Beginners Understanding/Question Camera Profiles and White Balance starting point

Joined
Jul 27, 2011
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Hi
I’m just going to start using LR (v4.4) and also moving to processing RAWs for the first time (been shooting RAW + JPEG for awhile ready to learn RAW processing; once confident will stop shooting JPEG)

Read loads on the forum, have VB’s excellent missing FAQs ebook and been playing a lot. I feel I now have good understanding to start importing, keywording, processing and output. So thank you for all the information/explanations.

I would just like to confirm my understanding of the starting point when editing RAWs (I’ve read “why has LR ruined my images” and that all makes sense).

1. White balance – This is based on actually information from Canon and based on the camera settings and is done “after” processing the Raw and only sets the Temp & Tint sliders therefore can be altered picking any canon setting or custom.

2. Camera Calibration Profile – This is the actual “Raw Processing” (my term) and doesn’t alter sliders. The options are Adobe’s interpretation of Canon’s setting for that particular camera other than the Adobe Standard option which is what Adobe consider is the best starting point for the particular camera. (Purely out of interest what are ACR4.4 and ACR 4.3 at the top of the list that appear for my Canon 1D 2n but not for the 5D3 ?, if it’s complicated don’t bother to answer !!)

If my understanding is correct and also the rest of my reading then the start of the editing workflow for Raw seems to me to be:-

a) Use Adobe Standard camera profile unless way out, if it is way out pick the best camera profile that looks good.
b) Select /Adjust White Balance
c) Adjust Exposure for mid tunes
d) Continue down the sliders in order
If exposure is way out (not that mine ever is, lol) then before a) adjust exposure roughly using camera profile Adobe Standard then start from a).

I haven’t read much discussion about camera profiles but my understanding, in my own words, is this is key as it’s the underlying processing instructions of how the pixels are interpreted therefore this must be right first – is this correct ? and if you change it then any slide changes beforehand need to be started again ?

Part of me says only ever use Adobe Standard camera profile as you are then always starting from the same base and make all changes with sliders. What do people generally do ??

Sorry for the long post, you can see I like to understand the principles behind why you do something and have worked hard reading and playing before I bothered you to ask questions.
 
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I’m just going to start using LR (v4.4) and also moving to processing RAWs for the first time (been shooting RAW + JPEG for awhile ready to learn RAW processing; once confident will stop shooting JPEG)

Read loads on the forum, have VB’s excellent missing FAQs ebook and been playing a lot. I feel I now have good understanding to start importing, keywording, processing and output. So thank you for all the information/explanations.

I would just like to confirm my understanding of the starting point when editing RAWs (I’ve read “why has LR ruined my images” and that all makes sense).
This is great. You should do well acquiring LR skills. Too often folks show up here after plunging in and creating problems for themselves by not having a clear understanding of how LR works. Victoria's "Missing FAQ" and our own "Tips and Tricks" should be (IMO) required reading before you can get a LR license. Shooting RAW+JPEG is exactly how I started until I gained confidence in my own post processing abilities.
1. White balance
Here's how I understand it. The WB setting in the camera is for the JPEG processed by the camera. It does not affect the RAW data which gets written to the camera card as recorded bt the sensor and not as an RGB image. Once imported into LR, the develop WB setting is "As Shot" And for this I believe LR reads the field recorded in the EXIF file header for temperature and makes an adjustment based on that setting. "Auto" requires LR to search the image pixels looking for a White Point and adjusting the rest of the image accordingly. "Daylight" etc are defined temperature setting adjustments. In my camera I always use AWB since it only affects the JPEG that i view on the camera back screen and the initial JPEG thumbnail that LR first shows.
2. Camera Calibration Profile
If you process a JPEG in camera, you choose a camera profile decided by Canon. Adobe does not have access to the algorithms Canon used to process your JPEG in the camera. So, Adobe developed their own emulations of the ones in your camera and gave them the same name. This gives you a starting point after import that approximates what the camera processing engine would do for a JPEG. The camera Profile called "Adobe Standard" is Adobe's best efforts at evaluation images that are produced by your camera make and model. It might be better or worse than the emulations othat mimic the in camera profiles. But more importantly, these are only a starting point for real development. A RAW image is not really a viewable image until it has been demosaic'd and converted to RGB. To do this some development parameters need to be applied to give you something that is not flat, toneless and somewhat noisy. The camera profile is applied on import but always reversible in Develop module. Also applied on import are some other adjustment parameter including sharpening and Noise reductions. These are specific to camera and ISO.

As for an initial camera profile, there is nothing sacrosanct about Adobe Standard. I use one of the Adobe generated emulations for my Nikon called "Camera Neutral". When I first started out I used a Develop preset called "General Zeroed". It applied none of the tone adjustments to the image and all of the develop adjustment sliders are set to the neutral position. I did this because I wanted to understand how each adjustment parameter affected the results that I saw on screen without being biased by some initial look and feel. Later I developed my own Develop preset to apply on import the adjustments that I founld myself repeatedly applying to almost every image. I even used AutoTone though it never got the tone adjustment perfect only "in the ball park".

Keep up your good beginnings, you will do well. And remember, you can always recover from bad choices that you might make early on. Reimporting is almost always the wrong decision and certainly never one to make without consultations with others that have ideas that you might not have thought of on your own.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
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Location
Rutland, UK
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Thank you very much for your detailed reply, really helpful. Love the idea that people have read articles before being a licence to use LR :).
You're reply gives me confidence to now start using LR "live", I'm sure that will be up more questions/advice !!
Again thanks very much, a lot of my understanding has come from your many posts helping others plus I mustn't forget Victoria Bampton's ebook and her posts.
 
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