I always shoot in RAW.
I want to create the most beautiful images I possibly can.
Subject, composition, and colour are so important but it is the quality of light that makes the magic….. Beautiful nuances of light that gives soft luminosity to skin tones and dimension to landscapes. A full frame camera has the capability to capture all that magic. And that all that capability can come into play when you capture an image in RAW.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Compare these 3 images. The camera was set to RAW plus jpg so the first 2 images were taken at the same time, with the same lighting and camera. I was doing a lighting workshop trying out a Rotalux Softbox which is famous for its dramatic drop off of light and shadows.
What I am trying to illustrate with these images is just how powerful the RAW file is, in capturing information compared to a camera jpg.
(The final image could also of course been processed to have the dramatic background shadows)
The best way to describe RAW images is to liken them to the old film negatives.
To fully come into their own, they need to be developed. The modern day Darkroom
is computer software and there is even an Adobe program called ‘Lightroom’ which
I use and thoroughly recommend. (Lightroom post coming soon)
If you have ever had the chance to develop prints in an old style Darkroom, you’ll know that longer you leave the paper in the solution, the more information is transferred to the paper. You have control how the final image will look, how dark or light the tones will be, the richness of colours. This is the same with RAW images in the computer. Through the software you can adjust colour and light – the highlights, mid-tones, shadows and contrast, colour balance and white balance. It allows the photographer to produce the image as he saw it on the day, instead of someone in a photo lab making those decisions.