Tag Archives: JPEG

“If you are normal you won’t know that…”

A comic reference to mastering the seemingly complex features of modern software:

If you are normal you won’t know that…” –

a Quote from Julieanne Kost (JKost.com) – Adobe product maestro/teacher (Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom) from the free online Video at http://escalatelive.com/.

We all have areas of expertise and skill – Julieanne Kost shares quite a bit in this online video.  I created some Summary notes from the video – most ‘tips’ below are for Lightroom… This is one of the ways that I retain new information – take notes, then explore; so now I will share a list of topics covered in the video.  I do suggest watching the video for your own take-aways.  🙂

Escalate LIVE is more than a broadcasted photography conference. It’s a highly interactive conversation that will challenge you, inspire you and offer you a chance to change things for you and your business.”

The notes below are from the on-line video captured during the Escalate LIVE Be Boutique event  held October 4–5, 2010.

Workflow used to be Bridge + Photoshop.

Now, Suggested workflow is Lightroom + Photoshop.

Should you use Bridge or Lightroom?

Lightroom – can maintain a database of online/offline files. Bridge cannot. Which one fits your needs?

Single or multiple catalogs? Depends on your needs (and your hardware – IMO/experience small catalogs work well:  easy to archive images and catalogs when you keep them in the same working folders; much faster than using a large/huge catalog – again, in my experience…)

Lightroom 3 – performance should be good in the 2010 version….  Are ‘performance issues’ software or gear related?  Some gear/environment questions:

  • PC optimized for performance?
  • Size of files?
  • Location of images? (network?)
  • enough RAM?, CPU?

If you don’t want to create a monster/master catalog with all images then a suggestion is to  Create a Marketing Folder/Catalog – include the 10 best images from each shoot – you then have a semi-master catalog which can be used for both research and marketing purposes.  (This is what I have been doing…  Every photo gig has it’s own master folder and the Lightroom catalog for that gig is created in this master folder; backing up just one ‘gig’ is very simple – just copy the ‘master folder’ to the backup resource; restoring is just as simple…  Remembering to make the backup is key!)

More Resources

  • Adobe TV resources
  • Nine (9) –  15 minutes videos @ JKost.com – free

Need custom sort – use a ‘collection’…

Snapshots vs Virtual Copies

  • Virtual Copy – when need separate image treaments
  • provides ability to develop each copy differently (without making a ‘copy’; you are simply creating a ‘recipe’ for that version of an output file…)
  • limit what is saved in snapshots, i.e. just vignettes, just color adjustment, etc.

Perspective corrections (are manual edit) vs lens corrections (which are auto-magic…)

Lens ‘profiles’ –  auto-correction on import

  • reset image that has already been imported
  • enable lens profile correction
  • set as default (future images will be ‘auto-fixed’)


  • flip  – press ‘X’ to ‘flip’
  • custom crop ‘shapes’ (from the menu)


  • Y key – before & after ‘split’
  • drag ‘states’ (history onto image) to ‘apply’ an adjustment
  • double click on slider names to ‘reset’

Photoshop Specific Items

  • Content Aware Fill – Photoshop – Is the image too cluttered – didn’t get the photo you need? CAF provides an automated replacement option that ‘pulls neighboring pixels’ into the area that you want ‘filled’.
  • Puppet Warp – 3d object manipulation – a real WOW type of tool… Need to un-slouch a subject?

Interview with J. Kost

  1. know your tools – there is no ‘instant solution’ – become a ‘master’; play and learn; use personal projects (just for fun OR to learn…)
  2. to master any tool/subject requires an investment – it takes time…

Digital Exposures – File Type Considerations & WB tools

Deciding on which in-camera file type to save is usually based on your needs and digital image file knowledge.  In a nutshell, RAW files provide more data and provide more options for editing.  If you are working a tough lighting situation then RAW probably a better choice.

Well, what about normal or good lighting scenarios?

  • If you need speed then JPEG is *usually* better (it will take less time for your camera to store a JPEG file than a RAW file – this is simply math – RAW files are usually several times larger than corresponding JPEG files; writing less data to a memory card *should* take less time…  A scenario (today, anyway) where JPEG makes sense might be any sport activity with rapid action – you don’t want to be waiting for your camera to save the last image to take that next picture…
  • Otherwise, I suggest staying with RAW
  • For some cameras you can save both RAW & JPEG (or perhaps other image file formats like TIFF.)  This can be useful if you need both lattitude in development (i.e. from selected RAW images) and faster processing (i.e. from JPEG files; smaller file ~= less time to process for output/delivery.)  Note that this setting consumes storage space RAPIDLY…

Editing your images – some guideline/suggested limits

Ok, you are now back at your computer and making your selects.  Let’s say that you have at least a few images where the exposure was not perfect and you need to make adjustments – how far can you go before your changes start impacting image quality?  It depends on several variables but for this discussion we will assume that you camera is set to the highest quality image that it can produce.  In general, for exposure changes we can adjust:

JPEG  – exposure latitude = < 1 stop

  • suggest edit limit of 1/3 stop over OR
  • 1/2 stop under exposure

RAW – exposure latitude =  6-8 stops (could be more – depends on image sensor)

  • suggest edit limit of 1 stop over/under

Note that you can surely make larger changes than those suggested above – the point is that you want to get your capture to be within easily editable ranges.  So, how can you get your exposure as close to possible to ideal? I suggest:

  • taking test pictures and evaluating the histograms (See below) AND/OR
  • consider using the bracketing features of your camera (auto-bracketing is a feature where your camera will capture multiple images and vary the exposures based on how you configure the bracketing option.)


  • scene dependant brightness levels and quantity of pixels in an image
  • histograms from RAW files actually display, interpolated JPEG data
  • 0  = black, dark side (usually on the left, i.e. dark areas with shadows)
  • 255 = brightest, white side (usually on the right,  i.e. the sky)
  • a ‘balanced’ histogram is ‘well exposed’
  • too light (high values on the right) = contains some under-exposed areas
  • too dark (high values on the left) = contains some over-exposed areas
  • clipping occurs when ‘detail’ is lost (values on the extreme left or extreme right of the histogram)

Use Calibration TARGET Reference Cards

Expose for your SUBJECT (center of histogram)

  • single source reference – simple histogram
  • multi source reference – i.e. three stripes, white, black gray; where are your high & low key light areas

Using a target

  • take picture (with subject holding target or target in scene); fill with target
  • evaluate histogram – adjust exposure if histogram leans left or right (i.e. keep Aperture but adjust shutter speed up or down)