I'm novice in RAW processing.

I know what a RAW file actually is but what are typical steps I need to do for RAW processing and getting output JPG file manually?

Update: I want to get advices what pipeline steps are exist and in what order I should do them to do conversion into JPEG. Proposed 'duplicate' link has only common info about advantages of RAW shooting which I already know.

  • Without any stylistic goal, how can we possibly tell? This question is to broad and subjective. Instead of asking open ended questions like yours, please edit your question to explain what you are currently unhappy with and what you like to change. If you can't put it in words, at least post example images. Thanks – null Sep 2 '16 at 21:31
  • @null I wanna know what steps people typically use to do conversion form RAW to JPEG. Any yes, I'll adopt that steps to reach my goals. – Andriy Kryvtsun Sep 5 '16 at 14:56
  • @AndriyKryvtsun I'm not sure I understand that. The steps people typically do are "run Lightroom or Darktable or whatever software, and use it". Are you looking for a) How to use that software; b) some meta-workflow involving file import, conversion, storing, publishing, etc.; c) information on how to write RAW processing software of your own; or d) something else entirely? – mattdm Sep 5 '16 at 15:23

Since a RAW image contains a wider dynamic range than can be displayed directly on a screen or printed, I usually bring the highlights down and the shadows up so everything I captured is in the visible range. This usually looks terrible, though. So I will often adjust the levels or curves to my liking. The exact adjustments depend on the image. I may make it less or more contrasty. I may boost the mids if they're mushy.

Once I have the range of brightnesses distributed to my liking, I work on color changes. I might warm it up or cool it down. I might enhance the sky to make it more saturated or a little darker, etc.

The details differ, but the overall process is the same:

  1. Bring all the data you want to see into the visible range (none of the pixels you want blown out or too dark)
  2. Adjust the areas that are now in the visible range so the luminance looks good in all areas
  3. Adjust colors, do touch-ups, add stylizations

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