Why shoot RAW?

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Canonguy
Canonguy's picture
Why shoot RAW?

I accidentally came across this guy's video on youtube and he does a very good explanation, with which I wholeheartedly agree. There's nothing controversial in it, except a really good, simple to understand and see reasoning.

I will eventually make a brief video of how I shoot to the right and then post process my RAW image(s) to get the best possible image quality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0j8QMmglvw

birdie
birdie's picture

Thanks for that Canonguy .... I think there are many people out there who have no idea about shooting in raw and how helpful it can be to capturing much more information in a shot.  It is the same as darkroom processing used to be , and ultimately the only way you have the final say in how your photograph turns out , by which I mean via post processing of course . Let's face it... every photographic opportunity is open to interpretation, though I must say I have seen a lot of landscapes lately that I really do not like the interpretations of  cheeky

Cheers

 Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Dennis
Dennis's picture

Hey Canonguy, Tony Northrup explains it simply and its not rocket science, thanks for sharing the advantages of shooting in RAW, seriously I dont know why every budding photographer isnt shooting in RAW a lot of it has to do with simply not knowing because nobody has explained it to them. I can speak from my own experience and it was only through taking that step out of my comfort (JPEG) zone and experimenting with RAW a few years ago that I found the advantages for myself.

Thanks for sharingsmiley

Cheers.

Rick N
Rick N's picture

Thanks for the link Canonguy.

My story is much the same as Dennis.

Had been shooting raw and jpeg but only processing in jpeg because raw seemed too complicated and jpeg seemed easier. A friend took the time to explain the benefits  and, most importantly, to help with some of the settings regarding importing etc that were a little more complicated than just using jpeg.

Without going into too much detail one of the small things that had stopped me using raw earlier was that windows 7 would not automatically show the raw file as a photo thumbnail, just a generic icon.

This made quick viewing in explorer, my usual practice, not possible.

Once it was explained how to easily view in other programs I realised that this small thing had been stopping me utilising all of the many benefits of raw.

As with most things in life sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zones and as we get older (me smileysmiley) this becomes more and more difficult to do and we just go with the flow.

Having sometimes worked very hard to get that really special shot, it is nice to now have the ability to present the final product in the best quality possible.

**I have no interest in getting into any jpeg v raw v PP arguments. Whatever anyone likes to do and how they approach there bird photography is for them to decide and I'm sure that for many people shooting in jpeg serves their needs perfectly well.

Cheers

birdie
birdie's picture

Yes that is so true Rick ... many people shoot in jpeg and it suits their needs perfectly.  I shoot in jpeg often if there is no need for PP , mainly on happy snaps and stuff I want to share quickly, but for birding I have found that raw has helped immensely with some of the dodgy exposures I have found my pictures of birds have produced!   I initially got frustrated with the windows situation , but as I use picasa for a quick view , I found you can just add that code in so that it recognises it, and then found the same thing could be done to windows.  I do find it easier to look for images using the straight windows filing system, but  I think a lot of it is my own lack of knowledge.  I recently tried using canon's Digital Photo Professional and that has some interesting features too, I had never bothered with it before much. I discovered that you can go straight from their into photoshop but it uses TIFF ....  another can of worms so I will still convert to dng for CS3 frown

We are never too old to learn .... but it sure takes a bit longer these days !

Sunshine Coast Queensland

sparrow
sparrow's picture

Right on Rick the reason most people use jpeg is all photo software even the free ones have always been able to open them its the generic format used buy all cameras and is all "most people" will ever need , not so with raw there's a few different types and until recently you needed costly software to deal with them and the early ones were so slow and hard to navigate ,that has all changed but those who don't know better have always been slow to change and get left behind .

Some just want what I call happy snaps even some who take photos of birds and thats fine  ,but for the rest of us raw is the way to go, if your still not comfortable with change most real cameras will shoot both at the same time give it a try what have you got to lose.

I'm a huge fan of Tony Northrup and straight forward easy going aproach and youtube is a good place to start but if you really want to make a huge improvement in your P/P do a basic photoshop course you'll find its a lot easier than you thought.

Thank you Canonguy for putting up this link
 

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Great link and simply put by TN too.  Makes me cringe at some of my previous mishmash (and rather inaccurate) attempts to explain it all blush - haha.

Glad you mentioned the bit about darkroom processing birdie!  I've come to compare the processing options for digital and the days of 35mm film as, JPEG = 35mm film dropped into the chemist for them to process and RAW = develop your film in your own darkroom.  I may be off with that, but that's how I think of it?

Exactly Rick, anyone who is only comfortable shooting in JPEG, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that either.  I've just converted my dad to digital, and I can't imagine at 75+ he's going to want to shoot RAW & process his own stuff, and that's completely cool.  On the other end of the scale, my 10 year old has advanced to her first DSLR (give me strength smiley)  - and while she's quite capable to handle her new gear, she's certainly not ready to post process (and stuffed if I'm doing that on top of my own, lol).

Each to their own and support and encouragement to everyone I say.

NW Tasmania

sparrow
sparrow's picture

Its exactly like devaloping film in the darkroom only so much faster ,If you needed it quickly or it was just for normal print you used a faster developer d20 which gave less detail but you would have a print in 15min (jpeg) ,HA 15min to see your photo I sometimes forget how good we have it now, if it was important or was something that had to look good you used slower developer like microdol-x which gave a finer grain (raw) and you did it yourself you didn't a cadet near it (another story ) digital has changed the world forever and as with everything in life we expect a lot more from our photos and we want it NOW !

Annie W
Annie W's picture

Especially some of the younger generation sparrow, who haven't learnt the ways of old yet, and everything is so instant and accessible (sometimes too much so).  Christmas day M&D turn up, with old film camera in tow.  Miss 10 volunteers to take some photos then declares their camera to be completely useless and broken, because she can't review her photos laugh - and once explained, states she's glad she wasn't born "back then" because it would have frustrated her too much.  Like she would have known any difference, but yes (at her age) I get where she was coming from laugh.  Was an amusing moment anyway. 

NW Tasmania

sparrow
sparrow's picture

I ment d50 god im so old !

sparrow
sparrow's picture

Annie you would be suprised how many 70+ do photoshop courses and how quickly some of them progress ,there like a blank sheet, I even heard one old geezer say to another in a perfect Yoda voice " you must unlearn what you have learned " I had to sit down for a minute to settle myself !

birdie
birdie's picture

One of my first jobs in the photographic industry was in a same day service processing outlet for Pacific labs in Perth ..... we thought that it was state of the art after previously having had to wait for 3-4 days !!

I was with Canon when digital EOS was introduced .... what a steep learning curve it all was . And later with the demise of film cameras rapidly looming I remember many discussions ( back in 2002-3) at a Camerahouse shop I worked at ... where it was said no way would digital ever take over film!!!! We all believed that the quality in the digital image and cameras that produced them would never match the resolution of a fine grained film image, but as technology sped past that became a redundant argument and of course with the raw format being easily accessible for any user these days, should they want it, then this comes back to utilising the maximum amount of information available to the photographer  ... ie the RAW image.

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Annie W
Annie W's picture

True sparrow.  Gosh that would have been a very funny moment for sure yes.  My next parent project will be intro to computers (insert evil laugh) laugh.  Actually, photoshop boggles me.  I downloaded the trial app once and am ashamed to admit, couldn't quite wrap my meagre brain around it for the month it was there.  I did dredge up an old copy of PaintShop Pro a while back though, so I could add a signature to shots, and that has many similar features to Photoshop it seems - perhaps it's time for me to have a better look!

NW Tasmania

birdie
birdie's picture

Can anyone tell me if the reply feature has been deactivated?  it doesn't seem to work for me as in putting the persons text at the top.

Just wanted to say Anniej ... My dad has been introduced to a laptop at the ripe old age of 85 !!

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Canonguy
Canonguy's picture

The QUOTE button is still there Birdie.

sparrow
sparrow's picture

I know we've got off the subject a tad but my favorite "child moment " you know the one's, that make you feel like your  one hundred years old or from another planet ,I had just down loaded the photos from my 6 year old grand daughters  party and noticed her looking over my shoulder and said to her would you like me to put a copy on disk for you ,she replide sweetly no thanks Gramps I'll put them on my flash stick latter.!

birdie
birdie's picture

I know Sparrow .... I am always getting told that CD's are so  "last year"  ...especially with music !laugh

Sunshine Coast Queensland

birdie
birdie's picture

Canonguy wrote:

The QUOTE button is still there Birdie.

...so what is the reply button for then? ...thanks Canon Guy

Sunshine Coast Queensland

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birdie wrote:
Canonguy wrote:

The QUOTE button is still there Birdie.

...so what is the reply button for then? ...thanks Canon Guy

The quote button is to quote a comment, and the reply button is to reply to one...

birdie
birdie's picture

Nathany ... so does anyone know you are replying to a certain person? I cant seem to see where that works when I have used it..... sorry I have been away for a longn time and just  trying to work it all out again

Sunshine Coast Queensland

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---'s picture

Only the person who wrote the original comment that you are replying to, I do believe

birdie
birdie's picture

Oh righto, I get it ..thanks Nathan

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Canonguy
Canonguy's picture

birdie wrote:

Oh righto, I get it ..thanks Nathan

See? I went to your comment and pressed quote.

timrob
timrob's picture

The raw/jpg "debate" is interesting.  I have had this conversation with my school photo club students, many of whom have dslr's capable of shooting in raw.  One said to me (words to the effect) " I'm worried about using raw because it will show me how terrible my photos have been in the past"  All-righty-then!  

Not sure why he would think that way, but I have persuaded him that raw is a good way to go. By the way it only took me a couple of years to be a convert hahaha.  

One factor for me in the past was the cost of good quality, high capacity cards, but these have dropped in price significantly over the last few years.

Tim - RAW convert (but still learning how to take good photos)

birdie
birdie's picture

Canonguy wrote:
birdie wrote:

Oh righto, I get it ..thanks Nathan

See? I went to your comment and pressed quote.

I should have said..... yes I do know how quotes work thank you guys...... I thought I had done one but it didnt show up, I will try this time.

Timrob ....  Yes the cost of cards was a big factor afew years ago, and also the lack of processing power in many computers   too

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Reflex
Reflex's picture

birdie wrote:

Just wanted to say Anniej ... My dad has been introduced to a laptop at the ripe old age of 85 !!

 Couldn't resist adding this youtube link. Birdie's comment just reminded me of it. Only short but very funny!smiley

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwLuLjv6V0g

Samford Valley Qld.

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