DAM RAW Christmas

31Dec07

It is Christmas season and we have basically been staying close to home and taking it easy.  We did visit with my parents and my brother’s family on Boxing Day. Wanda had to put some Christmas shifts in at the Crafters Hand and Patrick has been putting in extra hours working at the Library. The kids received laptops and have been spending allot of there spare time setting them up and playing games on them and watching DVDs. Being post-Christmas poor, Mom and Dad are busy trying to use up leftovers and sleep when they get the chance. We received a George Forman grill for Christmas and used it to cook pork-chops tonight and they turned out great.

I have started taking RAW photographs instead of JPG. The RAW photographs are typically 4X as big as the JPG photos my Pentax *ist DL creates. This means that instead of every photo being 2.5 MB they now average 10 MB. The additional size means that there is more information to manipulate and therefore you can end up with a higher quality images than starting with a smaller JPG . However it means that the RAW photos will have to be converted to JPGs for printing hard copies. The smaller JPG versions are required for printer recognition and processing speed purposes. The Pentax camera has its own version of RAW ( with PEF extension) and other camera models have their own version (e.g. Nikon NEF). This has lead to concerns that in the future RAW photos may not be able to be read so Adobe has developed the DNG (Digital Negative Standard). The DNG format is meant to be the future RAW standard to which all cameras should be outputting to. Therefore ideally for long term archiving I’ll have to convert my PEF files to DNG. 

By switching to RAW I have made a bunch of additional work and now require allot more media storage room. I now have 3 sets of every image – the original RAW (PEF) a DNG file for archive storage, and a JPG for printing. I am going to go back through our old photographs and pick many of the best over the years to scan and archive them as digital DNG images ultimately on DVDs that can be stored away from the house for “posterity”. Because we are talking 1,000s of images I have had to develop a folder and image naming and tagging system. Fortunately others on the internet have had to tackle similar projects and there are lots of software tools and recommended systems on-line for Digital Asset Management (DAM).  At least for now my DAM system is mainly based on “IDImager Lite” for ingesting, reviewing, managing, tagging, and correcting my RAW images and making JPGs. “Adobe DNG Converter” for making DNG files from the PEF. I also use “WinCatalogue Free” for cataloguing where all the files are. If I need to do additional RAW editing I have available “Pentax Photo Laboratory”, “SilkyPix Free”  and RAWshooter Essentials. This DAM system is all based on free software. If the frees software becomes limiting I may have to purchase the non-free versions of this software. 

The first RAW picture I took is this nutcracker:

RAW Nutcracker

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