Coming back from the Sunset in Northern Järvafältet bike ride, I decided to make a quick stop at the little jogging track and do some night-time photography. The stop ended up being anything but quick, with exposure times being twelve minutes. The panorama below consist of three such exposures.
Unlike mostly every other time, I shot these photos RAW, not JPEG. Multiple exposure fusion was just right out. I'd spend 40 minutes for each shot if I were to do a low-med-high bracket, for a total of two hours. The only solution was to make a good guess at the midtone exposure and then try to get as much detail as I could from the shadows. Even at ISO 200 they were guaranteed to end up being noisier than what I'd normally accept before switching to multiple exposure fusion. Since multiple exposures were out of the question, this meant shooting RAW.
The post processing ended up being "good but not great":
I'll admit to not Googling it, but I couldn't find any button in Adobe Camera Raw that would let me save the raw conversion settings. Yes, I know Lightroom has it, but I'm not switching workflow in order to open three photos.
I was surprised to note that just opening a RAW file would by default update the metadata for the file. I can see the use of that feature, but the implementation struck me as completely backwards. The default should be to not update the metadata, and the option should be to store the ACR settings (or whatever is being updated) as a named conversion process setting for that image.
All in all, shooting RAW is a hassle. Every second I spend in ACR is a second I'm not spending shooting more, and a second less in my total lifetime supply of seconds. But, as I wrote in Raw vs. Jpeg, this was one of the few cases when RAW worked.