Confession of a Lazy JPG Snap Shooter

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Confession of a Lazy JPG Snap Shooter
In reply to gil, Nov 16, 2012

There are a couple of reasons why I shoot raw (actually raw +jpg).

When I bought the A700, I decided that I was going to use it like I did my film cameras - learn the characteristics of the different jpg color options and make specific choices of the characteristics I wanted for specific situations - just like I experimented with different negative and slide films to understand their characteristics and then selected one or two different film types when I went on a shoot.

The difference was that while I had 5 print film types and 2 slide film types to choose from there are almost 100 combinations of color styles (including changes to contrast, saturation, and brightness, but not counting DRO, WB or B&W modes.)  After trying different combinations and multiple shoots I reached the conclusion that by simply using raw, and proper exposure, I could optimize each shot in PP and even use different color styles from one raw shot.  To me that was the real advantage of digital was that I did not have to make those selections based on my mood and what I saw at the time I took the shot (although by using raw +jpg, I still can and do), but can work with the basic data to get the image(s) that I want.

The second reason is that by keeping the raw files, as raw software improves (as for example going from Sony IDC or LR version 1 to version 3), I can improve over what I could produce originally or what Sony's image engineers were able to do at the time.  (And to see the benefit of that read the comments of the early Sony camera jpg engines.)

By using the raw files plus newer raw software and newer image processing software (such as HDR software) I have resurrected "ok" images and greatly improved them.

Below is a jpg from my KM 7D made back in 2006.  While I got the detail I wanted in the steam engine, the overall shot didn't appeal to me because of the blown out sky.  The image below it was reprocessed from the raw last year.   I reprocessed the raw file, using LR3 to create 7 tiffs with different ev adjustments (from +3ev to -3ev) and combined them as an HDR in Pixamatic.  All of the detail in the HDR image was in the original raw image, but was lost in the original jpg, and could not even be brought back when re-processing the raw conventionally.  The 3rd shot is another HDR done the same way using a raw file from that original shoot.


Original jpg with post processing

original raw (2006) reprocessed as 7 Tiffs (+3ev to -3 ev) and HDR combined in pixamatic

Another 1-raw to 7-Tiff to 1HDR from the same shoot

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