The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 5/18/09

by on May.17, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Photo Editing

This week’s MMT continues with raw files. Specifically, converting raw files to a format that can be editing in PS, PSE or any other photo editing program. As you may recall, raw is not an acronym but simply means the image data is the original, unprocessed (raw) information straight off the camer’s sensor. (That’s not 100% accurate but close enough for our purposes) Raw is not a standard, every company has their own implementation of raw. This makes means the file has to first be converted to a standard.

For PS and PSE, the standard is PSD (Photoshop Data). Many other photo editing programs can also read PSD with some level of compatibility. However, every program can read and write JPEG and TIFF so those have become de facto standards. A few years ago, Adobe introduced DNG (digital negative) as a standard and, hopefully, other photo editing programs will begin to incorporate that into their repertoire.

If you don’t have PS or PSE, you can use one of the free raw converters. Read the full MMT on the Tips & News page under MMTs. You’ll need a password to access that area which you can get by registering.

Quick Tips

These days, buying off the Internet is pretty much a given. However, as anyone with half a clue knows, it’s dangerous out there. Tales of scams and outright fraud abound so how does one protect themselves when buying pricey items like camera gear. The Number 1 rule is to always do your research. Here are two sites that will help you with research. has a good reputation as a reputable place to check on companys. They have a fairly robust system to catch cheats who post their own “atta-boys” or knock their competitiors. Be careful of other sites that resemble ResellerRatings because they can be set up by a scammer just to lull you into a sense of security.

You can check Don Wiss’ pictures of actual Brooklyn camera stores to determine if they’re legit. If it’s a Mailboxes Etc or UPS store, you might want to dig further. Don also has photos of Manhattan camera stores. Some of these photos are downright scary.

New Video Uploaded

Part 3 of the Restoring Old Photos series has been uploaded. This covers sharpening using both Unsharp Mask (USM) and Adjust Sharpness in PSE7. If you have PSE4 or prior, you wan’t have Adjust Sharpness.

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Barbara

    I’d love to go to Photoshop World but can’t afford it. How much do you charge for the instruction books?

    • Lee

      Hi Barbara,
      I’m still not completely comfortable with this new blog-style site so I keep writing in a stream-of-consciousness style as if I’m speaking to the several hundred former students who used to receive my e-mail newsletter. The offer for PSW workbooks is addressed to them in an effort to get them to attend PSW in the future.

      As I mentioned, these puppies are big, heavy and expensive. I wait until the last day and buy 2 or 3 extras for my students. If you really want one, I recommend you check eBay. There are usually several for sale there. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

      Please register for my Monday Morning Tips and you can read all my past articles, many of which are inspired by things I learn at PSW.

      Lee Otsubo

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