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Using Adobe Camera Raw
Harvey Levine, Photographer
Harrisburg | PA | | Posted: 10:53 PM on 01.18.13
->> I shoot basketball using adobe camera raw. I pick my selects and include a shot of a grey card. Then I use the eye dropper tool on the grey card and synchronize the color balance with the other selects. I then save the images and it asks what format I want to save in and I have been saving as tiffs. Any thought on this or is there a better or faster way of doing this?
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 2:58 AM on 01.19.13
->> MUCH better; Use an ExpoDisc. And use DxO Pro Optics 8 for your raw conversions, anything but ACR.
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Jon Wright, Photographer
Wayzata | MN | USA | Posted: 9:22 AM on 01.19.13
->> When I want solid working files from RAW I save as 16 bit .psd's.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 9:27 AM on 01.19.13
->> ACR adds noise to my NEFs. Hate it. +1 to what both Jon and Phil said.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 12:51 PM on 01.19.13
->> Then I use the eye dropper tool on the grey card and synchronize the color balance with the other selects.

In most venues this is fairly useless. Mercury vapor lights and other cheap venue lights flicker and change color temperature as they do. Here's an old thread on the subject:
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 2:24 PM on 01.19.13
->> If you are working in venues that have consistent, bright lighting ... especially larger venues where the events there are televised regularly ... the use of a custom white balance setting achieved via an expo disc or other means can be helpful ... unfortunately, if you are working in many small college or high school gyms, a custom WB setting in camera can likely still offer inconsistent results as far as WB is concerned. The link David offered explains this quite well.

Electrical lighting cycles 60 times per second. During this cycle the color temperature changes. Depending upon several factors. if you capture an image at any given point in time using a shutter speed 1/60 sec. or faster ... you are likely going to capture at least a portion of this rainbow effect. So unless you can expertly capture the same exact point of the lighting cycle as you did using an ExpoDisc ... you are throwing darts blind-folded in hopes of gaining consistent WB.

Conversely, if you batch like images based upon similar color temperature, using a WB target such as a gray card within the image at the point of capture, using the eye dropper in your RAW processor of choice and syncing that setting to similar photos is the quickest method ... though for some situations, you may find you need to do this to several smaller batches rather than a one-size-fits-all for your selects.

As far as what file type to "save" the results of your processing in ACR ... that's up to your own needs. If you need to apply further processing or sharpening in Ps and find you need to re-visit the image later on for additional processing in Ps, then either a 16 bit TIFF or PSD would do nicely. If you need no further processing in Ps, then you could save directly to the file type you deliver to your client. Either way ACR/Lightroom will save an XMP sidecar file for the image(s) in question when you click either the Open or Done buttons in ACR. Then if you later open the image in ACR, those settings stored in the XMP file will be applied automatically.

As far as the merits of whether or not ACR is an acceptable RAW conversion tool, I'll let that up to others to debate ... though there are thousands of working pros who use ACR/Lightroom as their RAW processor of choice and don't seem to suffer from any ill fate doing so.
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 2:50 PM on 01.19.13
->> I need to look into a better RAW processor than ACR, but I gave up trying to match light in gyms with crappy lights. Facts are that most of them give you two or three "looks" with the cycling lights and I end up with that many presets in ACR. Then, I pre-edit in Photo Mechanic and color code based on how badly the lights screwed me. Or, I just light at least half the gym with SB's and make my life easier.
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Curtis Clegg, Photographer
Sycamore | IL | USA | Posted: 2:56 PM on 01.19.13
->> Harvey on my older version of Photoshop, I don't do the "save as" step from the ACR editing page. I go back to Bridge and from there I select the images I just edited, click on Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor and convert to jpg (or TIFF, whatever) from there.

The advantage of that is that you can apply an action to the files as your convert them, and you can also select maximum image sizes (in pixels) during the process. This makes it handy in case you have to resize different batches of images for different purposes.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:07 PM on 01.19.13
->> Butch: What you describe is really applicable only to tri-phase AC that is often used in arena lighting. Regular single-phase AC current doesn't cause the kind of color shifts you describe.

Where are our resident physicists?
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Matthew Hinton, Photographer, Assistant
New Orleans | LA | USA | Posted: 5:47 PM on 01.19.13
->> At NBA games the color can shift because of the advertizing / screen lighting at court level and the big mega screens just above the court. So if you shoot at a high shutter speed, white balance and even exposure will change from frame to frame.

As far as noise with Adobe Camera Raw, one can make a better default setting with ACR with a few adjustments.

If you are using ACR by default it adds a Medium Contrast Tone Curve, adds sharpeness in the Detail Tab (the main source of noise), also in the Camera Calibration tab it maybe set to "Adobe Standard."

Change the Tone Curve to "Linear" change sharpness to zero, and make sure the camera profile is set to "Camera Neutral" or "Camera Faithful" depending on your camera model. After making these changes click on the little drop down menu by the bullet point lines. This menu which is on the same on the same line as where you see "Basic, Tone Curve, Detail, Camera Calibration, etc."

After this drop down menu appears go to the bottom of the menu and click on "Save New Camera Raw Defaults." Then when you open any image with this particular model of camera it will open with a Linear Curve, no sharpness, and Camera Neutral or Faithful. If you have two different models of camera or change the firmware on the camera, you have to go back and redo these settings and "Save New Camera Raw Defaults"

This new default will probably look like a bland and dull image but it's a good starting point for low noise and the most amount of "Raw" data. I usually also default with about +20 Saturation as personal preference.

Most camera models add a medium contrast curve to the preview on the LCD / Chimp window on the back of the camera, as well as some sharpness and saturation, so it will not look like what you saw in camera. So it takes some getting used to. I think that it is why Adobe made the other settings defaults because too many people said "That doesn't look what I saw on the camera."

In the detail tab I usually leave the color noise reduction set to 25 because it does a decent job. But I tend to use high ISOs. If you are shooting a lot at 100 ISO you might want to turn off color noise reduction to get the most sharpness out of the image.

Then I do all the corrections from the default I set up. If the images are close to before and after then I synchronize. I usually sharpen later with Photoshop or synchronize a sharpness / Luminance noise reduction later, but not as a default.

The final adjusted image will probably look closer to what you saw in the camera but hopefully from a less destructive / noisy path than what ACR does by default.
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 7:33 PM on 01.19.13
->> Phil-What is the difference between the DXO Pro 8 Standard and Elite Edition?
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Ed Chan, Photographer
San Diego | CA | US | Posted: 9:15 PM on 01.19.13
->> +1 for DxO Optics Pro.

I swear by my CBL color balance lens target, very helpful for those of us that are "color impaired". Prefer it to the Expodisc.

Mark, the DxO standard is for prosumer cameras such as D7000, elite is for pro cameras such as 1D, D4, etc.
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Jason Joseph, Photographer
Dublin | OH | USA | Posted: 10:15 PM on 01.19.13
->> I hadn't tried DXO Optics Pro before today, and have to say that I am impressed with its conversion.
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 10:16 PM on 01.19.13
->> I wish I had this much time to worry about my images :)
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 9:43 AM on 01.20.13
->> @Matthew - I don't use the default settings, but I did try all of your suggestions and unfortunately it didn't help. Playing around with it a little more, it's luminance noise that is out of control - but for whatever reason, I can't produce Capture NX2-quality images with any combination of luminance NR and luminance detail in ACR. I can still only get decent results with ACR at ISO 400-800 and below.

May have to check out DXO again. Used it a few years ago but ultimately preferred Capture NX2.
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Harvey Levine, Photographer
Harrisburg | PA | | Posted: 10:11 AM on 01.20.13
->> Has anyone tried Photo Ninja? I know Rob Galbraith gave it glowing reviews. I've been fooling around with it but haven't really had time to learn ow to use it yet.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 11:13 AM on 01.20.13
->> DxO Optics Pro 8 Elite (about $200) is the one you need. On their web site you enter your camera model and it'll tell you which version you can use. The only downside of DxO is the file handling capabilities. It's a bit cumbersome, but I feel the result is worth it. It automatically corrects vignetting, parallax distortion, noise (a WONDERFUL job of correcting noise) and sharpening. Capture One has better (easier) file handling, but the noise reduction and sharpening algorithms are horrible. Plus, Phase One treats it's customers like a red-headed step-child; support is a huge pain in the rear and camera model updates are slow in coming to market.

I used to swear by Capture One, but DxO output is far superior. In NO case do I use ACR.
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Thread Title: Using Adobe Camera Raw
Thread Started By: Harvey Levine
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