A great photographic print begins with a great capture. The camera settings you choose and the amount of image data recorded determine the image's potential for high quality processing. Most important is an accurate exposure captured as raw camera data. Feed Lightroom lots of clean image data and you may be surprised at what you can do with your photos.

Capturing high quality image data

The professional digital photography workflow starts with the best possible capture. This means capturing the maximum amount of data possible and storing it in a way that preserves all of the original information.

With these factors in mind, our workflow will begin with images minimally processed in the camera. We'll refer to this simply as raw capture. Regardless of your camera model or file formats and extensions (.nef, cr2, etc.), starting your workflow with raw captures will give you the most flexibility and highest quality throughout the processing pipeline.


Process on the computer, not in-camera

Though many current camera models offer varying levels of processing within the camera itself (brightness, contrast, color and sharpness controls, black and white conversion, etc.) it's almost always best to do the image processing on your computer, not in the camera. With raw capture, any in-camera processing effects will only be recognized by that camera-maker's software; not Lightroom.


Similar to the way a digital image file is made ...

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