Ruminations on Play Raw Threads

(Stampede) #1

I’ve personally found the Play Raw threads to be the most helpful regular feature of this site. I love that I can take a good picture that I’m struggling with, upload it, and have a dozen different people process it in different ways. I’ll scan through the different treatments, and if I see something that catches my eye, then I’ll download the PP3 and figure out how they did it.

After RawTherapee documentation, it’s probably the one thing that has helped me learn to be better at processing pictures. I thought there would be no way to get a nice looking sunrise picture in RT, but my recent thread proved me wrong. It’s turned me onto some previously hidden powers of the software that I now have to figure out how to exploit in future pictures.

(Martin Scharnke) #2

I agree wholeheartedly … becoming more adept at using the software tools to achive the desired results takes practice, but the shared wisdom and teaching of those who have mastered, by comparison, their techniques is a huge step up. “Shared wisdom” is one of the things that makes a community, and certainly is a community.

(Mica) #3

Since we’re thinking about Play Raws… how would you improve the Play Raw in general?

(Stampede) #4

Did you guys fix the bug that won’t let you attach CR2 files to forum posts?

(Mica) #5

I thought so but I haven’t checked!

(Stampede) #6

I haven’t checked, either. I remember some talk about fixing it some months ago, but don’t know if it is indeed fixed because I have very slow internet and bandwidth caps.

Aside from that, I don’t think there’s really any way to “improve” the “Play Raw” threads. They are sort of free-form and people pitch in with what they want. It seems to be that any discussion is discouraged, though. I’d like to see more back and forth, like “why did you go this way instead of that?” But if you start expecting that, then maybe fewer people will participate, so…the play raw threads are probably a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” sort of thing.

(Mica) #7

Can you elaborate on this, please?

(Stampede) #8

“Discouraged” was a poor choice of words. No one is actively discouraging discussion, IMO. What I mean is the “habit” in play raw threads seems to be: “Here’s my version.” Period the end. I am interested in the thought process behind processing decisions. I sort of took my own advice and posted an example to show you what I mean by that: [Play Raw] Waterfowl, Bridge and Sunrise

(Mica) #9

Good… I don’t want to discourage that kind of discussion. I agree with you, some words about a thought process would be awesome. I generally enjoy it when people say I am having x problem with this image. Although I also like it when people just post images that were made well to edit :smile:

I am glad you posted your thought process. That could make it way more interesting. In my own personal, non-moderator opinion, we skew way too hard towards the technical. I’d love to see some more of the artistic side of things.

Be the change you want to see, I think. And you’ve started down that path. Kudos!

(Mica) #10

I also wish we’d get more images for critique. @agriggio has been doing an awesome job of putting himself out there recently. You too @Stampede in the past. In the critique post, I’d also wish people would put what they were thinking about when they composed the image and how the reinforced those feelings/thoughts in post.


@Stampede As you may have noticed, I make conversation in the PlayRaw threads and discuss my own work too. People don’t necessarily respond to my comments however. Like you, I hope that there is more engagement.

I do recall one or two instances where the exchanges became rather lengthy but that was more of an off-topic thing. The thing is there is no stopping people from making a new thread to continue the discussion!

(Eduardo Battaglia) #12

Although I put it neck and neck with the dozens of youtube videos I watched about darktable, I agree 100%! Play Raw is fantastic.
And not only for learning, but for viewing different visions of the same shot, I love that.


it is true that there isn’t much discussion or feedback, but that is how it is. I think some people prefer to download the files and figure out for themselves what was done to an image, a typical behaviour of nerdy more scientifically leaned people, which i suspect there are some here :wink:
Then there are others like me. I generally do not download the sidecar files, I just look at the processings that I like and then make a plan on how to get to that result myself or just play around till I can emulate that result. So I am also one candidate to not ask questions because I may use a totally different way for processing.
That being said I sometimes stumble over explanations some people make on their own processing and get interested on how they used a special tool or how a detail in the usage of a tool canmake a difference (I learned that diffferent demosaicing algos work better for different ISO noise here). So in the end I would also appreciate if some more thoughts on the processing were written down and will try to do so myself! :slight_smile: