Raw Workflow from Capture to Archives

Review by Mario Georgiou, February 2007
Authors: Philip Andrews, Yvonne Butler and Joe Farace
Publisher: Focal Press/Elsevier
304 pages
ISBN: 0-240-80752-9
US$39.95 - £24.99 GBP

Raw Workflow - Front Cover
Raw Workflow deals with one of the most important issues affecting Digital Photographers today. Most digital cameras today are capable of recording images in Jpg, however being a lossy format it is far from desirable for use by imageers and professional photographers. Some cameras even support recording to TIF, however the format of choice is actually the cameras native format - RAW. RAW data of course varies from camera to camera and as a result there are many flavours to choose from. Nikons NEF, Canons CRW and so on... there has even been an attempt to standardize the data by Adobe, DNG.

As a result of this, the photographer is spoilt for choice, especially when it comes to selecting a preferred format. RAW is ideal because it is somewhat equivalent to the film negative. There is however one distinction, and that is, that you can effectively reprocess the original data over and over again.

This book from Focal press attempts to clarify the issues photographers have to deal with on a day to day basis. As with many of the books from this imprint, it is well laid out, and easy to follow and has a nice combination of technical content, easy to follow illustrations and excellent writing.

It starts with the basics and builds from there. The first three chapters deal with describing what RAW is, as well as covering the technical issues of shooting in RAW and handling the resulting files.

Subsequent chapters take an extremely brief look at the different flavours of RAW converters and tools. The book then focuses on native converters and then moves on to Photoshop Elements, Adobe Camera Raw and its use with Photoshop and Bridge. Adobes Lightroom and Apples Exposure are then featured with an in-depth look at their relative merits.

RAW Workflow is completed by then covering the concepts of asset management, file storage and archiving. The Glossary at the end of this book is excellent and ads to an already excellent volume. Overall, I enjoyed the read. It is one of the best books on this subject and has something for readers of all experience levels.

Cons: No coverage of Linux based solutions. Some of the third party applications are touched upon too briefly.
Pros: Nicely laid out. Easy to read. Excellent coverage of the issues.

Raw Workflow is an excellent publication which is well laid out, richly illustrated and easy to read. It has something for users of all levels and is a solid book for the user who wants an introduction to the issues surrounding RAW based image handling and processing. Highly Recommended.