Chapter 6. Portraits in the Digital Darkroom

Portraits in the Digital Darkroom

Workflow and File Formats

Workflow means the process of creating a digital photograph from the moment the shutter is pressed to the final use for your image. It also includes the important topic—beyond the scope of this book—of how you store and preserve your images.

One thing that's clear to anyone who creates many portraits using digital cameras is that a great deal of the artistry is in the digital darkroom, which mostly means Adobe Photoshop. Furthermore, to get the best advantage of digital photography you need to save your captures as RAW files.

Most cameras will save photos as JPEGs or in RAW. While camera manufacturers have their own versions of RAW, they all have in common the idea of preserving all the data obtained by your camera when you made the capture. This is in distinction to saving your files as JPEGs, in which most of the data is thrown away—with the camera and not you choosing a single interpretation of the information that your camera's sensor captured.

Ansel Adams said that his negative was the score and his print was the performance. To bring the Ansel Adams metaphor into modern times, the RAW file is the score, and what you do with it in Lightroom, Photoshop, or some other software program is the performance. A great deal of the artistry in digital photography has to do with rendering an image after the capture.

How much ...

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