Photographer Switches to JPEG and Is Impeached by Local Club

Photographer Switches to JPEG and Is Impeached by Local Club

Seattle, WA: Local photographer Wyatt Jones recently decided to switch from shooting in raw to JPEG format in an effort to spend less time editing images. However, he soon discovered he was spending even more time explaining his decision to horrified fellow photographers who were developing negative opinions. 

"I figured JPEGs would be quicker - just shoot and share!" said Jones. "But when I told my camera club friends, you'd think I just kicked a puppy. They kept asking if I had gone insane." 

Outraged photographers immediately began cropping up, inundating Jones with reasons he must shoot raw: white balance adjustments, exposure recovery, the ability to re-edit years later, and most importantly, better shadow recovery.

"Eric went on a 15-minute diatribe about how shooting JPEG was 'destroying your creative potential'," said Jones. "He said I may as well just be shooting on a Polaroid. But they're my family photos, not the next Avengers movie!"

The pleas to switch back to raw fell on deaf ears. Later, Jones proudly posted a JPEG photo to his photography forum titled "The Raw Truth." He hoped his unprocessed image would develop into an interesting discussion. 

The horrified responses poured in, critiquing the color, noise, and lack of flexibility. "This would have been easily adjustable if you had the raw file," remarked one commenter. "I could have recovered at least 2-3 stops of shadows from the raw data," contributed another. "Your children must be so ashamed to be in this picture," said one particularly rude commenter.

After spending four hours defending his artistic choice, Jones finally admitted that perhaps he had acted in haste. The next day, he sheepishly swapped his camera settings back to raw, hoping to regain positive exposure among his peers.

But the photography club was still fuming over the debut of Jones' undeveloped JPEG image. They asked him to resign as President and charitably offered to only reduce his membership level from Gold to Silver status. 

"It's like they had a personal vendetta just because I shot one lousy photo without raw," complained Jones. "I thought artists were supposed to be open-minded!"

When reached for comment, Jones said only: "Next time, I'll just hire an editor to handle all the developing drama."

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

Log in or register to post comments

See the thing is this has already been solved and it’s an extremely simply solution. In settings in almost any camera and in some smartphones. Choose raw+JPEG. Then you have the best of both worlds. Want to share the image today go for it. Want to edit a raw image five years from now when you are not burnt out from editing. Go for it.

That would make too much sense though

Yes, I ended up doing the RAW+JPEG trick in the end. It is a great way to keep other amateur photographers quiet as sadly I have also learnt that it is "not done" to shoot Jpeg even if you aren't going to do extreme editing afterwards. Fortunately it is really easy as I can shoot RAW on one card and JPEG to the other so it has no impact on storing and working with them afterwards . I can happily say I shoot RAW and demonstrate it if necessary, then format the card later. Sad that so many people focus more of their time and energy on (for the most part) small differences in Image Quality whereas in most cases they'd do better to expend it on getting Quality Images!

If making images for yourself and are happy with the quality of jpeg's, there's nothing wrong about that. That said, if you're just shooting in that mode, you don't need to spend a bunch on camera gear, just use your cell phone. The quality of your images will suffer without the post processing advantages of editing raw image files. Disciplining that photographer IMO for his actions was a bit over the top. I wonder if there are other motives we don't know.

Pretty sure this article is more than a little tongue in cheek.

"if you're just shooting in that mode, you don't need to spend a bunch on camera gear, just use your cell phone."

This is so wrong. The advantages of using a camera are far beyond merely a file type pics can be saved as. Modern smartphones can save RAW files, does that mean no one should use a camera anymore?

Hanging out with binary purists would likely damage your creativity. I’m one that will shoot both and when I get it right in camera and need a fast post, I don’t need to touch the raw. Both Ken R. And Jared P. Are correct.

Yes, social media platforms! Some people want to share some of their wedding photos in the same day.

I believe sports where they post post/editorialize play by play action.

Corporate events have a fast turn time to get the most impact. I’ve had two events where we needed images ready the next day, not just for ig, but for press releases.

Comedy is a serious business...

Clickbait for photographers.

Having spent a great deal of time, comparing the same shots - literally hundreds of them! - taken simultaneously with the same camera, one of them RAW and the other JPEG, just to see for myself what the difference[s] might be - I think this story is utter rubbish, and the people responsible for it should apologise to him.
Most shots - the difference, if any, is imperceptible - not worth discussing.
Some RAW - better than JPEG.
Some JEPG (roughly the same proportion) - better than RAW.
What triggered my curiosity was similar research by several professional photographers - and they pretty much all came to the same conclusion.
And there's one more to add - it's for the photographer to decide what he's trying to do. Granted that judges at a photo show make the decision - but I don't think that's the same as having a whole lot of self-important people behave the way these people did, when he turned up with some JPEGs

Exactly. Spot on!

So many factors determine the quality of a photo, raw vs jpeg is just one technical aspect. There are plenty of situations where light conditions are not demanding enough to require the extra dynamic range of raw, and there is often sufficient latitude in jpeg to make some adjustments for a more pleasing image, assuming the image is properly exposed. I have won (1st) prizes with jpeg images.

Can anyone tell the difference between a print from raw file vs a print from a jpeg file?

You cannot print from raw...

Just shoot Raw+Jpeg..i've been doing it since 2007

This sounds like an Onion article

We read about the photographer's view. I would like to hear the other side to get the FULL image.

A humorous article. Obviously if you're into astro JPEG isn't a useful option.

This is just one reason I don't like camera clubs. There is no right or wrong way but I have no time for pedantic people trying to dictate to me where they think I am going wrong.

Or any type of enthusiast club!

I shoot raw only.
If i need to immediately share a photo(s) I just immediately wifi them to my phone and send them.
Camera does all the work for immediate sharing and family/friends are happy getting the shots immediately at the event or whatever so they can share.

I only shoot RAW because I always make a few edits to my photos and it saves me time not having to adjust white balance and exposure in camera for jpegs when I can just set it to RAW and focus on taking photos, always knowing I have some room to adjust the settings later on in post. Also I never like the jpeg results from my camera anyway.

Don't you need to compress the file before sending your RAW pictures to your phone?

This is a funny spoof article!
Sadly it's somewhat close to reality, in how people are judged for following their personal creative journey, and not adhering to the artificial norms of the craft.
Still, really clever parody!
Next up, club member banned for life because they use a cell phone for photography, and have the nerve to be happy with it!

Funniest thing I've seen in awhile. Good one!

Hogwash! When are photographers going to come down off their photographic high horses! I am celebrating my 54th year as a shooting pro, I ran the most successful workshop country in America with the likes of John Shaw, Art Wolfe, David Muench, the late Galen Rowell, Jack Dykinga, Jack Graham, Bryan Peterson, Jim Brandenburg, Larry West, Rod Planck, and many others! Every one of those luminaries taught to get it right in the camera and let your images speak for themselves! When did this craft turn from a fun passion to a one upmanship! Please get back to the joy and stop being critical of those that choose another path! By-the-way I shoot jpeg, and have always shot jpeg, anyone want to compare images!

There are some of us that actually enjoy the post processing part of photography. I really don't care how anyone else shoots because they've chosen what works best for them. It's not right or wrong.

While president of our photo club, I had a little exercise I did for our image review night. I would take a photo and upload the RAW file to the club's Drop Box page and let interested members have at it. I chose the RAW file so that the members could have as much data as possible to do what they do. It was a fun exercise. Jpegs aren't the best for someone that wishes to be creative with their results.

Anyway, giving someone a hard time because of how they process their images is silly since the shooter is trying to satisfy his/her self or a client. Beyond that, it's background noise.

That sounds like a fun and interesting exercise!

One thing stood out; we have a core group of photographers that will print their work to be displayed at exhibits that our club has been invited to. As it turns out, most of those that participated in the exercise were among that core group.

A clickbait article targeted at photographers and going over a subject that's been discussed a billion times. There's no such thing as pure jpgs: a lot of choices - colour space, contrast etc.- have already been made by the time raw data are processed and stored as jpgs.

Bingo. When selecting jpg only, the captured data is just flushed for ever and the extracted info that's saved is a sealed package. It is much closer to polaroid than film in the process if we put aside the quality of the end product.

The new president's term was short-lived, as he forbade the overuse of HDR in real estate photography.

You know, Ken Rockwell only shoots JPEG.... BTW, enjoyed the satire.

Wyatt certainly had a raw deal.

You go to your room and think about what you just did. XD

I know exactly what I did 😃, aren't I naughty.

Imagine your kids growing up knowing you shoot jpegs. I bet their peers bully them in school. Poor kids. THINK OF THE KIDS!!!!

Honestly it makes me sad seeing how many of you don't understand that this article is satire...

It may be satire but pedantic behaviour like this does sadly actually exist amongst certain photographers. I had someone once tell me I must like unsharp, blurry images and must miss loads of shots just because I happened to mention I use a manual lens for street photography.

Oh I have no doubt that it does exist. That's even more sad. Just let people shoot what they want and go shoot how you want. There's so many ways to take awesome photos now it blows my mind that people don't explore why different photographer shoot how they do. It's more informative than anything imo. A good chance to learn something.

Geeeze. Some people. I actually prefer manual lenses for street work lol. I'm not there to capture a thousand images. I want just a few and with manual lenses I focus more on what I'm shooting and it's composition. It helps me learn faster instead of just spraying a bunch of images and then picking the "best one". I get a higher quality image image in terms of subject matter and framing than picking the best one I got from a spray and pray. I use manual focus lenses when I shoot BTS stills on film sets too.

The JPG's out of some of the Canon cameras are better than the raws when it comes to delivery. Sometimes it makes sense. Of course, a bunch of ameture photographers care more about clout that usability.

Just wait til they find out he does his post-processing in Microsoft Paint...

Here's before and after versions of a photo I took horribly underexposed because of a technical error, thanks to the Raw file format I was able to get the exposure back where it should be. ’Nuff said?

(jpeg shooters lives matter)

This has to be satire. A frustrated former Penthouse forum contributor? I do often eschew raw simply for saving space on my NAS.

More comments