9 Replies Latest reply: Oct 15, 2011 4:47 PM by hotwheels 22
hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I run a small design office and would like to get my image handling cleaned up.


Are there any tutorials or can anyone offer advice as to whether I should start importing images in RAW format for any reason?


I'm coming from a PC environment and while I am trying to use PNG for scanning for instance I can't quite tell if I should convert old jpg or tiff files etc to RAW or png. I'm using Aperture but seem to have images stored both within and outside of this database for practical reasons (i.e. I sometimes need to get them to another format or another software for editing).


Thanks for any advice, url's etc.

  • 1. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)

    You can't convert a file to Raw. A Raw is not a file per se, but it's a dump from the camera sensor with minimal processing. So, unless you have a camera that shoots Raw the query is moot.


    Apart from pointing out that any image you import to Aperture will be processed losslessly, it's hard to know how to answer your question in a meaningful way. By all means ask again if I'm being thick.






  • 2. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Terence,


    As always a big thanks.


    Yeah, so I guess I sometimes ask relatively open-ended questions and then try and narrow things down.


    I have a Leica digital camera and I have started to wonder if setting it to RAW is a good idea - perhaps in part to signify a break with my old way of doing business?! I am in the throes of trying to get all my images and movies (and papers) organized and I sort of like the idea of haing a before and after format.


    Particularly if I get the "pre-mac" image database organized in Aperture and then anything else that comes in from my Digital Camera never gets moved from the folder it was imported within. Right now I am moving images from the (I guess this is an) Event so that they end up in a place that makes sense. I'm not really sure how to handle this pre- and post moving images database but I would like to get to the point where everything is organized in Aperture as it was such a mess in the PC format.


    Can I ask you what the advantage is to setting the Leica to RAW is exactly?


    Can I confirm with you that I probably don't have any options for type of file with the iPhone or do I?


    Thanks for any help. It's coming together but real slow.


    - Jon

  • 3. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    Shuttleworth125 Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)

    Jared Polin on YouTube has some opinions of why he thinks RAW is better than jpeg, e.g.:



  • 4. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,945 points)

    Hi Jon,


    RAW is not a file format.  It describes a family of proprietary formats used by camera manufacturers for sensor data collected as an exposure.  (And further -- each manufacturer maintains several different RAW formats, often coming out with a different one for each camera model.)


    Good reading on what RAW is can be found in this short white paper. (Well worth the read, imho.)


    I use RAW, and have only ever used RAW (I got my first camera three years ago).  There are plenty of resources on the Web detailing the differences between RAW and other formats.  The main advantages I see are:

    • files can be re-converted at a later date, with newer (and better) converters
    • WB is set and changeable (with no data loss) after exposure (to me, this makes the selection of RAW a no-brainer)
    • full use of color space and bit depth (or least "fuller")
    • avoids baking into the photo the data industry or mfr prejudices about what a developed photograph should look like.


    The only good reason (imho) to have your camera convert the RAW data into a JPG is that you are on deadline and you can't meet your deadline otherwise.  For me, a camara is a data-gathering implement.  It is not an image-processing or image-creating appliance.


    I see no reason to convert existing files to another file format for use in Aperture.  If you were changing-saving-changing-saving-changing-saving, a lossless format would be better than a lossy one -- but that's not how Aperture works.


    Reading your last paragraph, and your other posts today, makes me think that a useful conception of Aperture for you is as a workshop in which you organize and store your digital negatives, where you prepare them for publication, and from which you publish them.  One of the harder aspects of Aperture to understand (seemingly particularly so for PC converts, who have been schooled and re-schooled on file-centered computing) is that your Images do not exist as shareable image-format files until you create a shareable image-format file by exporting an Image.  You use Aperture to store your raw material (heh) and get fully ready to make files -- but you don't make them until you need them.


    When you need a PNG (or big JPG, or little JPG, or TIFF, or whatever) of an Image, create it (by export), use it, and get rid of it.  One of the fundamental clevernesses of Aperture is that you don't keep those files around to be re-used.  You can create a new one _any time you want_.


    One other thing I think will help you get the most from Aperture is to be specific about the terms "Image" and "file".  Images are what you organize and adjust in Aperture.  Files are what you administer using Finder, and share between programs.  Files can be image files, but Images cannot be files.


    Every Image has a Master.  Every Master is an image-format file.  So you have

    1. Image-format files, stored on your drive (can be, but don't have to be, inside your Library) -- your raw material, never altered by Aperture
    2. Images -- what you see and organize and adjust in Aperture, always available to be published, and
    3. New image-format files, stored on your drive (not in Aperture) -- your published, shareable, photos.


    Hope that helps.




    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger -- minor additions and expansions.

  • 5. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    RAW files (a) contain maximum image data and (b) allow maximum post-capture image editing when needed, so it makes sense to capture RAW or RAW+JPEG. Generally IMO capturing RAW+JPEG makes most sense.


    Most important is that original images should be backed up before import into Aperture or any other images management app, and the Aperture Library should be backed up from within Aperture using Vaults.


    Note that many manuals, tutorials, etc. skip the all-important backup-before-import step. Very bad.




    -Allen Wicks

  • 6. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)



    RAW files do not include camera presets like exposure, white balance and sharpening so unadjusted RAW files will often look flat compared to the JEPG capture. For quick electronic transfer of an image JPEG can be great, especially if the ultimate usage does not involve quality hard-copy printing.


    OTOH JPEG gives up a lot of image data (just look at the file sizes) so when we manage to capture the rare "hero" image we really want it to be a RAW capture.





  • 7. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)

    No you can't shoot Raw with an iPhone.


    Here's a question for you to help decide whether to shoot Raw or Jpeg... Do you want to spend more time processing your photos? Because while you have more fine control over the finished product there is a cost in time. A great many excellent photographers  - pretty much all news and sports guys, for instance - shoot Jpeg. Personally, I shoot Raw because it gives me more chance of fixing the gaffes I make in the camera.






  • 8. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Allen.


    Thanks as always. This note about backing up has me concerned and the mention of "Vault" in some other posts is something I am not familiar with.


    Some background: Getting images from my Windows XP drive to Mac was pretty much a nightmare. I am not sure what happened but there was some issue with permissions globally and when I found them in Spotlight (early in my use of mac) they would only copy from location to location and not Move (via a force by holding down the Option Key). Also, Finder would fail partway through a move of large amounts of images and I never quite knew where things stood.


    Long story short I had dupes and dupes of dupes from XP and then ended up with these four or fivefold by the time I imported into Aperture.


    At one point I was backing these up on an external drive but this all got to be a bit much and I'd like to delete this data as it was originally in iPhoto, then went to Aperture and now I am organizing it even more in Aperture. What is this requirement to store images outside of Aperture? I thought - given the correct setting (which I forget actually at the moment) - that Aperture did this automatically for me, no?


    I mean, I backup to Time Machine, then I use Carbon Copy Cloner to backup to an external that I store off-site and in a couple of weeks I am going to start burning to an internal hard drive using a "toaster" or other desktop hardware to send a drive to my brother as an off-site "archive" now and then.


    Is this sufficient or are you indicating I need to do something else? Honestly the databases are quite new to me so I don't mind asking slightly long questions if it will help me get it right...





  • 9. Re: RAW format (from iPhone and Leica?)
    hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Kirby,


    The expertise on the list is just so helpful for a guy in my position.


    So - can I please ask you the following? I mean I think I am getting there but right now I am capturing screenshots as png, scanning as png, and printing to pdf.


    I just started to work with ColorSync and a couple of Applescripts because over the last year when I print ten or twelve scans using Preview (I think the scans were tiff at the time) to get them into one document to share - I realized I have ended up with pdf files that are 50 MB in size. They kept bouncing back in my email or I never would have caught this.


    Anyway, I am now trying to find the time to run WhatSize to find the largest ones and to install some scripts/folders that will downsize these in an automated way. Anyway, long story short is that I am trying to get organized in a more database less "file centric" way (I think).

    That said, can I play devil's advocate and ask you about some workflow issues? I think you are saying that I should be exporting only as a temporary measure and that I should delete anything that goes out of Aperture is that right?


    I'm having a bit of an issue with this particularly when I am working fast and on a deadline. For instance, if I want to upload images to a wordpress blog or something I have just been exporting these to a folder on my desktop and then when I find the time I size them (if necessary) or just upload them to the blog. But I will want to retain at least some of these since they have been manipulated (in a very old version of Photoshop Elements 3 which I am familiar with from having used Photoshop for PC). I mean, if I am missing an image on the blog or if I need to use this exact same image somewhere else I don't want to have to redo the full workflow particularly if I have done a batch of these.


    Right now I am at the point of trying to figure out where to put these in the scheme. Sometimes this folder will simply stay on the desktop and there may be a mix and match of images that have been processed and ones that are waiting to be processed and some that have been dropped in recently and need to be sorted or whatever. And I guess I am finding this kind of work doesn't happen very well in Aperture which seems much more compartmented in a sense.


    Same thing for uploads to ftp. If I have an ftp folder and I want to get a series of images for someone together with some pdfs and or some zip files or pages files or numbers or whatever - I need to get this data /out/ of Aperture before I zip them all up for an upload to ftp.


    This then gets /really/ messy when I start working with scanned images (these are png's now) that need to get thrown into the mix (not everything is already digitized) or when I start working with screenshots (also png now). Then I also have pdf files which are basically groups of png files in many cases.


    Do you follow me? I mean, I have screenshots falling into a "Screenshot" folder now but they come out of here when I need them via a drag and drop and I have scans going to a "Scanner" folder but they also come out.


    Anyway - I'm obviously struggling to see if there is a clear methodology to use moving forward.


    I guess going to RAW would let me know what images in Aperture were new images and if I stuck to a set file type for EXPORTED IMAGES out of Aperture this would let me know what was new coming out from Aprerture...?


    Thanks for the advice and apologies for the effort in thinking this through on my end.


    - Jon