The beauty of RAW photography

 

Before and After in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Mercedes-Benz Munich at Night
Photo © 2007 by Mark Zanzig/zettpress
Only recently I spent some time on shooting in RAW format, after having seen that strong recommendation from several sources, including the manual of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The message was clear: RAW allows much more post-production flexibility and control. This goes on to a degree that I would not have believed to be possible.Take the above shot I did yesterday evening. The original shot was dull, slightly overexposed with a color temperature that was completely off. In older times (i.e. the JPEG days) I probably would have deleted that shot as unusable.Using the new freedom of loss-free post processing (in my case with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom), I could adjust the color temperature (from 2,450K to 2,200K) and the exposure (-2/3), and then add some vibrance (+10) and saturation (+20). The result is stunning.

 

Lightroom has this neat feature of Before/After comparison, so it’s easy to see how well you’ve done. And if you do not like the result, you can easily undo the changes, because the original file is never touched by Lightroom.

The one drawback of the RAW format is its bigger file size (on average, my files are now 13.6 MB instead of 10.3 MB with JPEGs), but the additional freedom is definitely worth it.

So, if your camera offers RAW shooting, I definitely recommend to use it. See for yourself whether your results improve.

P.S.: Here are the essentials of the shot – Canon EOS 1ds mark II and EF 24-70 mm (at 70mm), ISO 50, f22, 55 seconds.

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