The Power of Raw

opening-image001I switched my shooting from jpeg to raw several years ago.  Even though file sizes jumped from 6MB to 35MB for each image, I haven’t looked back since.  Camera Raw offers tremendous post-production control over your images.  The camera simply records the raw capture of the image and doesn’t process any of the settings.  Since settings like white balance and sharpening are not baked into the file, you can manipulate all of these settings after the fact.  This allows for great flexibility in Photoshop or Lightroom to tweak nearly every aspect of the image other than focus and framing.

This is certainly nothing new to most photographers out there, and like I said, I’ve been shooting raw for several years now.  So why write about it now?  Well, I’m used to being stuck with ‘baked’ files when shooting video on the 5D, but I just shot my first time-lapse a few days ago at a carnival here in Danbury.  Time-lapse uses still images, so I was able to bring all the wonderful power of raw to a video project for the first time.  It was like discovering the magic of raw all over again, and it makes me wish it were available for all my video projects.  Yes, I could get video Raw that with a Red One, but I don’t have the budget to drop $50K on a new camera at the moment.

Anyway, I’ll post the time-lapse experiment soon, but I figured I’d post a few before/after shots from images in the time lapse.  Raw brings incredible vigor to an otherwise lifeless image.  Here are a few examples of before & after:

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