Joseph Hallenbeck

March 20, 2012

Auto-correct Your Nikon RAWs to Look Like In-Camera JPEGs using Color Calibration in Lightroom 3

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , — Joseph @ 10:25 pm

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Eureka! I’ve solved yet another odd puzzle of digital photography: easily making your RAW file look like what you see on your Nikon’s LCD screen.

Perhaps you have just made the leap from shooting with JPEGs to shooting with RAW. You’ve already read up on the various deficiencies of JPEGS: compression, loss of color data, difficulty of editing and the many advantages of RAW: ability to easily manipulate midtones, white balance and apply color filters in post production. Happily, you start shooting in RAW but there is a problem. The unprocessed photos lack the pop and vividness of your old JPEGs.

When you first open your RAW file in ACR or Lightroom there is a brief flicker as  your various in-camera settings (saturation, warmth filters, vividness) are  stripped away leaving you with a rather dull looking low-contrast image. This is because your camera saves a small JPEG thumbnail to showcase on it’s LCD monitor. This thumbnail contains all the post-processing features that your camera does on JPEGs to make them pop for the novice user. (more…)

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