Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shooting in the RAW

If you are not saving your camera's image files as RAW images,
you are shooting yourself in the foot.  Yes, there is a downside to using this camera format, but it is far outweighed by the upside.  One of the points in favor of using this format concerns the future we haven't seen yet.  What I mean is, the shortcomings in today's photographs may be correctable in the future as improvements are made to programs interpreting the image metadata.  Fact is, that has actually already occurred.  Photographs I made six years ago can now be processed with much finer control than was available at that time, resulting in a better end product.

To give you an example, Lightroom now has a "clarity" control that wasn't available in the original version.  Every improvement to a program like Lightroom also means having the option of returning to any past photo taken in the RAW format and using the new controls to improve it.

In comparing the RAW format with the jpeg format, think of the former as the negative and the latter as the print.  In the days of film, you could go back and reprocess the negative, but once you made a print, you were pretty much done.  If you take perfect pictures, you don't need to use this format.  For the rest of us, it is the only format to even consider.

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