Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

So, I've always been reluctant to try shooting in RAW.  In the words of my title, "What was I thinking?"  Seriously.  I have always looked at a few other photographers' work and thought, "Why don't my pictures have that crispness to them or that color?"  Well I figured that out the other day when I took the leap and decided to take a few pictures in RAW.  This required downloading a driver for Photoshop to enable my camera to "sync" or whatever you call it with Adobe Bridge.  I opened the images (after my 8 minute download and setup process) and almost fell out of my chair.  It was everything I always wanted my photos to be.  The color and crispness were AMAZING!  

Now, you might ask yourself why this is important if you are just taking photos of your family to scrapbook.  Then, there is always the issue of dealing with and managing the large file sizes of the images.  In answer to number one, I probably won't shoot in RAW everyday.  This goes with question 2.  The file sizes are huge.  I don't want to take up all of the memory on my computer.  I am recommending that you shoot in RAW when you are taking important pictures of special occasions, or photo shoots with your family, or your Christmas Card pictures, etc., etc.  

In my opinion there are several huge advantages of shooting in RAW.  One is being able to choose your White Balance Setting (basically the color of light) easily.  Have you ever noticed that sometimes your photos look yellow, or blue, or green, or red.  That's your white balance.  The next thing is the greater range of flexibility with your Exposure (brightness) of your photos.  Now, I must admit, I thought,  "hey what's the big deal with this?  I can fix it in PhotoShop."  And yes this is true for the most part.  It does take extra work but it's possible.  This is where I advocate for the third and most worthwhile reason to me...THE AMAZING COLOR AND CRISPNESS of the photos.   It has really changed so much for one evening of snapshot shooting.  I mean I don't know how these pictures look on your monitors (due to calibration issues and such), but on mine the boys are basically jumping out at me.

Okay, so all in all, if you wish to shoot a few photos in RAW then there are few things to know.  Number 1:  Your camera must be capable of doing this.  Number 2:  You must have a way to process your photos from a RAW format to JPEG.  Adobe Camera Raw, iPhoto, and I'm sure there are tons of others.  Number 3:  The file size is really pretty large.  

I can't wait to share more photos with you.  I have to take some more first.  And if you would like anymore information on this topic, or you have any photography questions in general, feel free to ask in the comments or email me.  I will  be happy to help.

And P.S.  I made my husband look at these pictures about 50 times and he agrees with everything I'm saying about them :)

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