You have likely heard that you should capture your images in raw rather than JPEG, but do you understand why? Here is an explanation of the advantages of shooting in each mode and why raw is the way to go for an amateur photographer.
From the beginning of my career as a photographer, I have been taught to shoot in raw. I haven’t had a second thought about it until an experienced photographer I know recently mentioned that they only shoot in JPEG. Their argument was that because of their experience, they rarely take a photo that they need to adjust so dramatically that a raw file is necessary. If this causes you to wonder how much farther you can push the edits of a raw file compared to a JPEG, then you should watch this video from Nemanja Sekulic.
Sekulic starts his video by explaining the difference between these two types of images and the advantages of using both. He then has several excellent examples of how quickly a JPEG file starts to break down when recovering highlights and shadows. I was also surprised with how little control a JPEG file provided for adjusting the temperature of an image. Lastly, I will add that if you are switching to raw for the first time, you will likely have to make several changes to your post-processing workflow. Most programs can’t open raw files, you can’t upload them to websites or social media, and in most cases, you should not deliver them to your client. If this is all new and you have wondered why photographers continuously encourage others to shoot in raw, take a look at the examples in the video above.
Lead image by Pixabay user Free-Photos, used under Creative Commons.