TimsPhotography 101 - Episode 1: Why you should shoot RAW
Welcome my dear Steemian friends to a new series called: TimsPhotography 101!
As you know I am very enthused about photography and what started as an experiment turned into a profound passion. Steemit became the first place of my choice to share my work, simply because of the amazing community. Thanks to everybody. You are amazing!
I got many questions from you, such as: "How do you edit your pictures?" or "What camera do you use?". After some consideration, I came to the conclusion that not only I want to show you my photography but also my work process and tips and tricks. Therefore I started this new series in which I will explain a specific topic in each episode, starting today with choosing the right picture format.
Picture format, right! Shooting with the right format can be the missing part to your perfect shot! Trust me, I speak from experience and also got some nice examples for you. But first, let's have a look at the two most commonly used picture formats: JPEG and RAW.
JPEG stands for "Joint Photographic Experts Group." and is a popular image file that is mostly use to store photographs and save space. For every color there are used 8 bits. Since we have red, green and blue (RGB), it is possible to store (2^8)^3= 2^24 colours in the JPEG format. You took out your calucator? The result is 16,777,216! So many colors, amazing right? But that's not all, shooting in JPEG means the picture is being processed right within the camera itself. Settings and corrections such as white balance, noise reduction, sharpening, blacks and much more are being processed by the camera and can't be changed afterwards. There is almost no room left for editing the picture.
Let's have a look at this picture for instance. It represents the JPEG shot of the mountains I took in Austria. It was cold and I was in a hurry. I didn't have enough time to play with the perfect settings and as you can see, the result is poorly.
Here is the exact same shot in RAW. Note that the camera settings were the same. Exposure and aperture were not changed.
So while JPEG shots are processed and compressed, RAW files are uncompressed and unprocessed! Quite simple, right? Let's get back to the bits depth. Depending on your camera model you will have either 12 or 14 bits! What does it mean? In the example above with 8 bits we saw that we have around 16,77 millions different tones. In RAW we have (2^12)^3 or (2^14)^3 which results in 68.7 billion or 4.4 trillion different tones! From millions to billions or even trillions, insane! (Hope our market cap will grow the same way). Since RAW files are unprocessed you will notice they are pretty flat in their colors. That's not a problem since we can edit them as we wish! We can change the white balance, blacks, saturation...we can change everything we want! And the best thing is we can save the file and edit it later again.
The camera saves much more information about the scene and due to the nature of uncompressed files the images are much larger than JPEG.
The reason why I shoot in RAW is that I have the freedom to edit my pictures afterwards and save as much information as I can. You get an overall better picture quality because the picture is uncompressed and has less artifacts. If however your memory card is low on space I recommend you to shoot in JPEG. Also take into account that if you want to take rapidly shots, your camera will be faster in shooting JPEG. JPEG for sure offers also a great picture quality and in fact I upload my pictures in JPEG. But shooting, saving and editing them always happens in RAW.
Hope this helped you and you show me your photographs! Don't forget to coin the MyPictureDay photography contest and win big prizes!.