Why You Should Be Shooting Raw Images In Your Photography

Shooting raw

How to shoot raw in your photography. Image copyright by Amy Renfrey.

Why You Should Be Shooting Raw Images In Your Photography

What does “raw in photography” mean? How do I begin shooting in raw mode? These are the questions that photo enthusiasts ask when starting out. Lets look at why raw shooting mode produces better images than Jpeg.

There are many various ways to develop your photography. To start with you can use a high-quality photographic lens. Secondly you can spend a a small number of hours editing the pictures in Photoshop or Lightroom. These ways will certainly make a big change to your photography. Is there anything else we can do to develop our photography? Yes, there is.

Another means to capture sharp and high-quality shots is to take photos using in raw. Working in raw is equal to producing a negative of your photograph. The camera will take photos of the image in a manner that is a great deal sharper and more comprehensive than Jpeg. Let me clarify.

Raw is a type of picture file. When you take photos in raw you increase much more quality and definition. You gain this contained within regions of light and shade, vibrancy and tone. This excellence and clarity just means that the camera is processing more information. When you photograph in raw the digital camera is able to treat this information a lot faster and more successfully.

Let’s take the example of a flower. In truth the flower is a rose-pink red colour. (This is what our eyes make out.) When you capture the flower in Jpeg you might lose some of the pink in the colour. The bloom may appear as a solid red colour instead. That is because Jpeg basically cannot process the middle tones of colour as well as raw can.

Jpeg may find in-between tones and colours tricky to distinguish. It simply isn’t looking for the less obvious, delicate aspects in your photo and this is the reason why it does not distinguish it. However, once you change over to photographing in raw you will find that the camera picks up reddish pink tone of your flower. Simply put, the camera replicates so much more detail when you shoot in raw.

There is one disadvantage however. They cannot be seen in any program. You need exclusive software to see raw photos. Depending on the type of camera model you have the software program will be unique. Canon has special software called Digital Photo Professional. This software lets you to view your raw files. As a Canon user I am only able to use Canon raw software. If I create a photo with a Olympus I am not able to use this software program. Nikon have raw platforms that are presented to Nikon users.

Raw files are sharper, clearer and have enhanced quality. They also persist a lot more than Jpeg. After a couple of years Jpeg might have the inclination to lessen in finer details. This is mainly true for small Jpeg files. In raw this does not happen. It would take a lot more time than 10 years for raw photo to weaken in quality. Consequently raw files are better for archival quality.

Should you edit your raw images? Many people ask me if you ought to generate a Jpeg file duplicate in order to keep the raw file untouched. My answer is that it is dependent on your individual preference. Many photographers do this different ways. I like to create a copy of the raw file for editing. That way I have kept the untouched original photo. If anything happens to the Jpeg shot then I still retain the original as backup. The only reason that I will make a copy of the the raw file a Jpeg is if I want to view it on a website or upload it.

Raw files are rather large. Your Jpeg image may be about 3 Mb. Many of the raw files that I take photos of in are about 30Mb. What is the advantage of this? This is hugely beneficial because when the raw image is bigger it means it has photographed terrific quality, focus and sharpness. The better a file, normally, the more the quality it will be there.

Shifting your shooting mode over the raw is so effortless. It is done using the menu in your camera. When you get into the menu go to “image size” you will typically find it effortless to change over. This means you can choose to shoot in raw only. Alternatively you can simultaneously shoot in raw as well as Jpeg. Be conscious that when these two images are created simultaneously you will eat through your memory cards. The camera simply needs more space if it is to create two photos at once. The Jpeg image might only be 3Mb but your raw file will be 20Mb. After a long time of photographing the space on your memory card will begin to lessen. Always take two memory cards when you shoot to avoid running out of memory space.

Many pro photographers, like me, will only photograph in raw. This is because we want the best quality. If we want to make a JPEG file for assessment purposes we can easily create a copy later on. In the meantime we know that we are gaining superior quality. The pictures look sharper and clearer. We also know they will last longer.

Raw is more appealing from an artistic feeling. Colours are sharper, landscapes clearer, and your images are better exposed. The shade and brighter areas are not as subject to exposure challenges as they would be in JPEG. Raw seems to balance out the light. In truth it is just detecting more finer details in the scene. This is perfect for photographing people and weddings, night time and low light shots.

Wedding pictures can be rather tricky when you have many contrasting areas of light. Some of these highlights can work against somebodies skin tone. Shooting in raw can help maintain elegance in skin tones. A person’s face and natural colouring will look warm and soft when you photograph in raw. This is why many wedding and portrait photographers photograph in raw only.

I recommend shooting in raw all the time. Not only will it be better  than a Jpeg shot but you will love the quality. Your photos look very sharp, clearer and more crisp. You get a improved range of colour and light. It will drastically enhance your photography. Happy shooting!


One comment on “Why You Should Be Shooting Raw Images In Your Photography

  1. Very informative, useful, and helpful article! Thank you, Amy! 🙂

    I’ve set my camera to produce the images in both files, JPEG and RAW file. So if I want to edit it, I edit it from the RAW file. You are right that the quality that been produced are different between the two of them.

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