365, Day 223 | why I shoot RAW

I’m in a number of photography forums online.
Sometimes a new photographer will ask what are the benefits of shooting RAW.
I’m not going to list all the benefits here or even try to explain what the difference is between RAW and JPG.
There is a lot of information online and I’ll let you Google it if you’re interested ;-)

I just wanted to show a small example of why I shoot RAW.
Yesterday I posted a picture of my son helping me test out a new background in my studio.
As I was going through the pictures I noticed this one:

This is a screen shot of how I see the pictures as the RAW files upload into Lightroom.
Normally this picture would land straight in the garbage.
My key flash did not flash so he was very underexposed with only the fill light lighting him.

Just so you know how a properly exposed RAW image should look like in Lightroom,
here is the straight out of camera RAW image from the picture I posted yesterday where all flashes fired as they should:


You can see by looking at the histogram in the upper left corner of Lightroom,
that the picture is nicely exposed compared to the histogram of the picture above it.

Like I said, normally the above picture would be an instant delete.
But, being his mom and not just the photographer, my hand hovered over the delete button.
His cheeky little wink called me to take a second look.
I noticed the blacks were not a total lost (the neon blue areas show me where all detail is lost in the picture)
I decided to try to rescue it and take a better look at it.
After making some RAW adjustments, I had this:

and was able to make my final edit going from this straight out of camera picture:

to this as the final edit:

Since I was using a preset that I created for the picture I edited yesterday, the edit took about 5 minutes to do.

I shoot RAW because as long as the blacks and highlights are not totally lost, almost anything is possible!

And if you’ve read this far, and want to learn more about the difference between shooting JPG or RAW, check this out:
http://digital-photography-school.com/raw-vs-jpeg

and for those really really interested, here is a 100% crop showing the sooc beside the edit so you can see the fine details:

This entry was posted in 365 Project 2012, Editing techniques and tips, just for fun   |    Bookmark the permalink.


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