POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?

Started May 1, 2014 | Polls thread
phototransformations Senior Member • Posts: 2,833
Re: POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?

Erik Ohlson wrote:

Nick - your first illustration defines the problem:

"Expose for the (significant) highlights, develop ("PP") for the shadows"

It's just the old Zone System fo digital.

If the scene is exposed properly you would save yourself a lot of grief - "PP" time, and time between exposures.

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Although exposing for those highlights would have saved that part of this flower JPEG from partially blown highlights, it would also have introduced more noise in the rest of the image. And even with noise reduction turned all the way down in the JPEG settings, the RAW files still have more fine detail in textured surfaces like the petals that no amount of exposure compensation at shot time can correct for.

If what you want to do is shoot JPEGs, then yes, exposing for the highlights and developing for the shadows is exactly what you want to do. If you shoot the same image in RAW, however, then you can afford to slightly overexpose the highlights, knowing you can recover then easily in the RAW file, resulting in a less noisy image with greater dynamic range. The PP effort to do that is about 10 seconds. No grief. And yes, as you point out, shooting JPEGs gives you faster shot-to-shot time, but only when you are shooting in burst mode. In those cases, that's significant and probably outweighs the other advantages of RAW. For static shots, however, it's not clear to me that shorter write times makes any difference.

It seems to me it's fine to shoot either one, the other, or both, just as it was fine to shoot slide film (which had similar limits to JPEGs) or negative film (which had more dynamic range and more latitude in the development process for correction and creative modification). Just different approaches to how to make a photograph.

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