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Author Topic: Convince me to shoot in RAW  (Read 23934 times)

awinphoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 12:32:10 PM »
If u dont want best image quality just go on shooting in JPG. But i think thats not using a major advantage of DSLR ameras, if not probably THE biggest reason. Same way like u can buy fake leather shoes instead of real leather. But if u can afford real leather....why should u still get fake one?

In the end, as a business, you have to determine if the end justifies the means...  Time is money...  Efficiency is everything...  If i shoot a wedding... I may have 600-800 images... my trigger happy second shooter may have another 1200-1300 shots... Processing them, time lag to see full res files, selecting, editing, album design, proofing, etc...  MAYBE a handful of images are bought at 16x20 or 20x24... maybe they order a 20x30 or 30x40 but they are on canvas and wall pieces... and they tend to be the creative shots and formals...  set-up, ceremony and reception almost all album or smaller prints... not much reason to justify raws...  when you're going through that much, for 1 wedding, that's the difference between a 4-5 hour workflow and a 4-5 day workflow... time is everything... efficiency is everything... I know what needs to be large and what doesn't.  It isn't that I'm sacrificing quality...  I've done my tests and know what settings I need to be at to best replicate my raw settings...  It's being a good business person and photographer... innovate your business or become a starving artist. 
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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 12:32:10 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2012, 12:32:30 PM »
Quote
Convince me to shoot in RAW

why?

it´s your fault when you shoot JPG....

Fail
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RLPhoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2012, 12:38:51 PM »
If you must shoot JPEG, I'd recommend being conservative with the picture control settings. Clip your blacks or highlights, and you'll never see them again.

Not too much sharpening, low contrast, and not too much saturation on the picture control. This will give you some room if you do need to edit a bit more.

If you are being creative with the picture control, Your tweaking the JPEG in camera and wasting time with that when you could be shooting.

What I've been doing quite a bit lately is shooting RAW, Rating the good shots and Processing them in camera w/ the 5D3. I print 4x6's for 10$ a pop at a photo booth straight from a selphy printer w/ a battery. It works out really well.

Infact, In-camera RAW processing is rapidly becoming my favorite feature on my 5D3!!! Which makes decent prints and a good profit for the occasional photo booth I hold from time to time.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 12:45:10 PM by RLPhoto »

V8Beast

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2012, 12:42:44 PM »


It's not a situation of needing to shoot high volume...  but for files that dont need the pushing... I can spend a few hours mucking with raw files, or shoot jpeg and spend the time.... with my family?  on marketing?  on PR?  Shooting more clients?  Time is money and money is money...  It is what it is...  Plus, as I perfect my craft, I find less and less of my stuff needs retouching... Less and less of my stuff needs pushed...  The better I light, the more consistent I light (especially since I stopped using speedlights), if i can do some quick changes... heal brush a pimple or two, do a quick few changes... and since there really isn't that much noticeable difference... 

That's what I was trying to convey. If the additional data in a RAW file is being utilized to turn what's already a good image into an even better image - and you have the time to process it - by all means shoot RAW. However, I see lots of people spend ungodly volumes of time processing RAW images for an end product that looks no better than an out-of-camera jpeg. IMHO, with a highly proficient exposure and lighting technique, a processed RAW file will only look marginally better than a jpeg. There's still a difference, but it's not dramatic.

Personally, the instances where I see a huge difference between RAW files and jpegs are where I'm trying to salvage a shot that I f'd up due to poor technique, or if circumstances prevented lighting a subject in a way that best suited the image to begin with. Others mentioned the flexibility of intentionally underexposing an image in low-light situations, and I think that's another great use of the extra detail in a RAW file.

IMHO, RAW should not be used as a crutch for poor technique, but to make good images even better. RAW is also a great safety net for proficient photographers who botch a shot from time to time :)

EOBeav

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2012, 12:46:57 PM »
Quote
Convince me to shoot in RAW

why?

it´s your fault when you shoot JPG....

That's hardly a helpful response.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

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Marsu42

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2012, 12:47:09 PM »
I know what needs to be large and what doesn't.  It isn't that I'm sacrificing quality...  I've done my tests and know what settings I need to be at to best replicate my raw settings...

How do you do that? In my experience raw files have more headroom when recovering highlights, which esp. makes a visible difference (well, to me at least) when shooting high contrast scenes - and a couple dressed in black and white would fall in this category? But I've never really spent much time tweaking jpeg settings.

EOBeav

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2012, 12:48:39 PM »
Lightroom will help you get greatest amount of dynamic range from your RAW files that simply aren't there with jpg's.
In landscape photography, when you shoot is more important than where.

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2012, 12:48:39 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2012, 12:49:30 PM »
I know what needs to be large and what doesn't.  It isn't that I'm sacrificing quality...  I've done my tests and know what settings I need to be at to best replicate my raw settings...

How do you do that? In my experience raw files have more headroom when recovering shadows, which esp. makes a visible difference (well, to me at least) when shooting high contrast scenes - and a couple dressed in black and white would fall in this category? But I've never really spent much time tweaking jpeg settings.

Shoot shoot shoot...  I'm back from the days of film and slides where when you shot a transparency, there was no postproduction changes... you had to get it right in camera... You had to have the experience where when you shot the shutter, you knew what you were going to get... with transparency, the only post you could do was push/pull... brighten/darken...  overdevelop/underdevelop (exposure slider anyone in photoshop?)...  A client is NOT going to get a set up shot of the church or a table spread as a 20x30...  First dance... eh... maybe 8x10, maybe 11x14...  daughter father dance... maybe 5x7 or screw it, shove it in the album...  first kiss... that MAY be a 11x14 or 16x20 if it's spectacular, but that falls to second string when you have really cool creatives and family portraits...  See where i'm getting at...  You got to know your client... You got to know their needs and wishes... communication, innovation... Clients are starting to order less prints and want more multimedia... fusion videos... etc... it's all about thinking about what will sell when your shooting. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

awinphoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2012, 12:50:47 PM »


It's not a situation of needing to shoot high volume...  but for files that dont need the pushing... I can spend a few hours mucking with raw files, or shoot jpeg and spend the time.... with my family?  on marketing?  on PR?  Shooting more clients?  Time is money and money is money...  It is what it is...  Plus, as I perfect my craft, I find less and less of my stuff needs retouching... Less and less of my stuff needs pushed...  The better I light, the more consistent I light (especially since I stopped using speedlights), if i can do some quick changes... heal brush a pimple or two, do a quick few changes... and since there really isn't that much noticeable difference... 

That's what I was trying to convey. If the additional data in a RAW file is being utilized to turn what's already a good image into an even better image - and you have the time to process it - by all means shoot RAW. However, I see lots of people spend ungodly volumes of time processing RAW images for an end product that looks no better than an out-of-camera jpeg. IMHO, with a highly proficient exposure and lighting technique, a processed RAW file will only look marginally better than a jpeg. There's still a difference, but it's not dramatic.

Personally, the instances where I see a huge difference between RAW files and jpegs are where I'm trying to salvage a shot that I f'd up due to poor technique, or if circumstances prevented lighting a subject in a way that best suited the image to begin with. Others mentioned the flexibility of intentionally underexposing an image in low-light situations, and I think that's another great use of the extra detail in a RAW file.

IMHO, RAW should not be used as a crutch for poor technique, but to make good images even better. RAW is also a great safety net for proficient photographers who botch a shot from time to time :)

Fully agreed. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2012, 01:12:07 PM »

1) Data management.
I don't have the budget for a bunch of HDD's, especially while saving every penny for the MkIII. This is not my biggest concern, but it will be a greater task trying to back up 800 RAW files instead of JPEGs. I know there has got to be a way to delete all images in a folder not chosen for import when using lightroom. If someone could explain that to me or if anyone knows of a workaround, data management wouldn't concern me as much. I always import more than I truly end up with, and I don't want to add to my workflow time by deleting all the out of focus images outside of lightroom before starting the import process.
You can get a 3TB disk right now for $120. Honestly space cannot be an excuse anymore :-)
Don't filter images at the step where you import them. Import them all, then flag the keepers. Once you are done, select all the "rejects" and delete them from LR and disk at the same time.

2) Workflow time with only RAW files.
I know I'll figure out the speediest way for me once I actually start taking on the beast, but some advice on getting started would be greatly appreciated. I advertise a photo-journalistic style for weddings, so I often come home with over a thousand images expecting to choose about half of them to process. Part of this is needing to be more selective in shooting, but I still feel much safer taking three shots of the same pose using the 50D and shallow DoF as there is such a razor thin margin for getting critical areas in focus.
You have to go through all images 1 by 1 to select the keepers - there is no shortcut there. However if you shoot excessively everything, then once you select your keeper from any given spray burst of images, feel free to skip the rest. You only really need 1 good image out of any given burst.

Does lightroom handle RAW files in an efficient manner? With so many images per session, I'd prefer to keep all my work within lightroom. I'm just worried that processing RAW and then processing all the produced images will prove to be too time consuming. It may not be a problem if I did photography full time, but it is currently a weekend job on top of my normal full time job. Business is starting to pick up for me, and time management is starting to become a real issue.

Help please  ;D
It's slightly more sluggish than going through JPEGs but you can mitigate that by creating a new LR catalogue every few months. Fresh catalogue = performance.

gilmorephoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2012, 01:20:28 PM »
Shoot the same picture in JPEG and RAW.  After properly processing the RAW (or even before), compare the two.  If you don't see a meaningful difference to you, then shoot JPEG.  If you see the same meaningful difference that I did the first time I tried this, you will not need anyone to convince you.
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Meh

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2012, 01:22:35 PM »
@awinphoto

Your points about the time/money/storage/etc. involved with shooting RAW are well taken but the counter point is that you could still shoot RAW and auto-process your images in LR/DPP with the standard settings you like and not have to do any further PP.  The computer will run through thousands of images while you're off spending time on any of the other things you mention.  So you've lost nothing but gained something very important... if, as you go through your normal workflow of reviewing all the JPEGS to select the best shots to present to your clients, you happen across a shot you love but feel it needs a little more processing you've got the RAW file to work with.  If not, fine, delete all the RAW files so you don't have to save all the large files.


RobT

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2012, 01:22:51 PM »
Thank you all for the overwhelming amount of responses!

Maybe I should preface my situation a bit: I call myself a "professional" because I once read if I want to actually be a professional I should act like one. I know there is a massive difference between the seasoned professional who takes photos in his sleep and me, someone who has one or two sessions every other weekend and only six weddings planned for next year so far (which I think is great for having started this business in June). Simply because I'm not shooting seven days a week though, doesn't mean I can't be providing a professional service where I strive to give my clients the best product that I can and learn as much as I can to better myself.

Also, when I typed "convinced" I really meant "I've already decided to take the plunge but would still appreciate personal experience."

I greatly appreciate the advice about using LR with RAW. I tend to push exposure a lot for my own style and to accommodate changing light situations as much of what I do is outdoors. In that sense, I'm sure I'll notice the benefits immediately. I'm sure I'll also notice that I'll be needing a new HDD pretty soon, but that's a minimal cost compared to a new camera which I'm already saving for.

I shot an engagement session this morning entirely in RAW. Perhaps this will convert me for life.

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2012, 01:22:51 PM »

awinphoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2012, 01:25:17 PM »
Shoot the same picture in JPEG and RAW.  After properly processing the RAW (or even before), compare the two.  If you don't see a meaningful difference to you, then shoot JPEG.  If you see the same meaningful difference that I did the first time I tried this, you will not need anyone to convince you.

Not quite... Take both pictures... apply corrections to both that you would want your images to look, if any... look at the time needed... the footprint in space, and then overall quality...  then decide if the end justify the means. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2012, 01:33:10 PM »
Quote
When it's coming to backups, I also don't see a problem. I only shoot in raw, which grants me about 300 pictures on my 16GB SD Card in the 5D Mark III, and when processed, I save them as high quality JPEG. You probably wouldn't keep backups in RAW anyway, as it would eat your harddrive like crazy. When I am on vacation, I process the pics worth processing from RAW, the rest gets converted to JPEG via IrfanView without any processing at all.

As for storage of RAW files. I always archive my original RAW files instead of converted JPEGS onto DVDs when I am done (What's the point of shooting in RAW when in the end you only having JPEGs to refer to?). Simply backing and organizing them onto discs solve the storage issue. You can also, as some have mentioned, buy external hard drives to store them. Remember though, archiving files onto DVDs is preferred as opposed to storing files onto hard drives which will corrupt files over time.

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2012, 01:33:10 PM »