RAW or JPG What should you know

Nera Davies Playboy Playmate

When I first started switching from film to digital photography with my clients I had to persuade them to see the benefits of shooting in digital. They had all got use to photographers shooting film but when they had no film or processing bills they got it right away.

Today there is a lot of talk on the web about you should try to always shoot RAW files. Let me explain why this is, most of the guys that go to the web looking for help with their images are not professionals so they will make a lot of mistakes when exposing their images. In the past, there were two types of film, transparency and negative. We would shoot transparency film for most of our work in publishing but wedding photographers would always shoot negative film, because there is a 3 stop safety issue each way with negative film if you are under or over exposed. In the world of transparency film if you are under or over exposed you would be in trouble, this is why we do a snip test on the film to see if we have to push or pull the film when developed. If you are over you will blow out all the highlights and if you are under you end up with a lot of gran when you try to print or use the images for publishing.

So, let’s get back to why RAW! Well it’s just like negative film you can pull in information that is not seen at first as you are now doing the processing with your computer. If you shoot a JPG the camera is doing the processing for you. If you have your camera set up right for the style of exposure you like you can shoot JPG and get great result. Magazines like to have the control for them self so that is why they ask you to shoot RAW. I shoot RAW most of the time myself. I only use JPG if I am low on card space. These images were all shot JPG on the day and were published in a catalog for the company I was shooting for and we all got paid and nobody said it looks like rubbish.

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