Why I Shoot In Raw

Photo By Richard Rosales

When I shoot any photos, I love to shoot in RAW, and there are definitely some reasons why I like shooting in RAW. It is vital to get the most out of our images, and when you shoot in the RAW format, we can bring images back to life that we may not have expected. Being able to work with the photos and get the best out of them really makes shooting in RAW a no brainer for me. I think that you will see a significant difference in your image quality when you take the time to shoot in RAW.

Image Quality

When shooting in the RAW format, you gain the ability to obtain so much more detail out of your photos. When we shoot in RAW, what you see is what you get, and having all the information at your fingertips makes for a better image. When you shoot in JPEG, you lose data because your camera will process the image to an extent and cut out some of the data. If you are hoping to edit that photo later in editing software, then you will want that data to help you get the most out of the image that you took. So basically, we are getting all the information from the sensor. Being able to work with all that information helps the post-processing.

Forgiving

We have all had an image that we just plain missed on the exposure, but when you shoot in RAW, we now can save some of those photos. When you have all the information from the sensor, we can change white balance and even stops and not lose too much image quality. It makes saving those shots that are off in exposure easier to save and be able to process. We don’t want to have to throw away a bunch of images, and we don’t want to have a wasted shoot, so being able to save those images will ultimately save you a ton of time.

Easier To Edit

When we have all the information that also goes for color and detail, which means everything just gets easier to edit as a whole. We can use all the information and tweak that image into exactly what we want it to be. This means it is so much easier to edit and will allow you to get some awesome images when you are done with your processing. When I think about this, I like to think of it, like putting a puzzle together. The puzzle is a whole lot easier to assemble if you have all the pieces. Although you can construct a puzzle with fewer pieces, it will not look as good if you would have had all the pieces.

JPEG Compresses Information Out

When you shoot in JPEG, your camera and its software are actually processing the image that you are taking. It runs software that not only compresses the data but loses the information that the software thinks is unimportant. When you have compressed images, they are harder to post-process because they have already been processed once. I like to think of this in terms of cooking your food when you make your meal. You have total control of what you are doing. However, when you reheat leftovers, they might taste good, it is still not as good as when it was initially cooked.

Your Camera Is Built For It

When you think about the camera that gives you the ability to shoot in the RAW format, we have to understand that the camera was built to shoot RAW. When you do shoot in JPEG, you are actually not using your camera to the best of its ability because you are cutting down all the features that made you want to buy that camera. Although there is much debate on which format you should shoot, the fact remains that your camera performs at its best when you shoot in RAW format. Think of your phone; if you have a smartphone like I do but only make calls on it, then there is no point in having a smartphone.

I know that shooting in RAW may seem like an intimidating task to accomplish, but at the end of the day, it yields a much better product. When I started shooting in RAW, my camera offered me the option to shoot both JPEG and RAW, so I was taking twice as many images, but it allowed me to make an educated decision on what I like to shoot. I don’t remember the last time that I shot in JPEG because I don’t feel that I have the flexibility that I want to have. If you are a skeptic, I would suggest just giving it a try the worst that happens is you hate it. This is my opinion, but the one thing that you need to do is just keep shooting and keep creating.

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