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« Using White Balance in Creative Ways | Main | Shooting Action Photographs »

Shoot in Raw format

More and more point and shoot cameras shoot in Raw format as opposed to just in jpg.  And that's a good thing.

 When you shoot in jpg, what you have in the file is all there is.  That's fine if all the values in the scene fall within the range that the sensor can capture.  But what if there is a larger range of values, like the above situation?  The result is that you simply lose either highlight or shadow values, possibly both.

 Enter raw format.  Much like a color negative rather than a color transparency in film days, the raw format has more information that can be recovered if needed.

 In the image shown here, the unadulterated image, similar to what we would have gotten with a jpg looks like this.  Notice the lack of detail in the shadow areas, like the curtain and the shirt.


Now look at the below image.  Using Adobe Camera Raw in Lightroom, I used the "Fill" slider to pull information out of the shadows.  Now you can see the folds in the curtain and the texture in the shirt.  Truly an amazing difference, and a strong reason to consider shooting raw format.



The place to set this is in your menu.  Generally, there is a camera icon, and within this menu is the option to choose jpg or raw.  Consult your user manual if you are not able to readily access this information.

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