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On My Photo Editing Process….

Recently a blog reader wrote to me about my photos taken with the Sony RX-100, as well as my creative process. Here’s the exchange:

Hi Jeffrey
 
I have done quite a lot of looking at people's photos using the RX100 and I can say without exaggeration that yours are the best I have seen by far. I find it incredible that all the photos in this post 

https://www.jeffreydonenfeld.com/blog/2013/07/traveling-through-australia-new-zealand-southeast-asia-and-japan-summer-2013/ were all taken with this camera.
 
Great work and a pleasure to view, thanks for all your hard work posting these images.
 
If I could ask one question, you state shoot RAW and then process, do you find a lot more dynamic range in the RAW shots and do you have any quick fix settings for to get you in the ball park or do you process each one according to taste?
 
I took this camera to China and got some of my favourite photos with it but generally shot JPGs. Do you process each photo or just the keepers?

-Simon
2013-05-09 Trekking Northern Shan State - DSC00524-FullWM

Simon –

Thanks for checking out my pics, I’m glad you liked them. You might also be interested in these items –

https://www.jeffreydonenfeld.com/blog/2013/11/photography-portfolio-adventure-travel-with-the-sony-rx-100/

Shot on RX-100 attached to a lightweight carbon fiber tripod, used as a stabilizer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5lQ9DCXIbs

In general I find I have better flexibility when shooting in RAW – both for the dynamic range, as well as range and purity of white balance. Additionally, for archival purposes I like to have as pure of a file as possible. In many cases my old images have been found by people wishing to purchase them or use them in media productions, and the ability to re-edit to suit a client’s needs has proven useful. Memory is cheap nowadays, and it’s trivially easy to carry a pocket of SD cards around and just keep ripping away full blast.

I don’t apply any blanked develop settings, and usually quickly apply basic copyright info to the metadata on import (I use lightroom, latest version whatever that is). I then usually do one or two passes of stars to edit down to what I feel like is a good workable set, and then edit those. As I’m editing, I’ll sometimes eliminate another 1/4 of the photos that I don’t feel like I can get totally there with an edit. From the other 3/4 that get edited, I upload those to flickr, and then usually embed about 1/2 of them in the related blog post.

Generally with coherent sets of photos (like for a given trip or event), I’ll try to keep the general feeling and editing style of each photo similar, but I do them each individually by hand. Occasionally I’ll cut/paste develop settings from one to another, usually if the images are very similar, or I’m showing a progression and want to focus on that instead of the distinctness of any one photo.

Let me know if ya have any other questions, and send me a link to your photos from china!

-Jeffrey

2013-04-25 Ko Panyi - DSC07254-FullWM

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