Friday, February 2, 2007

RAW development in Nikon's tools

As a followup to an earlier post, I am here providing a another conversion.
First Nikon's conversion (100% crop):
Conversion using Nikon's tools
Then Mac OS X(aperture) default:
Horrifying indeed. Nikon's tools are dog slow but their quality, although not as good as lightroom's, is head and shoulders over Apple's RAW libraries.

Why I like shooting RAW

Some people like shooting jpeg, some like RAW. I like RAW because of the added versatility afterwards while the current tools do not actually make it a giant waste of time. Aperture, even though it has terrible RAW development, for example make sit really quick to work with RAW. Likewise the new Adobe Lightroom (looking forward to running the release version) does a similar thing. Here is an example of a RAW file that I originally developed a while ago:

Rushing into the sunset

Here is the original development:
Rushing off

The difference is just white balance! and the new development with the bright yellows on the clouds is much closer to what I saw.

Panorama at Mount Falcon Colorado

Mount Falcon Panorama
The image above is a Panorama I made a while ago at Mount Falcon open space in Morrison (click for larger size in flickr). This is a place where I love to go Mountain biking. This image was taken by using 32 RAW files, converting them to 16 bit tifs and stitching them in Hugin. Then I used primitive HDR processing (basically just shadows and highlights) to bring out the areas that were black in the stitched picture. Now you can see all the beautiful blue and green mosses. In the full resolution image (almost 20 MP) you can count the skyscrapers in Denver. Pretty cool.

Here is another panorama I took a while later in the same open space park. This was before sunset and didn't need much processing. I also used a fisheye lens and shot it by hand (instead of a panoramic head) using only 8 single exposures. Looks pretty cool.
Mount Morrison and Red rocks from Mount Falcon