Shoot Raw Files

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Alaska Rainbow

Here’s another tip for the shutter bugs. Most cameras default to shooting a jpeg file. Jpeg files are great for looking at on your computer, sending in email, posting on the web and even for casual prints. But if your camera has a raw file setting, there is a whole world of rich color and contrast control at your fingertips. Raw files are intimidating for most people and with good reason. You will need special software to process these files before you can really do anything with them and this will require an investment of money and time. But if you really want to take your photography to the next level, raw files are a valuable tool. I don’t usually recommend specific products or brands but I feel so strongly about Adobe’s Lightroom application that, in this case, I am going to say you should seriously consider it. I know of nothing on the market that comes close for processing raw files. I’ll take a break on photo tips now. If you want more, let me know.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline

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5 thoughts on “Shoot Raw Files

  1. you’re right, I am intimidated by the largeness of RAW files. But occasionally for work and pleasure I would like to produce something that’s maybe 1/10 as rich a photo as you have above. So Lightroom helps you shrink it down and edit it? Is it mac friendly? And as to your lens, did you shoot that pic with a polarized filter? I have one of the $40 or so polarized filter that has the little white arrow that I’m supposed to point at the sun’s direction. Short of me spending big bucks on another lens, do you have any other tips for shooting around water? Love the blog, keep up the great writing and pics.

    • Don’t be afraid John. : ) Raw files are not really all that big. Compared to a jpeg, yes but much smaller than a tiff file of the same dimensions. External hard drives are so cheap now it’s easy to store a lot of data. That’s a better choice than filling up your internal drive.

      Lightroom is very Mac friendly, like all Adobe applications. There are very good tutorial DVDs available from Luminous Landscape.

      I don’t like polarizers. Everyone else does but I never use them. I like to photograph the water as the eye sees it. However, there is no wrong answer.

      Good luck and stay tuned!

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