April 2011
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5 Photo Tips – some insights into using RAW files for your photography (contd..)

Tip 896 (Don’t be swayed by the comments of others): This is the most common reaction I have seen when shooting RAW. People can be passionate advocates for shooting in RAW, or for not going through the somewhat additional steps that are involved when shooting in RAW; and they can be pretty passionate about outlining the reasons for the same. You need to evaluate the factors that are relevant in your case, and then take a decision.

Tip 897 (Can go in for a combination): Most SLR’s give an option to shoot a combination, whereby the photographer can decide to shoot photos in a mode whereby the camera generates the RAW as well as a JPEG. This gives you an image for quick sharing and evaluation, and also gives you a format where you can do much more manipulation in a non-destructive way.

Tip 898 (Shooting family vacations): Not too many second opinions on this one. If you are shooting family vacations, and shoot a number of such images, then JPEG is the way to go. It allows you to get images faster onto your computer, allows for faster sharing (if you have family members from different households, such as cousins), and get you to the Facebook kind of sharing much faster.

Tip 899 (Conversion of RAW to JPEG in the camera): If you have decided that you are going the JPEG route but are still a bit confused, it would make sense for you to get a quick summary of how the camera converts the captured shot into JPEG (essentially converting the RAW capture into a JPEG). After capture, the camera does a number of conversion steps while making adjustments in all of these steps (and these adjustments can be irreversible); these steps include Demosaicing White Balance, Color Saturation, Adjusting Tone Curves, Adjusting contrast, Sharpening, and conversion to 8 bit JPEG.

Tip 900 (Need more expertise to manipulate RAW files): If you have ever used RAW files and then opened them up in an editor such as Adobe’s Camera RAW, you will realize that there is a lot you can do on your image files, but this also involves a lot more complexity and requires a higher degree of expertise. If these controls start scaring you, then JPEG files would be more convenient for you.

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