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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 30 Apr 2013 (Tuesday) 21:31
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Is there anyone that doesn't shoot RAW professionally?

 
mlech
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Apr 30, 2013 21:31 |  #1

Just a curious question.
Professionally, for all your photographers, do you strictly shoot RAW or also JPEG?

I have tried RAW many times, but I always find that I'm able to make all my adjustments in JPEG without taking away from the quality that much, especially with advanced programs like lightroom and photoshop. I just found RAW to take much more time to select images and process them, I've never found the benefit of RAW.

The biggest explanation for RAW shooters I've read is that it is easier to save an image as you make a wider range of adjustments.


So just wondering if any of you shoot JPEG professionally, or if you shoot RAW for the majority of your shots do you see the benefit over a JPEG file.


thanks


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katodog
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Apr 30, 2013 21:43 |  #2

Yes, and I'm sure there's a lot of others who shoot JPG. Without getting into a huge RAW-v-JPG debate it's simple: Someone who has the skill and knowledge to be a good photographer should have the skill and knowledge to use any file format effectively, and should be able to move from one file format to another without issue. If you're a studio shooter and you have control over your lighting, subject, shooting environment, etc., then there's absolutely no need for RAW. If you shoot out in the wild and don't have control over certain aspects, then RAW can work better than JPG. What about particular events, where you have to turn over photos right away, or print on the spot, can't do that with RAW. How about when you're shooting a dark subject against a bright background, and you don't have control over lighting and other aspects...JPG might fall flat on its face.


To me it's simple, because JPG has a ton of processing leeway in the right hands, and is not as crippled as people are told. But, the best answer to the question is this: A good photographer will use whatever tools they have to get the photo, they will know which file format will work best for the situation, and they will be smart enough to know they have a choice.

Nobody yet has looked at any of my photos and said "Hey, you didn't shoot that in RAW!!".


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BoredRobot
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May 01, 2013 00:46 |  #3

When the photo editor sends me out on assignment it's jpeg only; he said the newspaper doesn't need a RAW file. Happy to oblige since I don't edit the work I turn in. On occasion I'll shoot both if I think there will be something I want for myself down the line.

For everything I do on my own it's RAW, unless it's pics of friends at an event or something like that.




  
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ScatterCr
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May 01, 2013 00:56 |  #4

katodog wrote in post #15885091 (external link)
Yes, and I'm sure there's a lot of others who shoot JPG. Without getting into a huge RAW-v-JPG debate it's simple: Someone who has the skill and knowledge to be a good photographer should have the skill and knowledge to use any file format effectively, and should be able to move from one file format to another without issue. If you're a studio shooter and you have control over your lighting, subject, shooting environment, etc., then there's absolutely no need for RAW. If you shoot out in the wild and don't have control over certain aspects, then RAW can work better than JPG. What about particular events, where you have to turn over photos right away, or print on the spot, can't do that with RAW. How about when you're shooting a dark subject against a bright background, and you don't have control over lighting and other aspects...JPG might fall flat on its face

To me it's simple, because JPG has a ton of processing leeway in the right hands, and is not as crippled as people are told. But, the best answer to the question is this: A good photographer will use whatever tools they have to get the photo, they will know which file format will work best for the situation, and they will be smart enough to know they have a choice

Nobody yet has looked at any of my photos and said "Hey, you didn't shoot that in RAW!!".

Why wouldn't you try to capture an image in the best possible format?


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jra
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May 01, 2013 02:18 |  #5

Personally, I always shoot RAW format. I don't usually have extremely tight deadlines and RAW adds a bit more flexibility. That said, shooting in JPEG certainly has its place when speed is a big issue. In the end, it all comes down to getting what you need as quickly and easily as possible.




  
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Lowner
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May 01, 2013 02:26 |  #6

A sailing magazine staffer I met always used Jpeg, in fact he claimed he downloaded his images straight from camera to the editor and that was it. Use whatever works for you.


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katodog
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May 01, 2013 06:52 |  #7

ScatterCr wrote in post #15885620 (external link)
Why wouldn't you try to capture an image in the best possible format?


Again, without getting into a RAW-v-JPG debate, there is no solid proof that RAW is the best possible format. People prove that fact every day by showing great images that were shot using JPG, including myself.


I don't get into any arguments anymore whether or not JPG is better or RAW is better, all I say now is that if you're smart enough to make the choice, and if you're skilled enough and knowledgeable enough to make it work, then the file format makes no difference at all. Debating which format is better is the same as debating whether or not Canon is better than Nikon, Ford is better than Chevy, and Coke is better than Pepsi. Useless, utter stupidity if you ask me.

None of the people and companies who have paid me and pay me for my work have never said "Oh my God!!! You didn't shoot that in RAW?!?!"......


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Flores
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May 01, 2013 07:04 |  #8

this is a question that comes up on a regular basis. It falls into the 'tools' category.

the fact is, RAW is an unfinished product. Period. It demands processing before you finalize the image. the upside is, you have a lot more information to work with in the image that gets compressed/stripped out of a jpeg. so, knowing how to use your tools, if you are going to need that extra info to create the image you want, you need to shoot raw.

on the other hand, if you can setup the camera to process the jpgs for you, and the output is what you want in a finished image (or close enough you don't need the extra data), it's simply the proper use of your tools to use jpg output directly off the camera.

an additional consideration is if your work has a time factor associated with it. if your delivery window for 'final image' is days or weeks, RAW = maximum flexibility for the 'best' possible processing of the final image. If you have to deliver a final image within a few minutes or maybe an hour or so, RAW isn't really an option.

whatever you shoot, you shouldn't feel like it's because you HAVE to. complaining about how terrible a screwdriver is for pounding nails doesn't make the screwdriver wrong... ;)




  
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katodog
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May 01, 2013 07:18 |  #9

Flores wrote in post #15886045 (external link)
whatever you shoot, you shouldn't feel like it's because you HAVE to. complaining about how terrible a screwdriver is for pounding nails doesn't make the screwdriver wrong... ;)


bw!


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RandMan
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May 01, 2013 10:00 |  #10

Here's the way I look at.... deadlines or no deadlines doesn't make much of a difference. Yes, raw files are unfinished/undeveloped "negatives" that need to have the things added to them that the camera normally does with a jpg--there's no arguing that.

However, if you are a good photographer and have control and understanding of your camera then a well-shot image is a well-shot image. It's how you control the light entering the camera's sensor. If you shoot a great jpg then sure, the shot is "ready to go" right from camera. However, if you shoot a great raw, or several, you can open them all in your raw processor, just apply the default settings, maybe add a camera profile, and batch save them all to jpg. This whole process can be done in a matter of minutes. If your shots were done correctly when you took them, you won't be doing any heavy manipulating and spending hours with shadow and highlight sliders.

With that said, I only shoot in raw format. I just love it and this is not the thread for me to list the reasons why, but to me it's the second half of photography and I'm passionate about doing the "developing" part. And my final thought....

I think it depends what the professional is doing. If you are shooting a lot of fast-paced chaotic action, your camera's buffer can crank out jpg's like there's no tomorrow as opposed to having to catch up to raws. So with that being said, they are potentially life-saving there to not missing a perfect shot. If I'm shooting a landscape, I have time to relax and compose the shot. I would absolutely do raw. Maybe if I was shooting an ice hockey game, I might do jpg to keep up with the action.

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CyberDyneSystems
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May 01, 2013 11:21 |  #11

katodog wrote in post #15885091 (external link)
...If you're a studio shooter and you have control over your lighting, subject, shooting environment, etc., then there's absolutely no need for RAW....

I agreed with most everything you said until we got to this point;

1- Need never enters into it, with any aspect of the choices we make for photography, lens body, software etc. These are all choices and compromises. The only need is that we have a camera in our hands.

2- The reason (or choice, again, not need) to shoot RAW would be simply to get the best image you can.

I have witnessed so many of these similar discussions for so long and yet, rarely see an understanding of this fundamental truth that seems so obvious.

Why is it that no one questions or argues why we chose not to let our cameras do all the thinking at the time the photo is taken, but so many chose to question our need to take control after the photo is taken. What is different here?

When shooting, I do not use the "green Box".. I know better than the camera what aperture to chose, what shutter speed, what focus point, what ISO, what overall exposure, be it set manually or with AV/TV and EC,. so naturally I make these decisions.
Truthfully, any photographer worthy of the name would do the same.
Yet all of this stuff can be automated by the camera, we can set it to green and shoot and let the camera decide Aperture, Exposure, Shutter speed, ISO (in some cases) etc..

Yet we rarely if ever see threads knocking us for eschewing these auto controls.
When we do, it's a post of complete and utter naivety, one that comes from ignorance (in the real meaning, not to be insulting) of the benefits of taking control of your shooting situation and equipment.

And yet when it comes to the very next step of the same photography process, that of processing the image, so many can not grasp the need/desire for the same sense of control, for the same total hands on approach to the creative process involved with making the image.

Every step we take from the moment we put the camera into our hands is a step that we take to give ourselves the potential for doing a better job, making a better image than either the automated can, or we could last year, or even "the next guy" can. We strive for perfection.

In my mind, questioning the "need"/desire for us to have total control of the post processing workflow and adjustments, is just as naive and (sorry again) ignorant as questioning why I would not just allow the camera to shoot a portrait in Green box at f/8 instead of manually shooting open @ f/2


Of course I'm going to set the aperture to get the DOF I want, and would never trust the camera to make a better decision automatically.

Likewise, of course I am going to shoot in RAW and post process the image to my standards, and never trust the camera to make better decisions automatically.

Why does the Macro shooter use manual focus or rails when the lens is an autofocus lens? Because the Macro shooter knows they can set the focus more precisely when set manually. The Macro shooter can do it better.

Just as the Camera is simply NOT CAPABLE of bettering me with it's auto settings, it is likewise NOT CAPABLE of processing an image as well as I can with the tools I have at hand.

None of this should be surprising.
We will never likely see a camera with a green box mode that is superior in it's auto choices to those choices a photographer would make when setting up the shoot.

We will never see a camera with an automatically output file that is superior to the choices made by a studied photographer working on there own images in post.

I find it interesting and amusing that the same people that "need" the best camera, lens and gear, don;t understand others "need" for the best possible image out put from all that gear they invested in.


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 01, 2013 11:25 |  #12

katodog wrote in post #15886026 (external link)
Again, without getting into a RAW-v-JPG debate, there is no solid proof that RAW is the best possible format. ..

Now this is simply naive.

You go from a 14 bit RAW file to jpeg and throw out a huge percentage of color information before you even begin.
There is tons of "proof' that jpeg and jpeg editing is destructive to the file.

Sorry, you are in the debate if your going to post sentences that refute the facts.

Someones perception is variable, but the facts of what information is there and what is lost, is not. It is a quantifiable,
solid fact.

RAW: is the raw image information as recorded by the camera.
Jpeg: is an image file made from that data.

The choice of what to shoot is decided based on your wants and needs and understanding of the compromises involved in the choice you make.

Both file types have their distinct advantages, but the final decision is based on your wants and needs.

Every shot on your memory card starts life as RAW data in your camera.
The Jpeg is simply a result of allowing the camera to take that info and create an image file that can be read by anyone on any computer (one of Jpeg's few advantages, but a strong one to some)

The downside is that a jpeg can not contain all the image information your camera records, information that is available at the RAW level has to be reduced, and compressed to fit into that jpeg file.
First, large amounts of color information are immediately thrown out (most modern DLSRs record 14 bits per channel of color information, older ones 12. Jpeg can only store 8 bits of color info per channel)
Then the compression algorithms go to work, reducing image information further, and creating none image based artifacts from the compression process.

The differences in the resulting file types can be broken down in two categories to simplify.

1. Simple brute force Image quality.

RAW wins. It can not be argued. (some may argue to what degree RAW's superior image quality is visible, but this is a non argument, as obviously it is totally subjective. Different people with different needs has no bearing on the final fact that in every case the RAW files is superior in image quality )

2. Flexibility and workability.

Here the discussion is a valuable debate. Jpeg has smaller more portable Image size, and more "cooked" images due to allowing the camera to make processing decisions. It has universal viewing properties, and is the more useful file for those printing using an outside source. One can use a jpeg straight out of he camera if they are willing to make that compromise. RAW allows far more latitude to the shooter in post process, more room for recovery, and more flexibility in color, white balance etc. It can make the jpeg file for external use, as well as many other superior and equally universal file types like Tiff. It allows the user to control all aspects of the final image, leaving no decisions to the camera.

Most people get hung up on the latter, and seem forget that it's not the only reason to chose RAW. We see accusations of using it as a crutch. etc..

These thoughts do not take into account the simple concept that many simply want the best available to them.


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GregDunn
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May 01, 2013 11:32 |  #13

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #15886768 (external link)
Why is it that no one questions or argues why we chose not to let our cameras do all the thinking at the time the photo is taken, but so many chose to question our need to take control after the photo is taken. What is different here?

</thread> :D


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May 01, 2013 11:46 |  #14

The way I see it there is no reason that I can think of for "Serious Amateurs" to use any format other than RAW. For Professional photographers on the other hand there are times that shooting SOOC JPEG files is the only sensible option. Shooting snapshots on a PnS/Cam phone, well you have virtually no choice in the matter.

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katodog
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May 01, 2013 12:19 |  #15

If RAW is so awesome then why is the JPG file format on pro bodies??


Good sense and self control are making me unsubscribe from this thread. Sorry folks, not gonna debate, got way better things to do with my time.


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Is there anyone that doesn't shoot RAW professionally?
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