RAW heresy?

Started Sep 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
nannyg Senior Member • Posts: 1,738
Re: RAW heresy? In defense of JPEG

I'm not about to tell anyone they shouldn't shoot in RAW and shouldn't spend lots of time fiddling with their photos using their complex and expensive software. If you are good at it and it pleases you, great. My problem is with the not-too-subtle insinuation that anyone who makes the opposite choice is a idiot doomed to forever live in dregs of amateurish photo-taking.

I may indeed join the RAW/lightroom flock of sheep some day soon, but I'm not there yet. I process my JPEG photos using the free and easy iPhoto software already on my Apple computer. When I alter a photo, iPhoto ALWAYS remembers the original (so that nonsense about losing the original after changes are applied is moot for me). If I want multiple copies to process a photo a multitude of different ways, it's just a click away. I have plenty of controls to suit my tastes for now.

Over the past few months, I have seen numerous threads extolling the virtues of RAW in it's ability to rescue otherwise fatally flawed photos. But in each case the photos presented as "rescued" were nothing an iPhone could not have captured just as well on the first try. It also begs the question of why the photo needed to be rescued in the first place. You don't take multiple shots of important subjects? You don't glance at the display on the back of the camera after the click?

We need to face up to the fact that so much post-processing is being done now that no one can assume the image they are looking at really represents the reality the photographer was seeing before the click of the shutter. There's nothing wrong with that, necessarily. But I'll bet a lot of RAW enthusiasts spend a lot of time "improving" reality without really admitting to themselves (or others) that they are doing so.

There is something to be said for letting the photo speak for itself (and getting the settings right in the camera).

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