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So I've got a stable platform. I've got an interesting backdrop. Got the camera ready to go. All that's really left is the decision. What should I shoot? I'm going to start with the easy one, and that's JPEG. When should you shoot JPEG? Well, in my opinion, when it's the only choice you have. If you're shooting on a point and shoot, and your camera doesn't offer Raw then shoot JPEG. Now, you might be wondering, but JPEG's fine. A lotta issues with JPEG. Particularly when you're shooting a panoramic.
So, what's going to happen here is, as I pan across and shoot, we're going to get multiple photos. The potential challenge with JPEG, is that the camera is doing in-camera processing. And some cameras are smart and will do exactly what you tell them to do, but many are trying to optimize your image. Now, optimizing an image is a nice way of saying the camera, with very little to no input from you, is going to develop the files for you. You don't want that.
Only shoot JPEG if it's the only choice you have and if it is the only choice you have, strongly consider shooting at the highest quality, largest file size that's offered. But JPEG is incredibly limiting. If I'm going to shoot JPEG, I really need to pay close attention to the meters. So when I look into the camera and I read things I'm going to tend to shoot maybe one stop underexposed. If not a full stop, a half stop. I have to be very careful about clipping things.
In a shot like this, where we've got the rocks, and the sky above I want to make sure that I don't blow those clouds out to pure white. Now with a RAW file, that's a piece of cake, but with a JPEG, not so much.
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