Why shoot RAW and Post-Process?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
PhotoTeach2 Senior Member • Posts: 7,445
Re: Poor advice

skanter wrote:

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

skanter wrote:

Gerry Winterbourne wrote:

skanter wrote:

Smith-64 wrote:

skanter wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

skanter wrote:

The article clearly explains what shooting RAW is a big advantage, and has little down side.I recommend that all beginners shoot RAW and PP from the start. Again, YMMV.

I am absolutely NOT diminishing the value of RAW.

But I question the wisdom of recommending to "all" beginners. Many "beginners" simply want to TAKE PICTURES, (ala take a LOT of pictures).

Many beginners have JOBS or other activities and simply don't have TIME to devote to PP. (or don't WANT to take the time)

I have been into (darkroom) photography since 1959, and owned a darkroom-photo-lab for 15 years, so certainly not a "beginner" in either photography or "(darkroom)processing".

And I am not proud to admit I neither have or know how to PP (PS/LR). I really DO want to learn it.

But I don't feel it is essential or necessary.

Note that I am NOT saying it is not "beneficial", just that I DON'T HAVE TIME.

Now perhaps that is because of my specific camera, (FZ-1000).

I do LOVE its "zebras" as I can easy/fast ETTR and thus simply never felt the NEED to PP, as I am 100% satisfied with my SOOC, (but not saying they could not be further improved).

Indeed with it's additional shooting opportunities from FULLY-articulated/reversible LCD and 1/4000s flash-sync, I do find I am now shooting 10X more images than ever before, (so again NO TIME to PP all of them).

So ASSUMING a "beginner" can indeed get 100% satisfactory images, SOOC, maybe it is unnecessary or counter-productive to "recommend" a beginner to PP -- UNLESS HE INDEED SPECIFICALLY "WANTS" TO.

Most beginners don’t have enough knowledge or experience to know what is possible.

A recommendation is just that. It needn’t be followed - no one is recommending prison for jpg shooters. There is no need to get all defensive and start USING ALL CAPS!!!

For me, the captured RAW file is just the -beginning- of the process - the PP is where the image is fully created and where the fun and creativity come in - and the main advantage of modern digital photography. You PP only the images that you will be using - not all of them. That’s my process and how I teach photography - but I do not force people to do it my way. You can do it however you want. It all depends on your idea of what photography is all about.

Personally, I could never use an image straight OOC - I can always make it better, different, and more to my vision of how I want it to look.

BTW, using LR and batch processing a RAW workflow takes no more time than JPG.

I prefer to work on improving my camera skill to reduce the requirement for PP.

PP is not -required- to fix, or correct somehing that should have been done during the capture, though it is sometimes used for that purpose.

PP is an essential part of the creative process - if you conceive of photography as a creative process or an art form rather than just trying to make a representation of a subject.

No it isn't, as a general statement. See below *.

The human eye and brain is far different from a camera and lens.

True but irrelevant to this discussion.

PP allows the photographer to adjust the image according to his or her own vision - adjusting color, dodging, burning, sharpening, etc. both global and selective parts of the image.

* Modern cameras allow you to do all the global things by altering their settings. Whether those alterations are done before or after pressing the shutter they are still part of the creative process. The only difference is the time when the photographer makes the creative choices.

Some pictures need selective editing, some don't. That's specific to each picture and not a general rule about creativity.

The original RAW file of the capture is just the first step. Obviously the great photographers did some of this in the wet darkroom, though now we have far more creative choices in the digital darkroom. I would never use an image SOOC - the camera is incapable of knowing what I want the image to look like,

True; but nor does your editing software.

and it -always- requires my creative input,

See above about the timing of that input. You choose to make your input after capture, which is fine for you. But that doesn't make it universally right for everyone else.

If you believe making adjustments before the capture and and after the capture are the same,

It would help if you read what I wrote. I didn't say they are the same, I said they are both part of a creative process. You don't seem to grasp that there are ways that are different but equally valid.

You wrote this:

" You choose to make your input after capture, which is fine for you. But that doesn't make it universally right for everyone else."

...implying that some choose to input before, some after - personal choice, no advantage to either. Hence my comment that you thought they were the same in terms of validity. I obviously input both before and after, not -just-after. It's a process. Perhaps you could write more clearly to express your ideas instead of blaming my reading skills?

You mentioned the wet darkroom earlier, and the possibility of altering the look of a photo. But that applies only to negative work: slides have to have all the thought and setting done before exposure. While not (of course) identical to shooting JPG there are many similarities.

To tell a slide photographer that post processing is essential would be nonsense; to tell a JPG shooter that is plain insulting.

What do slides have to do with the discussion? We are talking about modern digital photography and software, not Ektachrome. Now you are grasping at straws,

I see it as very pertinent since you first introduced "wet-darkroom" as could be used to "correct" exposure/contrast errors.

And as (similar) to (SOOC) JPEG, slides are a valid comparison since they allowed no "PP".

I cannot help you, no matter how hard you try to argue your point.

I'm not the one who needs help.

I disagree. I'll leave it to your own self- awareness to figure it out.

Well, I have to disagree with you.

If you are happy with your photos SOOC, fine.

But what I or you choose for ourselves gives neither of us the right to claim that it's an essential part of anything but our own preference.

No one is forcing you or anyone else to do PP on your photos. I find it essential, you don't. You want to keep arguing about it. I don't. I'm moving on - you can have the last word, and I'm sure you will need to.

Well you are sorta "forcing" when you teach it as "essential" to beginners.

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