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Shooting Raw

One of the things that my Nikon cameras give me is the ability to shoot in different formats. Usually the folks who are starting out ask is should I shoot in raw or shoot in jpeg? I would suggest to the folks who are getting started in post processing, that they should do both. And unless you’re a sports shooter, if you have to pick one, you should shoot in raw.

Milky Way from Collegiate Peaks

Milky Way from Collegiate Peaks

Here I was shooting with the American Photo Treks folks, and David Soldano did the light painting.This photo was taken at 1:30 AM, so there’s a large amount of dark tones.
By shooting in raw the darkest portion of the photo has 64 times the levels that I would have had in the 8 bit jpeg.
Additionally, I used DXO optics to process this photo. They’ve improved their noise algorithm to clean up raw photos. Since I was shooting at ISO 5000 it needed some help with the noise. DXO also helped with lens imperfections for this photo. While the Rokinon 14 mm lens is a good lens for its price, it has some distortions and vignetting.
By shooting in raw I was also able to choose the white balance that suited me.

Some folks will say that the raw files are larger than the jpegs out of the camera and they’re correct. But if you need to do any work on the photo, the added resolution comes in handy. And whenever you process the photo and save it out as a jpeg, the jpeg compression algorithms cause a degradation of the photo.

One Response to Shooting Raw

  1. Tom Frerichs says:

    Like you, I always shoot in RAW unless there’s some very specific reason not to do so. I know some folks complain about the added time for post-processing, but I want quality…and the time spent doing even the small about of PP that I have to do is well spent.

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