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5 tips to improve your photography skills – Understanding RAW (contd..)




The previous set of tips (5 tips for learning about RAW) dealt with some knowledge of the advantage of shooting with RAW vs. shooting with JPEG. So what is RAW ? Well, as the name suggests, RAW is all the data that the camera sensor captures while taking a photo. RAW data is huge, much larger than JPEG. When shooting with JPEG, the camera still collects all the information that it captures in the form of a RAW image, and then converts this using some camera settings to create a JPEG image. The generated JPEG image is lossy and has lost some of the data that was captured by the sensor. There is no standard for RAW formats, they differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from camera to camera. Photographers are divided over whether they should shoot in RAW or JPEG, with ardent defenders of both. I tend to shoot in RAW, and the previous posts was about the advantages of RAW and the last post was just about some points of RAW. The idea was that somebody should go through all the points rather than just learning about the advantages or disadvantages of RAW and then take their own decision:

Tip 1176 (Changes made on a RAW file are non-destructive): When you make the changes during the editing of a RAW file, the changes are captured in a metadata file; hence these changes are non-destructive and can be modified by editing the file again. The original file is not changed, which is not true with JPEG, where if you make a change and save the file, those changes are committed.

Tip 1177 (Burst mode and RAW files): Burst mode is a feature whereby you can capture a series of 3-5 images in quick succession. Burst mode can be used for action events where you want to capture quick photos of the event happening, much faster than you can capture by pressing the shutter release butter in quick succession. I had recently used burst mode where I was capturing some children diving into a river from a small hillock, and the burst mode enabled me to capture the children in a series of events. However, when shooting the same sequence in RAW, there is a speed limit of writing to the memory card, and this can mean a delay when shooting in RAW mode vs. shooting in JPEG mode.

Tip 1178 (Shoot with a lower resolution, but no RAW): In all the cameras that I have used so far, when you are shooting RAW, the camera shoots RAW at the highest resolution of the camera. So, I was using a Canon Rebel T4i camera, which has a resolution of 18 MP. In certain cases, I was not interested in shooting 18 MP images, and the camera offers several JPEG options for reduced size. I still wanted a RAW image of the same lower resolution, but this was not possible.

Tip 1179 (RAW is not magic): With all the tips about RAW and how you can do such a lot for your images, you would think that you can start shooting in RAW and start getting some wonderful photos after doing your post-processing in software such as Lightroom or Photoshop CC. However, there is a learning curve. You need to learn about how to do this – the advantage is that there are books (listed below) that teach you what to do (or for example – this one is a great book, Camera RAW 101), and there are a number of tutorials on Youtube that also teach you examples of what to do.

Tip 1180 (Ability to enlarge a photo): Suppose you need to enlarge your photo. I had a camera which was shooting 6 MP in RAW some years back and I had got some great photos from a trip; later I wanted to take a large print out for a friend as a gift, but realized that I had to enlarge the photo. It was then I was happy that I was shooting in RAW, since I was able to enlarge using the RAW and get an overall better quality print that by using JPEG (the friend was also a bit anal about such things, and would have been sure to point out a small amount of pixelation that passed through by using the RAW file.

Understanding RAW Photography The Digital Negative Adobe Camera Raw for Digital Photographers

Some Youtube videos that might help:

Digital Photography RAW vs JPEG Part 1

Digital Photography 1 on 1

Jpeg vs. Raw Files – Digital Photography Tips

WHAT IS RAW? 2 MINUTE Photography Tutorials for Beginners

Raw vs JPEG: Real-world photography examples, advantages

Read more about RAW vs. JPEG in the next post (link)




1 comment to 5 tips to improve your photography skills – Understanding RAW (contd..)

  • […] Photography News: 5 tips to improve your photography skills – Understanding RAW (contd..) The previous set of tips (5 tips for learning about RAW) dealt with some knowledge of the advantage of shooting with RAW vs. shooting with JPEG. So what is RAW ? Well, as the name suggests, RAW is all the data that the camera sensor captures while taking a photo. RAW data is huge, much larger than JPEG. When shooting with JPEG, the camera still collects all the information that it captures in the form of a RAW image, and then converts this using some camera settings to create a JPEG image. The generated JPEG image is lossy and has lost some of the data that was captured by the sensor. There is no standard for RAW formats, they differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and even from camera to camera. Photographers are divided over whether they should shoot in RAW or JPEG, with ardent defenders of both. I tend to shoot in RAW, and the previous posts was about the advantages of RAW and the last post was just about some points of RAW. The idea was that somebody should go through all the points rather than just learning about the advantages or disadvantages of RAW and then take their own decision. Read full story => 5PhotoTips […]

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