Mon 18 Jun 2012
RAW vs. JPG: My Personal Experience with Both Formats.
Article by: Sarah Harbuck
My thinking on RAW years ago was that it was unnecessary.
When I first started out in digital photography I shot only in JPEG. I was still getting my bearings with a new photography format and RAW was a foreign concept for me. Making the leap from film to digital, while it seemed like a natural progression given the way the market was shifting, there was a learning curve I had to overcome. Coming from a film background there were things I didn’t know or understand when it came to digital photography. Shooting in RAW was one of them. And now almost 10 years later I’ve learned quite a bit.
My thinking on RAW years ago was that it was unnecessary. RAW files took up too much space and took more time to process & edit and I thought that you must not be a very good photographer if you couldn’t shoot an image correctly in JPEG. Which I admit was pretty snobby & arrogant of me. Of course most of that idea was born in ignorance and inexperience. Aren’t all prejudices?
I was doing just fine shooting only in JPEG. My images were professional and were a good quality. But there were times when on certain photo shoots I’d have issues with lighting or color balance and exposure and would have a hard time editing the JPEG images later on to get them looking correct. The quality wasn’t all there. So when I upgraded to Photoshop CS5 several years ago, I decided to really and truly try out RAW shooting and learn once and for all how to use the ACR editor.
By doing so, a whole new world opened up for me. There were more possibilities than ever before and I was amazed that I could bring a photo back from the brink of deletion. I realized for years I’d short changed myself by not really exploring the options of RAW. I felt I had a lot more freedom and that my editing improved greatly and my images were just better overall because of the switch. I’m really glad I overcame my own ignorance and decided to learn something new because it really improved my results and my photography for the better.
Digital Photography School has a great post on all the technical info about RAW vs JPEG. It’s definitely worth a read (though a little dated) if you have questions about the advantages and disadvantages to the different formats. Search youtube for step by step video tutorials on how to navigate & edit photos in ACR (adobe camera raw).
So what photography technique have you been reluctant to try? Are you inspired to go try them out now?
Sarah Harbuck is a freelance photographer in the East Texas area specializing in artistic portraiture. “Like” her on Facebook: AMZphotoartdesign or contact her at email@example.com for information.