I keep telling you about it and I can’t imagine myself shooting in any other mode than this one, but considering the number of photographers who don’t use it, I think it was necessary to dot the i’s! Through a small historylet’s see together why not use RAW, it’s literally like being amputee of half of its creativity.
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The story of Michel (Angel)
Michel Ange is a painter (yes, his parents did it on purpose :P). For years, he has felt the need forexpress what it feels like to paint. He spends hours in front of his easel representing what he sees, with sa clean vision.
It starts by sketching out the big elements of his image. Then he clarifies a little bit the main lines of his image, and ends up using several layers of paint and a lot of colours to get what he wants.
One fine spring day, Michel begins a work to represent an extraordinary place that moves him particularly. On the first day, he sketches the main elements of the image. On the second day, he clarifies some of the features, and you can already see what his canvas will look like when it is finished.
But on the third day, Michel has the severed hands. Yeah, poof, like that. If you want… really a reason, say, he got hit by a truck. Finally his hands what 😛
More seriously, his work is unfinishedand he won’t be able never finish it and express everything he wanted.
It’s exactly what he you happens every time you don’t develop your RAW files yourself. Except that sometimes you don’t realize it, and think your hands are cut off. But this is not the case Let’s find out how to make you push hands ! 😉
An artistic tool like any other
I’m going to go far: I don’t think you can say you’re a photographer. without expanding its RAW files. I guess for a lot of you, the reason you’re taking pictures is to express something. I can see it in the pictures you offer me on the Flickr group for Dimanche Critique Photo: it feels like you are trying to show your own world outlookyour emotions through an image. And I’ll tell you what, it’s beautiful. Seriously, I’m not being ironic: I find it absolutely awesome that one has the ability to express oneself through the arts, and that one can move other people through his work, even if it’s just one person.
Because, yes, taking pictures is taking pictures.art. When I say take pictures, I’m not talking about photographing his family on vacation. I’m not talking about dishonorable in this, of course, the goal is just to remember an event.
But I think that for many of you, you’re looking to give a touch artistic to your images. I mean, we rarely photograph a sheet or a manhole cover to keep it as a souvenir. We photograph it to remember theemotion we were having at that momentthanks to the particular light, to something visually interesting, and possibly for channel this emotion to other people. I don’t know about you, but when I look at an image I like very much, I feel again… the same than when I took it, and I find that extraordinary.
I wanted to emphasize this notion again… fundamental of emotion. And it will not have escaped your notice that in order to express yourself best, you must be proficient. Michel can’t paint without holding brush. A pianist cannot play without piano. You can’t express yourself without photo camera…and without restraining him. And by the way, you have already conscience. Every day, people come to the blog by typing “how to blur the background” type searches on Google. It’s typical: creativity is limited by one lack of technical knowledgeand you’re looking for the solution.
But now ask yourself one question: before to know that you could do a depth-of-field blur, did you ever want to do it? And now that you know do that, could you do without ? I’ll bet no !
Well for RAW development, it’s same ! Just as controlling the depth of field or shutter speed is essential for expressing your creativity, so too are the settings you can control in RAW. Articles on the subject abound, and I’ve already talked about it at length in my guide, but you can (among others) :
- make all your modifications in a non-destructive way, i.e. without losing image quality
- change the white balance (i.e. the overall tone of the image)
- recover highlights that are a little too bright, or shadows that are too dark, or even the entire image. To some extent of course 😉
- Eliminate noise in your images taken at high ISO sensitivity
- and so on.
You can already see some of these possibilities in my videos about post-processing, and especially I wrote an article to explain the RAW format to you 🙂.
Reasons not to do it
I keep hearing thousands excuses for not shooting RAW and developing. And I’ll tell you very frankly: these are bullshit. Really, I do. Let’s take the most common ones apart one by one to see:
It’s retouching, it’s cheating.
She’s probably the one that pisses me off the most. Let’s think for a second: when you take a picture, do you represent reality?
The answer, of course, is no. If the world was in a 3/2 or 4/3 frame and it was in 2D, we would know. If your eyes could open at f/1.8, it would also be known 😉.
The photo is a choice series that lead to a framed still image that represents your vision of something real.
From that point on, how is going through software cheating? Especially since digital development mimics silver development, which has been done since photography has existed.
However, I distinguish between development and retouching. Retouching, for me, is making changes to the image either by removing elements or by adding something that wasn’t there. I’m not totally against it, but within reason. Otherwise we don’t do photography anymore, but digital art, it’s just different 😉
It’s complicated, plus I don’t know anything about computers.
Quite frankly, digital development is not a new phenomenon. no more complicated than the digital photo itself. If I managed to explain you how depth of field works (and it’s complicated!), I think I can do the same with development (I mentioned above my many videos on the subject 😉 ). I assure you, it’s really simple. The basic functions are extremely basics to address, and you don’t have no need to be computer literate in order to use these software programs, which are designed for photographers.
It’s a long time, I’m lazy.
I’ll tell you what, it takes a lot to devote yourself to a passion… time. When you do a photo shoot, you account your time you? Not me! 🙂 So while development may take you some time, what a gain in quality of your images and in creativity !
To continue the analogy with the shooting itself, imagine that the focus of your image is out of focus. You show it anyway, you are pointed out this defect. Are you going to answer: “it took too long to focus correctly, and I didn’t want to redo the photo”? Well, if you have a picture with a bad white balance or an exposure that is a bit limited, it’s the same thing !
In addition, there are tips to save time sorting your images, and then think about shooting less 😉.
Bottom line, I don’t want to see only one of you do not shoot in RAW and do not develop them, unless the JPEG out of your camera is enough for you in a given situation! (unpretentious family or holiday photos, etc…) I hope this article will have convinced the last refractory ones! 😀 Remember to leave a comment if you’re not convinced, don’t agree, or if you’ve set up an altar in my effigy since I introduced you to RAW 😛
And don’t forget to share the article! 🙂