RAW Finches and Photoshop CS5


A drab, cold day here in San Angelo, Texas today.  I got restless, couldn’t go outside and do any shooting do to moisture, near freezing conditions.  What to do.  Naturally, I got on the computer and started going through old images.  I came across these that I shot in RAW a couple of years ago.  Now, as I may have mentioned many times, I have never been a big fan of shooting RAW.  Mainly, I guess, I didn’t have enough confidence to try to convert the photos to my satisfaction.

A couple of months ago I, because of a good discount on sale, acquired Photoshop CS5.  I hadn’t got into it much, because most of my time is either in the field shooting, or writing my blog.  I was content to just cruise along, satisfied with the results that I was getting with sticking to JPEG images.

So, today, I thought was the time to get serious with this RAW and also do some experimenting with PS CS5.  And I’ll be darned, if it ain’t all that hard to come up with some pretty good images.  I am glad that I had kept these files of these female House Finches.

House Finch - female

House Finch - female

I think I am pretty pleased with the results.  I may be a new convert to RAW.  Maybe this old dog can learn a few new tricks.

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32 thoughts on “RAW Finches and Photoshop CS5

    • Thanks for your comment, Mia. I appreciate what you have to say. I will probably stay with RAW now that I’ve really gotten my feet wet. About the finches, I used to think that the female House Finch was one of the more drab birds. But they’re pretty in their own way. 🙂

  1. I think you did a fine job with these Bob! I wish I had about 6 more hours in a day to spend more time at the computer…there is so much to learn and new stuff is coming out all the time. YIKES!

    • I wish I had a local guru buddy that knew all of this stuff, so I depend on myself to try and learn by myself. I spend most of my time either in the field getting images or keeping up with my blog. So my time is somewhat limited, too. But I make the best of it, and play with this stuff when I can. Thanks for the comment, David.

  2. Bob, my kids have a saying and it is the only thing that comes to mind after reading your blog,
    “You’re the bomb!” (That’s a really good thing!)

  3. These are WONDERFUL, Bob!! I was also afraid to shoot in RAW a while back, thinking that there REALLY wasn’t much difference when it came to editing. Was I wrong!! I don’t think I will ever change my settings back to shooting in .jpg. A RAW image can always be converted to a .jpg, but a .jpg can never be converted to RAW. I am amazed at how much control I have over the image in ACR, and almost anything is “fixable”. I have been shooting RAW and editing in ACR for quite a while now, and I am STILL learning about it. One of the latest features I’ve been playing around with is the graduated filter (makes the sky look real nice). Every time I turn around there’s something else to learn about!!

  4. I’m happy to see that you’ve started to put your toe into the water in RAW. The thing I like the most about it is that you have total control of the digital negative. You’re gonna have a blast with it, I’m sure.

  5. Oh I am so relieved to see your post because something is wrong with my email and I didn’t get the notification thing (have now altered email with wordpress but still not tweeties!) Yes, the birds are beautiful, but so are you (yes, a bit too effusive – ha!) Good to see your post even though we are in different time zones.

  6. I recently forgot to set my camera to RAW + JPEG and the images were all RAW. I’d never edited RAW and was pretty upset with myself, until I realized how cool and easy it was to edit with CS5 – and how much more control I had. I still don’t like the lack of thumbnails, and only do RAW on images with tricky lighting now that I know what it’s capable of.

  7. Bob, these are beautiful, you may have just convinced me to use photoshop, I heard it was easier now than when I used it several years ago. I may be able to get student discount if I re-activate my NYIP courses. A program I never finished.

    • For the basic stuff, for what I always used in Elements it is pretty easy. Co-incidence – I graduated from NYIP back in 1965. 🙂

      Thanks for the compliments, Martina. I appreciate it. 🙂

  8. These are really lovely. I like the clairy and detail you achieved with the shots. I am a fan of the subtle beauty of the less colorful birds. I am a recent convert to using RAW and like the results I can get. I use Lightroom for post processing. All of your photos are amazing. Looking forward to seeing more.

  9. I saw some Hooded Merganzer at the little pond near QuickSand during my morning errands. I didn’t have time to stop, silly me thought I could go back and see if they were still there….but the weather got worse. I thought of you though and your pretty Hooded Merganzer pictures.

  10. Great clarity in the photos..I may venture and try it on my art work..thanks again for sharing..I always manage to learn something from you..take and stay warm..we have about 14 inches of white fluffy stuff..

    • Thanks for the great comment, Syl. I always enjoying hearing from you. It started snowing here this afternoon about 4:00PM. Don’t know if it will stay or not. Probably not, but can always hope for it to stay for a few hours. People are always asking me for wintery, snowy, pictures. 🙂

  11. I never work with jpeg. It’s always RAW. I think it only sounds scary because people think they have to know a lot before they start working with it. In fact, at least for me, working with RAW is a much easier process than trying to save a jpeg file which was already changed by the equipment without my control.
    Good luck with your new experiences!

  12. Nice work Bob, PS is very useful for many reasons. The house finch is not easy to get good photos I believe that is the stripes fool the meter somehow.

  13. These are beautifully clear! Truly lovely Bob. We never had sun either so the mountain of laundry is also tackled. (:

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