Novak's Blog

RAW format is it a Plus or just an opsolite waste of digital space?

Posted on: Јули 22, 2009

Well let me tell you from my personal experience. I ALWAYS shoot RAW plus JPEG, ALWAYS!!!

Why? you might ask – the answer is simple.

JPEG’s I use just to see if the composition is right, the light is correct overexposed/underexposed areas and other minute changes in the photo.
RAW’s I use EVERY time I need to work on a serious post-production on the photo like use for brochures, web design, on-line gallery, printed materials and other.

I even shoot RAW for scenes from my personal life, You never know when you might end up using that digital negative.🙂 RAW is practically, that a digital negative, the main difference is that every color on the sensor is captured in it’s layer (if you use the Canon EOS system since they first introduced the CMOS sensor which had this ability), thus giving you much more to work with when you open the RAW format in any program specialised for RAW post-production (Adobe© Bridge® and Light Room®, Canon’s own RAW program – Digital Photo Professional® and others).

RAW enables you to correct a bundle of things in your photo pwith just a few sliders. The only thing that you can’t correct are focus mistakes!🙂 Everything else possible🙂 it’s the easiest way to achieve correction of auto-white balance, to add more hue or saturation, brightness, contrast, color balance and many many other things. Some interesting options also are removal of vignetting on the edges of the pictures, color aberrations with some cheaper lenses, all of this you are able to do in just a few clicks in RAW file.

The added comfort to edit every color layer separately will bring you more vivid photos in no time at all, and whats best you can save your presets for future use, excellent option if you are shooting a lot of photos in similar light conditions like product shots, studio portrait photography and similar. If you tend to go for bigger file size and biger photo dimensions you could try to make a

High dynamic range imaging composite by using exposure bracketing and post-processing the separate images to create a single image with a higher dynamic range.

You can visit some of these sites to see what I’m talking about:

High Dynamic Range – Wikipedia article

On HD Photo you can check:

HD Photo – Wikipedia article

Or you can download the Photoshop® plugin at:

HD plug in for Photoshop®

Or you can go for photostiching to create panoramas from multiple images or large size photo compositions of multiple images taken of a subject (instead of going wide go tele and make few shots of the subject details and later on stich them in a single photo composite).

As an example you can check out my photo at:

Panoramio – Panorama of Skopje City square

or

Panorama -Skopje City square full resolution

Skopje City square 360 Panorama

Skopje City square 360 Panorama – Copyright © Novak DImitrovski 2008

It is a 360 panorama of the city square made with Canon EOS 350D/Rable XT with the regular lens EF 18-55mm, camera was held Portrait oriented I shoot around 32 shots in circuit around me. The rest was done by AutoPano Pro a software for creation of Panoramas from shots like this. It’s not perfect but it gives some fast and impressive results.

I hope this post will help all of you in your work.

Best wishes,

Novak

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