed. It was a murky mess. When I dialed back the exposure using the exposure compensation slider to get back the blown windows it was something like -1 1/2 stops. That correction was extreme and wound up turning the interior walls from pretty darn black and very noisy already to completely black, but the fill light slider brought them all the way back plus extra to what they now loook like. Even after the -1 1/2 stops of exposure compensation I still had to use the recovery slider quite a bit to get back what you now see of the stained-glass windows. There are more than a few images like this in that folder I never bothered with because I thought they were unrecoverable, but I didn't delete most of them either.

With the second image, the tablet with the inscriptions is just speckled with color noise in the file I processed and loaded to that folder and everywhere else there's low-level noise, all of which is gone in this new version, and that last image is just a cleaned up version of the original. It was the least offensive of the three I originally processed, but is also the least sharp of the three. Image stabilization would have been nice in these dark churches.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jul 14, 2010 at 8:40 AM.
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Old Jul 14, 2010, 5:44 PM   #5
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This is a perfect example of why it is wise not to destroy old image files that, at that particular moment in time, the software doesn't exist to fully correct the flaws found within.

At some point in time, some company will develop software to do just that.

Now, you've got some really great looking images without having to spend the money going to France to take them all over again.

And thanx for the explanation of the problems and the steps required to correct them.

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Old Jul 15, 2010, 5:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
We all have them. Shots too over or underexposed and, try as we may, there's just no saving them....at least, back in 2006, that is.
Maybe not automatically, but the photo editing software I use on my laptop is from 1999, and it too had the ability then to fix exposure issues...it just required more hands-on work; I have a 2009 version of the software too, but like all newer versions it suffers from bloatware with features I don't use or need like RAW editing (I prefer shooting JPEG as it doesn't slow me down) and because of that the newer software doesn't run as fast.

Although having started doing digital photo editing back in the late-80's (before Photoshop existed) we have come a long way.
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Old Jul 16, 2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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Hi Greg

Got to agree with you on this, and esp with ACR5/LR3 and one of the reason's why I've shot in RAW and only deleted the really crap images that I've taken (theres lots of them). I'm sure that over time we become better at PP but the improvements made by the likes of ACR/Capture 1/Bibble really can improve and rescue those old files.

Cheers

Harj

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Old Jul 17, 2010, 11:20 AM   #8
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I'm glad you didn't dump them, they've recovered beautifully. Although another trip to France to retake them wouldn't be terrible..!
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