Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Exposing raw images, part of Learn Photography: Shooting in Raw Mode.
- A lot of people are intimidated by raw because they think, oh, that's an advanced thing and I'm not sophisticated enough for it. As you've seen with today's software, shooting raw doesn't commit you to some more complex workflow, in fact, depending on the software you use, you probably won't need to change anything at all in your post-production when you switch to raw. Instead, you'll simply have more editing potential when you do dive in to correct your images. And for the most part, the actual process of shooting is similarly unaffected by the switch to raw. Scene modes, sports, landscape, portrait, et cetera, might not allow you to shoot in raw, but all of your camera's priority and manual modes and even program mode will work the same way they do when you're shooting jpeg.
The only thing that changes when you're shooting in raw is something that we've already mentioned, and that is that the histogram on the back of your camera might not be accurate when shooting in raw mode. The good news is, it's inaccurate in a conservative way, so it's not going to lead you to make un-correctable mistakes. This is all explained in detail in my Exploring Photography, Exposure and Dynamic Range course. Remember though, that when you're shooting in raw, any post-processing effects that your camera provides are not relevant, so on Canon, that means that picture styles have no effect on your raw images.
On Nikon cameras that means picture controls have no effect. Any contrast, sharpening, saturation, color tone controls, auto lighting optimizer, de-lighting, film simulations, those types of edits are jpeg only functions because they are edits that have to be applied to already processed raw data. Hopefully now you understand all of this and can better assess on your own camera which features will impact raw files and which features won't.
In this course, photographer and educator Ben Long shines a light on what it means to shoot in raw—and what it doesn't. Learn the benefits of shooting in raw, learn when your camera's RAW+JPEG mode makes more sense, and get insights into why some people prefer certain raw conversion software over others.
- Does your camera support raw?
- Understanding how a sensor works
- Correcting and compressing JPEGs in camera
- Customizing JPEG compression
- Understanding raw conversion
- Working with raw files in popular photo-editing software
- Shooting raw, JPEG, or both
- Reprocessing old raw images
- Choosing a camera