iPhoto RAW editing

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by pmpup4p3, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. pmpup4p3

    pmpup4p3 Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Jun 23, 2014
    Hi!
    I've been looking at some of the resulting images in this thread
    SHOW: Before and After Shots - https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=71530
    and I am amazed at what can be done to improve the images in post processing.

    I only recently started shooting RAW+JPEG to have the "negative" of the image, so I can improve it as needed, but havent tried it yet, usually my computer time is very limited so basic event+album tagging and star rating only, to share in icloud with the family.

    So the main idea of this post is, can I get that sort of results with iphoto tools from a RAW file (GX7) or do I need a more professional app (Aperture, LightRoom, etc...)?

    Thanks.
    Pedro.

    P.S.:I know Aperture and iphoto are discontinued awaiting the new Photos app, but I am going to wait untill apple shows it and will probably use the new app, unless I really have to switch to get better results..., or eventually use plugins...
     
  2. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Hi Pedro,

    iPhoto's controls are very basic compared to a full featured program Ike Lightroom. On the other hand, if you are new to post processing and RAW files, you can still make significant improvements to a RAW file even with basic controls, so you might use iPhoto for a while to experiment with the basics and see what the various sliders do, then upgrade to Lightroom or another heavyweight program once you feel limited by the basic controls or once you have learned the basics. Adobe used to offer a 30 day free trial of Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, etc. they probably still do.
     
  3. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I too am an iPhoto user and resisted RAW for a long time because I felt I could get pretty good with jpeg and could still edit them if I wanted. Plus, as much as I love taking photos, I don't really get into editing them. I guess I am just lazy about that. But I tried RAW out and found I could get better results on some photos with RAW and began shooting RAW plus jpeg. I have since gone totally RAW almost all the time. I found iPhoto limiting in its processing pretty quickly, though, and bought PS Elements. Even though it too is limited compared to Photoshop, it does what I want to do right now. I still use iPhoto to organize and share my photos. I just couldn't get into the organizer that comes with Elements. And while you are supposed to be able to get Elements to save files back into iPhoto directly, in spite of all I read on the Apple site, the Adobe site, and help from here, I couldn't get that to work. So now I chose which photos I want to edit on Elements, edit them and save them to my desktop, then import them back into iPhoto. Then I delete them from my desktop to limit the wasted space. It is not as quick and easy as using just iPhoto was for me, but I am happier with the results and like using Elements for editing and iPhoto for organizing/sharing. So I live with it.
     
  4. pmpup4p3

    pmpup4p3 Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Jun 23, 2014
    Hi WendyK!
    Thanks for the reply.
    What sort of advanced controls make a big difference? I find especially interesting the ability to recover the very dark areas, is that an advanced tool or one of the basics?
    Thanks.
     
  5. pmpup4p3

    pmpup4p3 Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Jun 23, 2014
    Hi DynaSport,
    Thanks for the reply.
    What were the limiting factors of iphoto that made you switch? Some sort of special filter or specific sliders to manipulate the images?
    I like the organization possibilities of iphoto, I would consider using an external editor for finetuning and returning the result back to iphoto.
    Thanks.
     
  6. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Well, let's see if I can give a few isolated examples to show you what I mean, but they are by no means exhaustive. iPhoto will let you lighten darker areas (using the "Shadows" slider) or calm down overexposed areas with the "Highlights" slider, or lighten/darken the exposure of the entire photo. You can also adjust saturation, color temperature, (white balance) and contrast. Like I said, that may be all you need at first as you get started with RAW processing.

    In Lightroom you can do much more and fine tune your edits in ways you cannot in iPhoto. For example, you can control the saturation/brightness/temperature of *individual* colors rather than those of the entire image. So if you have a picture where you want the reds to really pop you can make them a little brighter and/or more saturated without making the other colors in the image unnaturally saturated. In iPhoto there is only one Sharpening slider, but in Lightroom you have several sharpening sliders to help you get a more natural result. You can also add edits to specific parts of an image, but not others.

    Lightroom has many ways of organizing and rating your images, as well. You can also purchase many plugins such as the Nik Collection which often have even finer controls and which allow you do do more advanced edits quickly to achieve a certain look and feel, or automatically smooth skin tones for portraits (for example). Nik Collection and many other plugins also work with Photoshop or Aperture (and HOPEFULLY with Apple's new Photos app, when it comes). Photoshop has a steeper learning curve, but lets you do more creative and useful things like "erase" distracting features in photographs, add text or graphics or textures to images, layer several photographs with differing levels of transparency together, change the colors of parts of the photograph, and much more.

    I hope that helps. You might consider watching some Lightroom and Photoshop tutorials on YouTube to get a sense of everything they can do. It would be impossible to list everything here.
     
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  7. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Lightroom is Adobe's purpose built environment for photographers and is very parallel to Aperture. LR has a library module for importing and tracking your images. It has a develop module for basic non-destructive editing. There are other modules for printing, creating books of photos, and creating web gallery pages of photos. LR also can invoke third party plugins to do more advanced editing.

    There are several standalone graphics programs like Photoshop and Pixelmator that can be used for all sorts of graphical projects. Those programs are not specifically for doing photos. Both Photoshop and Pixelmator are excellent very powered editing programs that can be used as plugins by LR. There are many other plugins that can be used: Topaz labs apps, Nik Software apps, DXO Optics, Perfect Photo Suite.......etc.

    Suggestion: start with selecting and learning your basic program like LR or Photos first. Make sure they can do what you want to do. Make sure they have a way to invoke the plugins you want to use.
     
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  8. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think the release of Apple's new Photo application, the replacement/successor to both iPhoto and Aperture, is getting fairly close so if you're using iPhoto, which means you're using a Mac, then I wouldn't consider buying a RAW processing application until after I'd tried the new Photos application. I have no idea what it is going to have in the way of features or how good it will be but if it allows import of your iPhoto editing data for your existing photos and it does some things better than iPhoto and especially if it adds some new features, then I think it will be worth a serious look.

    I swapped from iPhoto to Aperture years ago, and then from Aperture to Lightroom a couple of years ago. It was a pain swapping from Aperture to Lightroom because while the RAW files come into Lightroom quite easily, there's no way of importing the RAW editing data so you end up needing to start from scratch again with every image you want to play with in Lightroom. That will be true of any swap from one RAW conversion program to another unless the new program can read the editing database and work with it, and that's usually only the case when the application is a product of the same company who made the old program.

    When it comes to what iPhoto can do compared to other programs, iPhoto is fairly limited and it definitely can't compare with any of the serious RAW conversion programs around like Aperture, Lightroom, Capture One, DxO Optics, and many others. That may not be a problem. If you can get your exposure right in camera for the result you want and if you want the final result to look very much like what the camera captured, then iPhoto can do a reasonable job. If you need to do a lot to work with wide dynamic range scenes or you want to change the look of the image in a serious way, iPhoto doesn't have the controls to achieve that. It's competent at what it does but it can only perform a very limited range of editing functions. You may not need any more if it does what you want/need it to do but even if it does you may prefer to use a different application for a variety of reasons.

    If Apple's new Photo application can function to a reasonable degree as a replacement for Aperture, then it will provide a lot more functionality and, given that it's an Apple product, it may even have a lot of similarities with iPhoto in the interface which could make the learning curve a lot easier and, believe me, there is a bit of a learning curve with all RAW conversion and imaging editing programs. There can be a lot of fun in that, but also a lot of frustration.

    So, my advice to anyone using iPhoto at present and thinking of trying a program capable of doing more on the editing front would be to wait and see what Apple's new Photos application can do. It may not do everything you want, and you may still want to swap to something else after trying it, but I do think it's worth a look since it should be released in the reasonably near future. If it doesn't do what you want, then you need to start looking at what the other applications available can do, and many of them have free trial versions available for you to experiment with. The one application I would not recommend is Apple's Aperture. It's not that it isn't a good application but Apple have said they have ceased development and it hasn't had a major upgrade in 3 years or more. Apple killed it by neglect. I'd still be using it if they had kept up development but they didn't and I ended up swapping to Lightroom a couple of years ago when I wanted to get some features that Aperture lacked. It lacks even more features today in comparison to the other applications available and that situation is only going to get worse. If you're going to swap to another application, you really need to swap to something that is current and in continuing development. Aperture is very good at what it does, but while it can do more than iPhoto it can't do a lot of things that those applications in current development now can do.
     
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  9. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I think others have already addressed this better than I could. I will just say that for me I wanted more controls over the image than iPhoto allowed. And I am playing with some of the things iPhoto doesn't do, such as edit out objects or manipulate just one portion of a photo. I still have very much to learn, but I do most everything in Elements now.

    And while Elements includes a more powerful photo organizer than iPhoto, I am just used to iPhoto and prefer it. I don't really need the added organization options the Elements organizer includes. Plus, on my older Macbook Pro, I just found it too slow.

    Hope this helps.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. pmpup4p3

    pmpup4p3 Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Jun 23, 2014
    Hi.
    Well, thank you everyone for your contributions.
    . I am definitely not switching programs now, I will wait and see what Apple does with Photos app, then I'll decide if I stick with it or if I must look elsewhere for some reason, but it will probably be a while, I'm not even finding the limits of iPhoto yet...
    . In the meantime I will try both iPhoto and Silkypix (that came with the camera) and see if I can find the different limits of the apps for what I want to do.
    As I said, my computer time dealing with this is very limited, so I may take a while, but eventually I'll get to it.
    Thanks again.
    Pedro.