First experience editing Nokia Lumia 1520's raw .DNG shots using Lightroom

As you might have noticed, I've been pretty busy for the last weeks. I didn't have time to work with Lightroom for one thing, but during the holidays I had the chance to work on some Nokia Lumia 1520 raw .DNG shots with my brother-in-law Andreas, who is a very talented photographer and who knows the software much better than I do.

He was surprised to learn the Nokia Lumia 1520 could actually shoot in raw, so he was happy to show me how to work in Lightroom on a few shots I took during my stay with the family. Working with Lightroom looked pretty simple I must admit, but then again, driving a car also looks that way when you don't know how to.

Anyway, in this post I'm just sharing two shots - the 5MP shots I got from the Lumia 1520 directly, and the results we got after editing the raw .DNG shots in Lightroom. These aren't intended to be masterpieces (I don't think I've ever shown you a masterpiece here). And the edits won't turn them into masterpieces either - these were done in a short time to be honest, but the effect really surprised me. You'll find the originals on Flickr.

The first shot was taken on the countryside during a dry moment of an extremely rainy day. Heavy clouds, wet fields, no sun at all - it all makes for quite a difficult contrast. You can see it's not easy for the camera to keep the balance in the 5MP .jpg result, although I must admit it's not doing a bad job at all. Click on the shot for the 5MP original.

Nokia Lumia 1520 - landscape - 5MPIn a short edit on the PC, we managed to get a better look at the dark clouds "ruining" most of our day. Click on the shot to get the edit in its original size on Flickr (about 11MB).

Nokia Lumia 1520 - landscape - editThese are the clouds as I remember them - grey as lead. Looking at the edit on my own laptop, I must admit I'm not completely sure about what we did to the colour of the grass - that certainly looks much greener on the original and a bit too yellowish after the edit.

Like I wrote: we only fooled around with a few shots for about half an hour - and it shows me the results you will get depend a lot on the display you're looking at as well.

The effect is way more noticable in the second shot. Coming directly from the phone, it's partially way too dark, due to the high contrast in the shot. Not only the oranges are no competition for the electric candles and the daylight through the curtains. Again, click on the shot to see the 5MP original.

Nokia Lumia 1520 - lights and oranges - 5MPNow you have to understand that a 16MP version of this shot would be a larger, high-res version - but just as dark. It was thanks to the "digital negative" we could get this out of it - without too much effort even (at least so it seemed to me). Again, click on the shot to see the original edit (about 11MB once more).

Nokia Lumia 1520 - lights and oranges - edit

Being able to effectively change or balance the contrast - darken the lighter parts (as with the clouds) and brighten up the darker ones (like in the shot above) - really inspires me to (finally) start learning to work with software like Lightroom.

I've written before that Nokia is gradually pushing me towards a more professional attitude towards photography. My attitude used to be quite simple: I just wanted great results coming directly from my smartphone. Devices like the N95, N8, 808 PureView and later Lumia 920, 925 and 1020 gave me exactly that.

Now, starting with the Lumia 1520, the Fins are providing me with smartphone technology that gives me images I can actually work with like a pro... And it will only get better with Black on the Lumia 1020, I'm sure. It will take me some time, but it will be totally worth it! :-)

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