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Q&A with Uwe Steinmueller
By Roger Richards

Photographer Uwe Steinmueller is the co-author with Jurgen Gulbins of the newly-released book “ The Art of RAW Conversion” (No Starch Press, $39.95 ISBN: 1-59327-067-4). Beautifully printed with many color illustrations, the book is an excellent guide for digital photographers, from top pros to advanced amateurs, who wish to learn how to properly convert their RAW files into striking images. Uwe Steinmueller recently corresponded with us at The Digital Filmmaker for a brief Q and A about his new book.



  1. What prompted you to write this book?

    I used RAW on many different digital SLRs since 2000 (I also review DSLRs). In 2002 I started writing e-books on RAW (maybe the first in the world) to help readers to lose the fear of RAW and to get the best possible quality from their images. I wrote since then many updates of my RAW books (German and English). I wrote also books on digital workflow and fine art printing.


  2. What topics do you cover in the book?

    I want to cover all you need to get real world results. The images are a main part of my language. If a reader does not like our images he better checks out a different book. But if he likes them then I tell all I know (at a certain point in time of course) to make such pictures (our eyes are not include though :-) ).

    It is not about covering all sliders and deep image theory. All is about photography: means images. For every page we write we work at least 5-10 hours on real images. We are not pixel pushers but photographers and this is the view we take on all topics.


  3. Tell our readers a little about your photography background.

    I photograph with my wife for over 30 years (we have a joint copyright). Since 2000 all 100% digital. I quote from our book California Earthframes:

    Bettina and Uwe Steinmueller have been taking photographs for over 30 years now as a team.

    They even share a joint copyright and, in the case of a few pictures, aren’t quite sure who actually took them. Bettina is the driving force for artistic framing while Uwe controls the technical process in the digital darkroom. Influenced by the different scenery and light in California, they have developed a new style over the last five years. Uwe is recognized all over the world as an educator in the field of digital photography. He writes and publishes electronic and printed books about “Digital RAW Workflow”. Uwe is also the editor of his own digital web magazine “Digital Outback Photo” that is one of the worldwide leading digital fine art photo web sites. Digital Outback Photo and the book’s website can be found at: www.outbackphoto.com and www.california-earthframes.com


  4. What is the most important reason that you would recommend for shooting RAW files?

    Optimal quality and control.


  5. Is there any one RAW file converter that you consider superior to others? If yes, please explain why.

    Not really. But I use right now mainly RawDeveloper and LightZone.


  6. What do you think about the adoption of a standard RAW file format, such as Adobe's DNG, as a universal format for camera manufacturers?

    Good idea and has my support. But too many economic reasons for the main players Canon and Nikon not to follow.


  7. Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The main point for photography are images. Technique is just a tool to make them better. We make books for photographers from photographers and write only books about photography related topics.

Roger Richards is the Editor and Publisher of The Digital Filmmaker, and Multimedia Editor/Producer at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. Richards now produces video essays and digital short films for the Web, as well as working on documentary photography projects. He began his photojournalism career in 1979, focusing on political and social themes in the Caribbean, the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua and then joining the Gamma Liaison photo agency in 1988. Based in Miami and then Europe, his work with the agency included the US invasion of Panama, political upheaval in Haiti, civil war in Croatia and the siege of Sarajevo. He is a former Associated Press photo bureau chief in Bogotá, Colombia, and a staff photographer at the Washington Times in Washington, DC, from 1997-2000. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the National Press Photographers' Association, the White House News Photographers' Association, Pictures of the Year International, the Society of Newspaper Design, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Virginia News Photographers Association. He became a digital filmmaker in 1998, focusing on projects about war in the Balkans. He was awarded the first White House News Photographers' Association sabbatical grant for videojournalism in 2000 and was one of the first graduates of the famous Platypus Workshop that trains photojournalists how to become digital filmmakers and videojournalists. He is now a member of the workshop faculty. 


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