I finally shot RAW – oh, and made a coat!

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Almost every person I’ve talked to in the Better Pictures Project has told me to show RAW instead of JPEG – it’s supposed to give more control in the editing process. I don’t know why it seemed scary to switch over, but turns out it’s as easy as changing settings on the camera. I didn’t even need to reformat my card! But more on shooting RAW later – now for the coat!

This is, of course, the Lisette pattern that half the blogging world has made. It’s the first Big 4 pattern I’ve made in several years, andย I don’t think I picked the right size. (I sized down from the recommended size, and compared the pattern against my coatigan pattern, but the fabric still overwhelmed me!) See?

original

This is what it looked like when I first finished and wore it… Look at all that fabric!ย I felt ok wearing it, but in photos I was horrified to see how unshapely and bulky it all looked. (Oh, and keep in mind it it drafted to be 6″ longer, which I don’t think would help!)

Thank goodness that I can do my own alterations! I put darts in the back, and cut a hefty wedge of fabric from the drape down to the hem. I’m still not sure that mine looks as elegant as other people’s, but it feels much more wearable now. In fact, I’ve been wearing it a lot!

back shoulders

See how the shoulders are still too wide? Ugh.ย 

I bought this boiled wool in Toronto with Sara and Kristin, and sewed it up at a Toronto event hosted by Jennifer from Workroom Social and Kristianne from Victory Patterns, so this project has a lot of nice Sewcialist mojo.

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As for shooting RAW, it all turned out well! My JPEG pictures seem to have turned out a bit more overexposed, while RAW coped better with the bright snow and hard-to-photograph raspberry colour of the wool. The JPEG pics imported automatically into Photos, and I manually imported the RAW files into Lightroom. Sentimentally, I like to have record of all my pics in Photos, along side my pictures from the last decade. If I only shoot RAW, does that mean my photos will only be stored in Lightroom? What about when/if I decide to stop paying for Lightroom? I haven’t figured all that out yet, so if you have advice, I’d love to hear!

PS. I accidentally posted this while trying to schedule it! Guess this post is coming before my rag quilt, then…๐Ÿ˜› Please say I’m not the only one who mucks that up sometimes!?


41 thoughts on “I finally shot RAW – oh, and made a coat!

    1. It’s funny what things start to feel “scary” in our head, right? I mean, this turned out to be laughably easy. I should have tried it a year ago!

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  1. Your pictures are beautiful! As far as the housekeeping question concerning storage, you might want to pick up an external hard drive that you can treat as a server. Doing this will allow you to easily save multiple copies of your photos (original and various edited copies) AND easily move from platform to platform.

    If I can be of help, let me know!

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    1. That is a such a great suggestion! I haven’t had an external drive for years – my last one fell, and I lost all the data on it. Please tell me that doesn’t happen often?

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      1. Sadly hard drives failing is just Something That Happens. There are endless discussions in the photography world about how best to avoid losing everything. For me personally I think the easiest thing is to pay a backup service, someone like Crashplan or Backblaze, who guarantee to keep your data safe – you’re paying them to look after their bank of hard drives and make sure there are enough copies that things don’t go missing. They’ll be experiencing HD failure too but they’ll have many copies of everything and a big stack of new HDs ready to replace the old ones.

        Lightroom should also allow you to convert your RAW files to JPEG, though the thing there is that you lose the data. Think of RAW as holding lots of different versions of the info that’s in a picture. When you make a JPEG from that you cut it down to just one view of it. The way Lightroom shows your picture to you isn’t just “how it is”, it’s one of many possible ways of showing you the data that’s in the RAW & is just how Adobe have set lightroom up to show it. If you opened the RAW file with a different program it would likely look different. I don’t know if that makes any sense – I wish I had a good analogy for it!

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  2. Gillian I love your pics too – they are so clear! I laughed at what you said about looking at the photos of yourself and thinking yikes look at all that fabric! It’s so true that we can’t really know what something looks like by simply looking in a mirror – it’s too selective (like selective memory!) but a photo is so real and true – a great lesson for us all. If you REALLY want to know what your creation looks like on you, take some photos! I personally do find these styles tend to have just too much hanging stuff around the front๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. One of the reasons I love blogging is having that cold, hard evidence in front of me of how clothes/I really look… both for good and bad! Like, if I can’t take a flattering blog pic, there is no way it looks good in real life. And in this case, I was ok with it in a mirror but not in pics!

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  3. The cost is most excellent – I love the raspberry colour. I think your alterations work well and allow for layering pieces underneath.

    What about the dress?! Show us the dress!!

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    1. Hehehe – the dress is coming! I found the fabric on a Fabricland remnants table, and had just enough to squeeze out a dress, with some creative piecing!

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  4. Wonderful coat! I have this pattern in my stash and I am planning on making it. Question: will you have a post about the dress (black background and a colorful with geometric pattern?). It looks lovely, too!

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    1. The dress will get posts soon! I couldn’t decide if the dress post of coat should come first… then I figured the post with snow should be first in HOPES that the snow will melt soon!๐Ÿ˜› Hope you enjoy sewing up this pattern – just go down a few sizes!

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  5. Yay, welcome to shooting RAW! Ditto to what SewSavory said about buying an external hard drive for your photo storage. My camera’s RAW files are 35MB each, and I store them on a 1TB external hard drive. I’m nowhere near full and it’s been five years.๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I will definitely track down a giant hard drive! (Do you remember when a few hundred MB seems like a reasonable storage amount? Any my laptop before this one had a whopping 11GB hard drive… Now I’d fill that in days!๐Ÿ˜›

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    1. Thanks Caroline! I almost left the coat as it was out of sheer laziness, but I’m really glad I put some work into fixing it up!

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  6. The color of that coat is incredible and your photos are gorgeous. I’ve been tempted to try this coat. Yours is so cute…. And the fit looks great!

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  7. The colour of that coat is gorgeous! How does it close, does it have closures or do you belt it? (Perhaps an odd question, but it looked so open and Cold to wear with the snow and all)

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    1. You are totally right – no closures, and therefore not really a winter coat! I’ve been wearing it one springish days.

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  8. Another one for a great color on the coat! As for shooting RAW, that has been my experience too – that there is much more information in the pictures, which means it handles low and bright light situations better. Also I wanted to tip you, I have my camera set to shooting in both RAW and jpgs – maybe you can do that to keep your record of jpgs, but still have the RAW-files to edit?

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    1. Thats a good idea! I think I’ll defintely keep shooting both while I get the hang out things – JPEG is my security blanket!๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. Funny thing about RAW: I didnยดt realize how much of a difference it made for the post processing until I went back to JPG after a few months and suddenly couldn`t bring out any details from the darker sections of my images. Since then I only shoot JPG if Iยดm short on space on my memory card. A handy side effect is that the difference in file size also made me much better at deleting all the non-usable images, making my photo library so much tidier.

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    1. That’s interesting to hear! I feel that way about some of my old pictures, in a way: like, I had the same camera, how did I manage to take such rubbish pictures? I guess that as I learn new things, I don’t notice the incremental improvements until I go back to old ways.

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    1. Once I imported the RAW files into Lightroom, it was exactly like editing my JPEGs before. I literally couldn’t tell any difference – except when i went back to look at the JPEGs in Photos, they were definitely more washed out and overexposed. Give it another try!

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  10. Beautiful coat, the colour is so pretty! I wouldn’t have noticed the wide shoulders, the fit looks pretty good to me. Yay for learning new stuff about photo editing! I tried shooting in RAW a couple of times, but the post processing was too time consuming for my taste…๐Ÿ˜‰

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  11. Congratulations, Gillian! It looks lovely in spite of the fit challenges (and nice save with the alterations!) I am totally not surprised that the shoulders and back turned out too big, as I rarely have to alter Big 4 patterns to fit my shoulders.

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    1. I’ve stayed away from Big 4 for so long because of sizing issues… I was kinda hoping this project would make me want to try them more, but I’m not convinced!๐Ÿ˜›

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  12. What a fabulous coat and the colour is exquisite. It is so rich and lovely. When I did an Adult-Ed course in photography they made us shoot in RAW. That was the fist time that I have used it and the difference is vast. I think that it is because all the data is still there but some gets lost in .jpegs. I am in love with the fabric from your dress. How brilliant to be make up from a remnant. Xx

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  13. RAW is uncompressed and jpeg is compressed, so if you have the RAW photos you can always convert them to jpeg (compress them), but you can’t go from jpeg to RAW because you can’t add data back in. If RAW is working for you, you don’t need to save jpegs too. If you get rid of Lightroom there will always be some free RAW editor out there you can use. Probably not as easy to use as Lightroom, but you’ll be able to convert them to jpeg if you want.

    External hard drives, like all electronics, tend to die eventually. Keep your data in two places!

    And I love the coatigan! That color looks great on you.

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  14. Great coat! Love love love the color. I also use an external hard drive to store my pics… I haven’t shot any pics in RAW though. I look forward to reading your tips on this!!

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  15. The back darts you added make everything so much better – now it looks like it fits! I love the color and the casual comfortable overall look of your coat. =)

    As to external hard drive storage, my husband and I keep all our files on one. It’s a mirrored drive or a NAS (network access storage) device. That means it’s two hard drives but one is just a copy of the other, so if one fails, you just replace it and you never lose any data since it’s mirrored. We have had one of the mirrors die before, and it was easy to replace. Our actual PC only contains programs because all our files are on the NAS (tech guys jokingly call them “Not Actually a Server”) and I don’t think we’ve ever come close to filling it up even though it’s probably a quarter of the size drive you can buy these days.

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  16. This colour is beautiful on you! Yay a coat! I think your alterations definitely made it look even better. I love the shape of the back! I’m totally afraid of Big 4 patterns because of all the extra ease people say is built in. I don’t even know where to start. ๐Ÿ˜œ

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  17. Gillian, I’m wondering if you use a plugin to get your photos to upload quickly when someone opens your blog page? Mine seems to be running slow since moving to the boonies and I’ve been advised by my kids to compress them.
    I do love that colour, but its a lot of shawl. You may be especially grateful on those days when you need to really snuggle to keep warm!

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