Recently (April, 2010), I purchased a FujiFilm HS-10.

This camera will shoot Raw images, and comes supplied with a Raw File Converter (RFC).

One of the good things about the supplied RFC, is that it can also be used to process the Jpeg images from the camera.

The HS-10 delivers beautiful Jpeg images, if it is used correctly. At times though, they still need a little help.

In the illustrations below, I will describe some typical step by step processes which can be used to correct Jpeg images.


Note : This is the first example in this series. A second example is here

If you are not familiar with the controls of RFC, please step through this example first.

In this example, I have put yellow outlines around each control, so it is clear which ones I am selecting.



Note : The example here, and the ones which follow it, are for processing Jpeg files. I also have a section for developing Raw files in RFC. You can access that by clicking here




Step One - Opening and displaying the image

As with all applications, simply select File/Open, and then select the Jpeg file you wish to work with in RFC.

Once the file is open, right click on the image and select the display size you wish to work in.

To start, I normally select the size as 25%. I then right click again, and select the 'Zoom Tool'. This allows me to adjust the size of the image, to comfortably fit the display, and move it around the screen.

Here, I have enlarged the image to 37%, and have positioned it to the left of the display.

My main concentration in processing this image is to tone the highlights down a little, whilst keeping the vivid colours of the chili's.




Step One (continued) - Opening and displaying the image

Here, I have turned on the Highlight/shadow warning. This is so that I can get an idea of the contrast extremes in the image, before I start.

Whilst I don't leave it on all the time, I will select it occasionally to see how my steps are affecting these areas.




Step One (continued) - Opening and displaying the image

With the Highlight/shadow warning, turned on, it is easy to see that there is some blocking of shadow areas (white areas), but the highlights (coloured areas) are more of a concern. This is also causing colour 'bleaching'.

The colour channel(s) simply cannot cope with the amount of information, they are overloaded and clipping.

In this case, mostly the red channel. Hence, the 'clipped' areas showing up as green.

Note : Clipping simply means that an area in an image has been over exposed. Either for all the colour channels (RGB), or for some.

Blocked means that an area in an image is under exposed to the point where nothing has been captured. Again, either in all the colour channels, or for some.

For a more detailed understanding of exposure, clipping, and blocked, have a look here (Cambridge In Colour). In my opinion, some of the very best tutorials, and attendant examples, for photographers, available on the web. And, they're free !!




Step Two - Correcting exposure

The first thing to do, to correct this image, is to get the exposure under control.

If you have ever photographed chili's, in bright sunlight, you'll know it is difficult with almost any camera. Chili's have a very reflective surface.

Whilst the camera has done quite a good job of balancing the exposure here, it has had to make a choice about that balance.

It can't read the photographers mind, so has opted to get as good a balance, as it knows. This has allowed the highlights to be sacrificed, at the expense of keeping the tones and shadow areas.

Yes, I could have overridden the exposure and applied some negative exposure compensation, but I didn't. If I had, I would now be doing the opposite in trying to bring shadow detail up.

Regardless, I have the tool to fix it a little, and it is not difficult.

Simply, I have adjusted the exposure to -1/2. This means I have reduced the exposure by one half of one 'stop'.

Note : A stop, used photographically, is a unit of measurement. An exposure value of one stop, negative or positive, represents an exposure change which has either doubled or halved the prior value.

For a little more detail, have a look here (Cambridge in Colour).




Step Three - Adjust the Tone (contrast)

Contrast in an image is purely subjective.

Some like an image to have a lot of contrast, to make the image have more 'pop'. Some like images to have little, to give it a soft or mellow feeling.

In my example here, chili's have a lot of natural 'pop' in good light. So, I am going to increase the contrast as I want them to have that look.

You can see the values I have used in the illustration below.

Note : Increasing contrast will increase noise, and will also decrease shadow detail, and increase highlight clipping. When using contrast controls, be sure to keep an eye on these factors also, and use accordingly.




Step Four - Adjusting color (saturation)

The side effect of reducing the exposure in the image, is that it also tends to flatten the colours a little.

Here, I am using the Color tool to add some saturation.

The default value is 1.00. I have simply increased this to 1.04.

The original scene was a vibrant blaze of colour. As I make my adjustments, I wish to keep as much of the vibrancy as possible.




Step Five - Saving the image

Well, that is all I am going to do. Three simple steps.

All I have really done is to correct the exposure, and then compensate my contrast and colour to keep vibrancy in the image.


Now, I am going to save the image.

To do this I simply select the Development icon and the 'Save As' options window will open.

I am using the file format of DSCF3673 RFC Adjust.jpg. This is so I know that it has been processed in RFC, and this is my adjusted version.

I have also elected to add a very small amount of extra sharpening in this step. Here I have applied the values of 30, 0.3, 3.

That's about it. So, I will simply click the Save button.




The two images shown together. The original (top), and the adjusted image.

The changes are subtle but effective.

I still have vibrancy, a little less highlight clipping, and also good tonal transitions in the colours.



Below, is the Jpeg image as it came from the camera, and then below that the adjusted version as done in RFC.



The image as finished using the RFC adjustments as described in the process steps above.



A second example is here