Should I go RAW only?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Tony Beach
Senior MemberPosts: 4,735
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My approach
In reply to AlphaTikal, 5 months ago

AlphaTikal wrote:

So, then we are on same boat. I still shoot RAW+JPEG for years and 60% or more of the time I am happy with the JPEGs. Sometimes I am not able to beat the RAW.

The issue though is whether or not optimal JPEG exposure is the same as optimal Raw exposure, and often they are not the same.

And sometimes the time is very important value for me.

Here's my approach:

  • I review the photos in Capture One, they all will typically have WB and exposure compensation settings applied before I view them.
  • The photos I like I will crop (often necessary to make them fit on my computer screen or within a frame for printing), make final adjustments to the settings, clone out spots, then hit the process button and they go to Photoshop.
  • In Photoshop I apply sharpening, tonal curves, resize to fit output medium, then sharpen again before converting to JPEG format.  I have Actions that cover all of these tasks so it's a matter of hitting the Function keys in the correct order.

But when I try to make a really good shot, then I always or almost always use the RAW.

I always try to make a really good photo, so with every shot I take that's my intention.  That being the case, and since I approach the shot differently using Raw than I would using JPEG SOOC, I always just shoot Raw and skip JPEG.

Now sometimes I generate a load of photos that someone else wants to cull through, so while the approach I outlined takes perhaps a minute or so per photo and is not much for one photo taken in isolation, that approach can add up to a lot of time for lots of photos. This is when I go to batch processing where all the photos have the same default settings and quick JPEGs are generated for someone else to view.  After they get back to me with their selections as well as requests (output size, remove a spot on mom's dress, etc.) then I go back to the Capture One and use the approach I outlined above to make the best photo I can for them.

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