Shoot in RAW – Photo Tip Tuesday

My photo tip for today is to shoot in RAW if your camera supports it.  (All DSLRs can do this.)  I resisted for a really long time because I didn’t know how easy it was to do post-processing.  After someone I met told me how easy it was, I finally tried it.  Now, I regret all of the photos I didn’t take in RAW!  I could have saved myself loads of work in PhotoShop and gotten much better results in many cases.

I have a Canon 5D Mark II camera so I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software that came with the camera. (It was the same software bundled with the Canon Rebel XT too.)

Basically, a RAW file doesn’t throw away any information, so you can easily change the white balance, or lighten or darken or change the contrast or tones without make it look weird.  This photo is SOOC (Straight out of the camera).  Terrible lighting, which is what happens when you shoot at 5 PM inside.

Here I clicked on the white in the skunk’s tail to set the white balance.  Then I cropped.  (It took 5 clicks of my mouse to get the photo to this point.)

Next I warmed up the color tones by using the slider and clicked up the sharpness by a few notches.  I also reduced the noise in the photo.  (Those three steps are my favorite ones that are only available on RAW photos, not when using the software to process JPGs.)

Last, I stepped up the brightness.  I really should have used a white blanket for a background instead of a cream-colored one.  (I need to buy a white one!)

Overall, it’s not an award-winning photo, but I like the look on Jackson’s face and his sweater, although it makes him look really round!

Leave me a comment if you are interested in learning more about RAW and I can explain a bit more about my workflow next Tuesday.  I have a baby (AKA not a lot of free time).  I tend to take the easy (AKA fast) way when it comes to processing my photos.

Live, Love, TRAVEL

8 Responses to Shoot in RAW – Photo Tip Tuesday

  1. Shooting in RAW is a smart way of shooting. I’ve been shooting in RAW for a couple of years now and I never went back to jpg, unless if I was shooting a family event and everyone wanted to download snapshots to their laptops after the party. :)

  2. Perfect edit….adorable “little stinker” with that skunk shirt!

  3. you are so right–shooting in RAW changed my life! it makes such a difference! Thanks for sharing your steps!

  4. I love shooting in RAW. But I only use it when I am doing an actual session in the interest of saving space. They are huge files. But I can adjust all the things you mentioned- WB, clarity, color tones & all sorts of other things in PSE9- so I leave the RAW files to the really important pics & shoot in jpg for all the everyday moments. :)

  5. YOU, miss Emily, are the person who told ME about shooting in raw. And it’s all I do now. I would like a million more tips, please. PS are you small styling tomorrow?

  6. Yes, it is a space hog, but I figure space is pretty cheap. I try to be more liberal in deleting, knowing that I will never actually use a lot of the photos I take!

  7. @Erica, yep, just scheduled the Small Style post! I’m hooked.

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