Shooting RAW..and I don't mean oysters!

November 15, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Most DLSR and better point and shoot cameras have a Camera RAW capability. If you are new to your camera, you are probably asking "What the heck is RAW?".  The answer is pretty simple. RAW is exactly what the camera records. Everything. The whole range of the exposure without any adjustments made in the camera. It is a true "negative".  All the information is there in the file.  

If you shoot JPEG, you are telling the camera to make adjustments "in camera". Especially in point and shoot cameras. AUTO settings will make certain adjustments in the camera to enhance the photo. In fact, you can tell the camera what to do. Scene settings or in DSLR cameras, some menu settings, will make adjusted JPEGS that look great. So why not use that all the time? You can, but you give up valuable data in the photo. Remember; in RAW, it is all in there. (except for "blown out highlights" - later discussion). JPEG gives up some of that data.

To make things even more complicated, DSLR cameras have a "low pass filter". it has two purposes: 1. Protect the sensor. 2.Prevents Moire or wavy patterns in some photos. This cuts down on sharpness and can make the image look flat. That's why all RAW images need sharpening while JPEGS are sharpened in camera.

If you shoot RAW you need to post process in some sort of software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop, or many of the brand software options out there. The shot above was shot in RAW and post processed in Adobe Lightroom 4.2. 

Think about this - All photographs, throughout history, especially the great Ansel Adams, were not "just out of the camera" they were post processed.

In fact, Ansel was a master in the darkroom. 

Don't accept the ordinary. Get in there and be creative. After all, it's art.

 

 

 

 


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