Friday, July 06, 2007

Rendering the Print: the Art of Photography

by Karl Lang

Digital Raw photography—the use of raw sensor data instead of a camera-processed JPEG as a starting point for photographers—is often a topic of controversy. Photographers make statements such as “my prints look good, I don’t see any need for Raw” and “I adjust my images in Photoshop®; it works just fine” or “all those controls are too much work, I just want my software to match the JPEG.” Somewhat complex and widely misunderstood, the Raw workflow was created to return control of the print to the photographer. With traditional film, years and even lifetimes were spent learning the techniques of printing in the darkroom. Modern Raw photography provides even more control with less effort, but some education is still required.
This paper will provide a foundation for the understanding of scene rendering. It will introduce the concepts, history, and tools of printmaking, and express their bearing on modern digital photography. It will demonstrate why you should invest the effort to learn the tools of Raw photography, and most importantly, it will prove there is no single “correct” way to render a print.


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