Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Raw revisted, again

Somehow I keep coming back to the argument about shooting raw, often exclusively, and this is another one of those, "Huh?, moments when I read posts from photographers who shoot raw, such as one with a highend digital SLR (DSLR) who wrote, "I shoot exclusively raw format in program mode and automatic white balance. I convert the images to jpeg, and can't understand why they're not coming out right."

What is wrong with this situation? Where does one start? If they went through the process of buying an highend DSLR, with all its bells and whistles, and shoot everything in program mode, what don't they know or want to learn about both photography and their camera? Why are they shooting exclusively raw format, and not maybe raw+jpeg? Why are they shooting raw in the first place if all they're doing are making basic adjustments all much of which can be done in the camera?

I could go on, as I've already written about in two previous posts, last year and this year, but I doubt I will let it go. It's just so much a, "Huh?" moment reading people with basic questions that don't make sense. If it weren't for program modes and automatic color/white balance, they would have to actually learn photography.

And if it weren't for raw format, they would have to get the metering mode, exposure, color/white setting, etc. correct within a narrow range or get some really bad images. The camera companies and photo/image editing software companies, have made photography almost mindless. All you have to do is use automatic settings, shoot raw, and then anything and everything can be fixed in Photoshop.

I'm not going to make any claims that I'm a better than ordinary photographer, and I know that my choices often lead to a lot of mistakes, but I do know when I get it right, the photo is what I wanted to capture and the image what I wanted to produce with the least amount of computer work - meaning the scene, photo and image are the same as I wanted, I feel satisfied I've done my best. And I can translate that to experience to know more and do better later.

And I'll still shoot jpeg for 90% of my work, and raw+jpeg for the rest. I rarely use the raw format image, mostly to play with the image for comparison with the jpeg version. It's just how I think and work. It's not any better or worse than anyone elses', just mine. But I'll always just shrug when I read from someone who with one of the best cameras on the market use it as a point and shoot (P&S) camera and wonder what they're doing wrong. The obvious answer is go buy a P&S camera.

Anyway, it's just a rant or vent about the obvious. To me anyway.

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