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Why Shoot RAW

A lot of people are shooting in the RAW fromat, but a lot of people are still asking why they should.  I shoot almost exclusively in RAW and recently I was shooting in what Derrick Story calls "Stupid Mode", not paying any attention to my camer's settings and RAW saved me.

I think this shot really demonstrates the power of shooting in the RAW format.
Shooting in RAW does not mean that you go out and take pictures in the nude!  RAW is an image format that most all digital SLR cameras and even some newer point-and-shoot camera support.  The raw format captures and saves every piece of information that the image sensor sees, it does no in-camera post processing and does not compress the image.  A RAW file is exactly what the sensor "saw" when you pressed the shutter button.
I snapped the photo above on my way out of a water polo tournament I was shooting and I still had my camera set to shutter priority and a shutter speed of 1/640th to stop the action in the water... combine that with a slow telephoto lens (f/5) and the very dark shade this guy was laying in and you end up with an exposure that looks almost black (straight out of the camera) ... a little adjusment of the exposure slider in Apple Aperture (or Adobe Camera Raw) and a "reject" photo is saved and turned into what I think is a really great shot tha captures an exhausted player napping on the grass.
You can try all day to do that with a JPG file and you might, in the end get results that are better than nothing, but you'll never get the results that you would have if you had shot RAW.
Like they say ... if the shot is important, Shoot RAW!

Until next time,

Keep shooting

Allen Rockwell

Allen Rockwell Photography


I'm new to "real" digital photography. This was very informative. Thank you. ;)


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