When things just work together… Part one of my new post processing routine.

Probably because it does not often happen in real life raising 3 kids, I just love it when things work well together on a regular basis.

For the longest time I was shooting RAW + JPEG and just working on the JPEGs. I was storing the RAW files in case I needed better resolution images in the future, but editing the JPEGs as they were pretty darn close to what I wanted SOOC. I spend a lot of time customizing the JPEG settings in my camera for that very reason. With my pre-shot adjustments, the RAW files were being turned into the images I saw (and loved) on my LCD when I opened the JPEGs in Photoshop. Not so much with any of the RAW processing software though. In ACR and Lightroom, the files looked completely different from each other and more importantly from the LCD. The most frustrating aspect was the unpredictability so each time I edited something I found the images were being translated in slightly different ways. Some with high contrast and yet others looked washed out. I did not have the time to work it all out, so I had to make a choice. Was I going to sit at the computer fighting with software to get JPEGs from my RAW files to look like the LCD or was I just going to skip that step and keep editing the JPEGs that came out of my camera? Going back up to the first line of this post, I have three kids so that meant I did not have the luxury of time to play nor the desire to do so.

I was happy with my JPEGs as I was really striving to get the exposure and white balance right in camera leaving only small edits in Photoshop.

But then I heard about Nikon’s Capture NX2 software and was intrigued. I mean I had heard about it before, but this mention came at a time when I was completely open to it. I think that was the key. So my fellow Nikon shooters, I am speaking to you. If you are looking for something that works perfectly with your camera and image files, this is your sign to open up to one. more. product. (If you are happy with your processing routine, I am not trying to change you…I have just been asked to share what changed for me this past years, so here come the posts!)

On Mother’s Day I took one photo of my kids with my D3 before I put it in the trunk of our car and captured the day on my camera phone because I thought for sure those rain clouds would actually produce rain. The shot is so them. Our loud clown, our serious one and our devilish imp. One shot was all I needed. I looked at the back of my camera and liked what I saw so I knew I had my gift in one frame. I was confident that when I came home I could load that image into Nikon’s Capture NX 2 and see just what I saw on the LCD. No surprises and no big editing to do. The changes may be subtle and maybe you like the ACR version better…the point of this post is that that I have the camera set to what I want the image to look like and this software translates that accurately every time and if you shoot Nikon, you can too.

SOOC with only the adjustments the RAW processing software placed on the file.

I planned on having this post up yesterday, but if any of you follow my Instagram you will see that life got in the way of plans once again. I am going to do some screen capture videos for you as this image was edited fully in Capture NX 2. I never had to touch Photoshop. Stay tuned…

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • Imene - You make me want to sell my canon gear and get Nikon. Well your post and the freaking autofocus.
    I love how their personalities shine in the pictyreMay 15, 2012 – 2:16 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachael - Ok I am freaky jumping up and down in my chair right now – the issues I am having with Lightroom – what I see and what doesn’t translate – you have got me hooked – I am a Nikon D700 shooter – 95% with prime lenses – checking it out now! Thank you so much for sharing!May 15, 2012 – 7:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Breanne - Anyone have any recommendations for Canon? This is something that frustrates me on a regular basis.May 16, 2012 – 4:24 amReplyCancel

  • valentina mantovani - thank you for this post 🙂
    i’m happy to be a Nikon girl!May 16, 2012 – 9:01 pmReplyCancel

  • marybeth - Rachel, you might LOL at this one, but obviously I’ve been working in photosop too long… Shortly after reading this post, I went to bed for the night. I had a dream that you asked me to process this photo for you because I was using Photoshop CS6 (which I am.. have been using the Beta and am getting ready to purchase the newly available upgrade). You asked me to see what I could do with the photo with some of the new tools in CS6. I was so excited, because one of my favorite tools was the content aware move tool, and I used it to move Kieran closer to the girls. You loved the end result so much that you featured the photo (along with a picture of me – LOL) in your Beyond Snapshots Part 2 book! Clearly I live in a false reality, LOL. Just thought I would share. When I woke up, I laughed at myself!May 17, 2012 – 1:24 amReplyCancel

  • Ves - Clearly NX2 is the way to go with Nikon, and the fact that Nikon never gave the key for properly reading the NEF files means that you will never get the same result in Adobe products compared to the LCD.
    NX2 is not that pretty and user friendly, but once you master it – you will love it!
    However it is a powerful tool for professional results, not a place to look for filters or gimmicks.May 17, 2012 – 8:04 amReplyCancel

  • heidi - YAY!!! Thank you for this!!! 🙂 I am so so so very intrigued!!! 🙂 I am a d700 gal. 😉May 17, 2012 – 10:24 amReplyCancel

  • Ellen - I use the D300s. A few months back I tried to use the NX2 and it could not read the RAW files from the D300s. Neither can Lightroom or Photoshop. I have to convert to DNG to get Lightroom and Photoshop to read them. Does anyone know if NX2 will read the RAW files from D300s yet? It is so frustrating! Thank-you for any information you can provide.May 18, 2012 – 12:14 amReplyCancel

  • Theresa - I like the adorable pictures of your family and your recipe. Please consider linking to Multiples Monday which I started on my blog, Capri + 3, three weeks ago. Blogs about multiples can add a link each Monday to a recent or beloved post so that everyone can enjoy. Please consider stopping by each Monday to add a link.

    : 0 ) Theresa
    htttp://www.multiples-mom.comMay 22, 2012 – 11:57 amReplyCancel