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Subject: Re: NEF to RAW in photshop CS2



Kenneth,

Don't worry -- you only have to suffer through the learning curve once. ;- )

First, no, if I were you, I'd always shoot RAW to generate NEFs.
That'll both give you the most options for post-processing and also record the most image information. You need to think of the NEFs as your digital negatives. Neither Nikon's nor Adobe's software actually modifies those files -- each records your changes and applies them transparently, but they both take pains not to mess with the neg. Nikon's software embeds the changes in separate areas of the file; Adobe records the data in additional, external "sidecar" files.

If you like Capture and it's giving you good results, you don't have to change. What I'd do, after you make your first set of corrections in Capture, is to use Capture's Open In PhotoShop tool to move the image across. Then when you're in Photoshop, save the file in Photoshop .PSD format. This will give you a "working" copy of the file with (hopefully) all your Capture work preserved.

Note that this workflow will bypass Adobe's Capture Raw software, which allows you to make many of the same type of adjustments you're making in Capture. At some point, you may want to experiment with ACR just to see what it'll do, and note the differences in the same file when you massage it with the different programs. A lot of shooters think Capture gives more colorful, vibrant images, but that isn't always what you want... If you decide you want to play with it, download and install the most current version from Adobe's site and make sure you remove the Nikon plug-ins that we ranted about earlier.

You need to find out enough about the different programs to know when each is appropriate for a particular image, just as you'd pick a different lens focal length or use or not use flash in a given shooting situation.

Cheers,
Art

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