If You’re Not Shooting in RAW, You’ll Regret it Later. Here’s Why. (from my photography blog)

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I’m posting some excerpts here from my latest blog post on my photography site. If you tale a lot of cat pictures, like I do, shooting in RAW can mean the difference between having tons of great photos and just having a bunch of crap that could have been great. You’ll want to set your camera to RAW+JPEG, so you still get both.

These are just the highlights from the post. You can see the full post here.

Endless Possibilities, Moments You’ll Never Get Back

This is a photo I’ll never take again. A moment that’s irreplaceable. A moment I need to keep with me and be able to revisit.

We all have those moments. Rarely do we have the photos that capture them – only if we’re lucky. When we do, they are often haphazard and hard to see, not just right. We cherish them anyway and wish that by remembering the details we could make them visible in their full glory.

But what if you could? What if you could go back and bring it into something that everyone else can see too? Or just something for yourself?

Gorgeous Portrait B&A

During his years as an indoor cat, Gorgeous would sit on the stairs, right over my shoulder while I worked at my desk. And he would go from there to the back of the chair and into my lap. Even though he did that all the time, getting a picture of it wasn’t easy. Eventually, the cancer came back, and we had to say goodbye. I can’t tell you how hard it was to sit at my desk every day, constantly glancing over my shoulder for him only to find an empty space. I had this photo that I was able to put right there where he would normally be. Did it fix everything? Of course not! But it did make those moments just a tiny bit less empty and frantic.

I started with the version on the left, and I was so glad to have it there, just for me. But after enough time passed, I realized I wanted to do something more with it. Something I could share with the world.

An Example of White Balance

In this example of white balance, I had been taking pictures outside. Neither of these photos are among my best ever. They’re just in the photos that are very important to me personally, for my memories. I was in the middle of a long session and ran in for something. When I stepped inside, Gorgeous was headed for his food dish – his favorite thing. I wanted to get a quick shot of him and changing the white balance didn’t even occur to me. Until I saw the VERY ORANGE result flash on the display. Ugh! Here’s the original, and some improvements I made very quickly (at a later date) by working with the RAW file.

Gorgeous, When I Walked In The Door

I got lucky and was able to catch this next photo after changing the white balance from daylight to tungsten. MUCH better, but still a little off. The original is on the left. By working with the RAW file, I was able to improve this one too (on right).

Gorgeous, After I Set The White Balance

 

Something More Dramatic

It was only because I had the RAW file to work with that I was able to do this.

Original Photo Of Stash Stalking Mr. Tom In Color – B&A RAW

Which translates to this in black and white.

Again, Converted To B&W

And what then became Stash Stalking the Amazing Mr. Tom.

Stash Stalking The Amazing Mr. Tom – Final Product

So, there you go. There’s more to read in the full post. I hope this inspires you to try shooting RAW and get the most out of every single shot!

If you have photos that you have been able to recover and make great, or some that could have been great if only you’d used the right settings, please share them with me in the comments!