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RAW vs JPEG – Photography basics

Some of you might have read the title and thought…I have no idea what she’s talking about so keep moving.  Well if you’ve made it this far, stick around.  I promise it won’t be too long.  Your camera is capable of shooting in RAW and JPEG.  Most beginners shoot JPEG, so why would you ever switch to RAW?  Think about it like this…for every image there are millions of bytes of data that are collected by your camera.  If you shoot in RAW your camera keeps all that information and saves it for you to process later.  If you shoot in JPEG, the camera decides how to compress the file, what information to keep and what to get rid of, so a lot of time you might go to edit and well sadly the camera didn’t think those shadows were important and now you can’t recover them in Photoshop or Lightroom.  This can happen with many different aspects of your photograph.  If you shoot in jpeg you are limited to what kind of adjustments you can make in post processing.  Now RAW…I personally love it.  The files can be much larger, but the flexibility of editing your photograph to exactly how you want it is a freedom I want to have.  If you shoot RAW, each photograph (think of it as a digital negative) has to be processed to be a useable photograph for social media or printing. There still are some reasons some folks see are better to use JPEG over raw is when your shooting sports and have strict deadlines to upload to your media outlet.  I do this as well, but I still take the time to cull and edit each RAW image.  So for this I will have to agree to disagree with the pro sports shooters.

Want to try shooting in RAW, but have no idea what to do?  Comment below and I will walk you through the steps.

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