First of all - what is Camera RAW?
Camera RAW is essentially an unprocessed and uncompressed data captured by your camera’s image sensor. Once selected and enabled within your camera's menu, virtually all professional and consumer cameras will save the image onto the memory card in their native, proprietary raw format.
How would you recognize a raw file on the drive? Look at the file extension. Canon saves raw files as .CR2. Nikon as .NEF, Fujifilm as .RAF and Sony raw files have .ARW file extension.
What are the benefits of saving images in Camera RAW mode?
If you don’t choose to save your images in Camera RAW format, your camera will default them to JPEG. This also means that the camera will convert the raw data captured by the camera’s sensor and process it on-the-fly before it becomes as JPEG image. The camera’s internal processing engine is going to apply its own colour correction, it will embed White Balance settings and compress the image in order to reduce its file size. How these corrections are applied onto the JPEG image depend on your camera’s built-in selection of colour profiles, film simulations, mood filters and so on. They vary greatly depending on the make of your camera and the settings of the presets. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re shooting a birthday party or your cat. In fact, JPEGs produced by your camera can be useful for general purposes, but you don’t have much say in how the image ends up looking once the camera saves it onto the memory card. Your camera will take these decisions away from you, and that’s rarely a good thing for a creative photographer.
OK. I have RAW files. Now what?
Think of a RAW file like a that giant mixing board in the music recording studio with hundreds of buttons, dials and sliders. You know what I’m talking about. There’s nothing you can’t do to that sound on that giant mixer. Same applies for a RAW image; when you edit one, you’re tapping into its maximum potential, assuming you know what you’re doing. RAW image editing is that one thing which truly separates digital photography from the analogue one. Unlimited control, flexibility, power and endless creativity. Some of the most powerful and popular RAW image editors are Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Capture One, Skylum Luminar and DxO PhotoLab.
I’ve compiled a small gallery of images which demonstrate how much information a RAW image contains. ‘Before’ (left side) shows you how the images looked like out of the camera, without editing, in RAW format. ‘After’ (right side) is the same image after RAW conversion and processing. I think you’ll agree that the differences are striking to say the least!
Do you want to learn this?
Here’s the pitch; I can teach you how to master RAW conversion and editing. I’ll run two intense, hands-on workshops during Xposure Photography Festival in Sharjah this September. I’ll show you the right way to shoot and expose your images, so they will be optimal for RAW image editing. I’ll run many practical examples and demonstrate the whole process from beginning to the end. You’ll learn the best way to import RAW files into your editing application, how to sort your images prior to editing their exposure values, white balance, optical imperfections, sharpness and tonal control. If you are passionate about photography and genuinely want to become better at the craft, then this is your chance to learn the ins and outs of RAW image editing.
Follow THIS link and book your spot now, there are only 12 seats, and they are going fast! All details, timing, etc about the workshop are listed on the Xposure’s website. Looking forward to meeting you all there!