Editing Process from RAW to JPEG

I received quite a few responses from my last post so I thought I would share another before & after image!

I always shoot in RAW, but I haven’t always shot in RAW. I spent a lot of time researching WHY some photographers did and why others didn’t, and to be honest I think it really comes down to personal preference. However, one of the most frequent reasons I saw was the fact that RAW files are space hogs. Nowadays we have endless ways to back up our files so I really don’t think it should come down to that. I personally like shooting in RAW due to the control it gives me over my image. I do my absolute best to get it right IN camera (which I discussed in this blog post) however when shooting outdoors I am at the mercy of mother nature which means if a cloud decides to move in front of the sun before I could change a setting then, because I shoot in Manual (and you should too!) my settings will be off. Shooting in RAW gives me the flexibility to increase/decrease exposure, reduce highlights, adjust white balance and more without distorting my image since it holds ALL the information without compressing.

My editing process after every shoot is I first import my RAW images into Lightroom (or you could use Bridge) and that is where I cull and do minor adjustments such as white balance, exposure, cropping, highlights, I then export my image with the adjustments as a JPEG then do my final tweaking in Photoshop. Everyone is different and has a different process, but for me I need the control Photoshop gives me so I really only use Lightroom for organizing, rating and the basic adjustments noted above.

Here is an example of beautiful Haley from RAW file to finished JPEG! As you will see there isn’t much tweaking in LR since I got it pretty close IN camera πŸ™‚

Camera: 5D Mark III
Lens: 85mm 1.2L
White side of reflector angled under her face
Camera Settings: ISO 100,Β f/2.2,Β 1/250 sec
Edited in PS with a combo of actions (some from Florabella) others I created and the curves tool


Feel free to leave any comments or questions below and I will try to answer in my next post. Also, I will start offering mentoring sessions this summer! If you are interested you can sign up for the waiting list HERE.



L~ F~:
  • I just love you right now! I always have questions about the process and how to make my photography better. Though it is a hobby and not a business, I revel in it. I enjoy your photography because your technique is simply, beautiful. One of my favorite things to do is edit, so I really appreciate your insights there too. Thank you for taking the time to post!

  • gabby

    I love your photography! You do an amazing job!