So . . . in the comments section of one of my recent posts, there was a short discussion about shooting RAW versus JPG images. I gave a brief description (probably confusing), and linked some articles (they will be at the bottom of this post), but I was not happy with leaving it at that.
I mentioned before that I am not that great a photographer . . . and I now aim to prove it. The following are a series of shots from the past year. The first shot is as the camera captured it and saved it. In my case, it’s saved as an NEF file, Nikon’s proprietary RAW format. All I do is output the JPG from it, without doing any modifications.
For example, this shot from February, of my Christmas Cactus in bloom.
Nice, isn’t it? The texture, the details . . . it’s all there. You just need to tweak the setting, and re-render the file.
Same photo, different settings. Of course, you don’t have to use the RAW like a sledgehammer if you shoot close to the proper exposure; you can also use it to get various effects.
Natural sunlight filtered through a white screen, and then reflected off a gold reflector. But, I liked a different look.
These are not filters . . . these are sliders moved around in Lightroom.
“Can’t you do that with JPGs?” you ask.
“Why, yes Bob; you can. But not to the degree that you can with RAW.“
A JPG of the first picture in the post would not have had enough information to generate the second one, and still look as good. I mean . . . it does look good, right?
And sometimes, the adjustments are subtle, but important.
OK, so it’s not a great photo, but I’m just using it as an example. You see, all that information in the shadow . . . it’s there in the RAW file. And you can just lighten certain ranges, shadows, and black areas. You can’t really do that with a JPG file . . . the information is not there. You can play with it, but you won’t get those results.
The following three photos are all from the same single photograph.
Keep in mind . . . all from the same RAW file. You get the idea, but I like making my points forcefully . . . so, just a series of pictures showing the original “as shot” version, and the adjusted version.
Here are a few from the airplane museum in Washington . . . remember these when I do a post about it.
Of course, just so people don’t think I am totally incapable, most of the time the tweaks are minimal.
Many of these dark shots are me encountering something, and taking a test photo to see how it will come out, and to find out what I should shoot at.
Sometimes it’s fun to just play . . .
And there you have it . . . the possibilities available when shooting RAW.
Of course, it’s not a fix-all. Recovering from extreme shots means grainier photos, more tweaking, adjustments, and effort to come up with something decent.
I prefer shooting at or near the correct exposure because the photo will be much better, especially when looked at in its native resolution. But, if you just came back from a trip, and that one shot you thought you got was “messed up” . . . well, all is not lost.
Especially if you make it seem as if that was your intention to begin with.
As promised here are some links regarding shooting RAW versus JPGs.
This next one is actually about why shooting RAW is better (despite the title):
Another good article:
Thanks for stopping by, and hope you were entertained.
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