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Thread: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

  1. #1
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    This came up in the small sensor forum and instead of telling folks Raw is better . I think we should explain the benefits of raw first and why overall it is better to start there than shooting jpeg only. I'm actually surprised this topic has not been talked about. I know in the past this was one of the bigger hot topics on forums and many debates over this. I think for folks new into digital we should revisit this. I talk too much so i give this a forum member challenge.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  2. #2
    dlew308
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    What's a jpg?
    I've converted others to shoot in raw. I'm not the best at post processing them but I tell them it's harder to do but worth it being able to PP better. Plus you can also do semi HDR with one raw file, I do it to fix some images.

  3. #3
    Player
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Why is RAW overall better to start with? The same reason that a negative is better to start with than say scanning a print. The RAW file contains all the data the camera is capable of capturing. An in-camera jpeg has altered that original data sometimes in ways that are not expressing the photograph the best possible way, plus you can always create a jpeg from a RAW file, but you can't create a RAW file from a jpeg.

    The RAW file puts the onus on the photographer to make of it what he wants, or is able to; a jpeg has imposed limitations, loss of creative control, that you just have to live with. What you see is pretty much what you get (from an IQ standpoint).

    This thread seems like a pop quiz.
    Last edited by Player; 27th June 2008 at 03:23.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Well, this discussion started over on the GX200 thread and I have been soundly beaten about the ears for saying I like the jpegs from the Digilux 2 and the Oly E410 well enough to just dispense with the raw files most of the time.
    Blasphemy!!

    I believe this question has to take into consideration what each individual's requirements are in terms of final use for the photos. If you're someone like me who is just getting into this hobby and has a limited budget, there may be a point of diminishing returns. Do I really NEED to spend $200 or 300 on Aperture or Lightroom plus another $700 on Photoshop at this point, or would my money be better spent saving up for some decent lenses? Or taking a workshop? Or just traveling to someplace interesting where I'll find inspiration to USE my camera?

    And what about having to buy an external drive to back up all these HUGE files I'll be generating? And the printer, ink, and paper to make great big prints (because if all I'm going to print are 4x6's, surely I don't need the ultimate IQ, right?)

    You see where my frustration lies? I can certainly agree that for the BEST possible finished product, shooting raw makes all kinds of sense. But to do this hobby at this level, one needs a lot of the old buckaroos that I simply DO NOT HAVE. Should I just give up on the whole idea, or can I learn and have fun and leave all this high level processing stuff for later? Does it make sense to concentrate on being creative and working towards developing a style and perspective that's unique before I worry about the grand and glorious prints I might make someday? Let's face it, 99% of the crap I've taken to date hardly deserves to reside on my hard drive (except for memories sake) let alone be considered worthy of fine art prints.

    OK, I've blabbed enough. Let's hear the rebuttals!
    Regards,
    Joan

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    I think you're just right Joan. Everybody gets where they're going by taking their own path. Or as the sages have said, "it's not the destination but the journey that matters".

    Eventually, you may decide to add all the resources you've listed and reconsider RAW. At that point you may even look back at your initial jpegs with a kind of nostalgia. (And for some of those same files, maybe with a twinge of regret that they aren't RAW.)

    Best,
    Tim

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    I guess the real question is, "will I ever get there?" LOL Sometimes I think maybe I should try to 'do it right' from the start and follow peoples' advice about shooting raw and learning the whole process. But truly it does seem like trying to spit polish a pig at this point!
    Regards,
    Joan

  7. #7
    Player
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Joan, I think whether or not someone shoots RAW is a personal decision, and that decision doesn't influence one way or the other whether or not RAW is more beneficial than jpegs. RAW clearly is regardless of how someone decides to work.

    This is an analogy that pops into my head, and forgive me if it's not too good, but I may have always wanted to be a pilot of my own airplane, but I realized that I didn't want to do everything it takes to accomplish that goal, like getting a pilot's license and buying an airplane, so I decide to build model airplanes instead, and fly them in my backyard, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it's not the same as actually flying a real airplane. But on the other hand, maybe for some other would-be pilot, flying the model airplane is satisfying enough. If that makes sense, if not, forgive me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Right, the analogy makes sense. I don't want to hog this thread regarding my own personal issues, just trying to establish whether it makes sense to delay the expense of the software until later on down the learning path, or bite the bullet and invest in it now and put off spending $$ on lenses and classes, etc..
    Regards,
    Joan

  9. #9
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Joan, I hardly think you're hogging the thread, and it's great being able to talk to you, plus, I don't know about anyone else, but it's helping to clarify in my own mind stuff I never really thought deeply enough about, so thanks!

    If I may say, I think if you want to get the most out of your photography, the sooner the better, but then again I don't know if lenses or classes would be more beneficial first. You certainly need good lenses, but you could learn this stuff on your own. The Internet is filled with information about working with RAW. I found photonet.com to be an amazing resourse. Just by reading all the posts by Andrew Rodney, and a few other posters, would supply all the puzzle pieces. Best of luck whatever you decide.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    I guess the real question is, "will I ever get there?" LOL ...
    I say trust your instincts. Everyone has their own learning style. Lenses and workshops and lots of just plain shooting might be perfect for you. It's not an unreasonable plan to get yourself to a comfort level with the basics before taking on the additional technical requirements and learning curves that go along with RAW.

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Thanks for the input guys. I have been waffling about for well over a year just trying to get comfortable with a camera that "works" for me. It's hard not to get caught up in the lust for gear when one frequents these online forums! I've at least narrowed it down to a small list of "wants" in the camera/lens department, so all the trial and error hasn't been completely wasted.

    Poco a poco, se va lejos. (Old Spanish saying - literally, little by little, one goes far.)
    Regards,
    Joan

  12. #12
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Joan, I think TRSmith is right on the money. It's about the process and not the destination, because when you think about it, it really is a never-ending journey with technology and techniques constantly evolving, plus I don't know if the 800 pound gorilla (Photoshop) can ever be mastered. Everyone is still learning regardless of how far along they are, so we're all really in the same boat, just with different challenges. Destinations have been reached, but there are more destinations to pursue. And it's never ending.

    And I don't think we can compare ourselves with anyone else, just continue to learn from whatever point you're at, and most importantly, enjoy it. The journey can be as enjoyable from point A as it can be from point C, or whatever. It's all good!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    Right, the analogy makes sense. I don't want to hog this thread regarding my own personal issues, just trying to establish whether it makes sense to delay the expense of the software until later on down the learning path, or bite the bullet and invest in it now and put off spending $$ on lenses and classes, etc..
    No ONE can hog a thread. Your expressing what you feel, go for it and the same questions your asking yourself and us is what a million other hobbyists ask. Reason we started the thread was to provide the data for you and everyone else to think about. Also you do not have to spend almost any money on software . There are free programs . Silkypix , Raw Developer and a couple others are free. ( Please correct this if I am wrong) . Anyway this decision does not require you to act all at once either, take your time and figure out all the options.

    I was trying to let others speak , but like always have to open my big mouth. But here goes , I think the most important thing for a hobbyist is to decide how far , how much and how much dedication to the art you want to put in. Some folks very little just want to shoot and enjoy what they shot good , bad or indifferent. Others want to take this very far into there process and dedication on how much they want to be involved. I think it maybe fair to say for hobbyists there are many levels ( for lack of a better word) of participation involved in photography. Just need to decide how far you want to go or not. Than you can always change you mind. The beauty here is the hobbyists have all the freedom in the world to decide and do whatever they want . Pro's do not have many choices unless we don't want to eat and frankly I like food a lot.


    Joan let me add one thing than I will shut up. Forums like this have many folks from all walks of life and many different needs and/or wants. Some of us love the instant gratification of having the best gear and everything right away( me). Than some take there time and fall in love with it and add stuff over a time period. Nothing wrong with either camp, just don't jump into something that you may regret later and/or to fast for your abilities also. We all like to run before we can walk but a nice leisurely stroll is a good thing also.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  14. #14
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Guy, I was thinking about my last post, and the one thing I omitted which you expressed so nicely is, "take your time." So what if you're shooting jpegs now and enjoying your photography. It seems that Joan has become aware of the benefits of shooting RAW but she's currently shooting jpegs. That's okay! The RAW thing may have created a crisis for her, but that's good, now she's shooting jpegs with a goal in mind of progressing to RAW shooting, but what's the rush? You don't have to buy all these things at once. If she feels she needs a lens next, get that, and enjoy it, and learn what it can and can't do. Take a class, study on your own, whatever you think is most important and what you can afford. There's no hurry. Just enjoy whatever you're doing, and take your time. Learn about all the raw processors out there, ask questions, take notes. Mull over whether you want go the Photoshop route, or just a stand-alone RAW processor, or a combination of both, then figure-out a way to make it happen.

    Someone is not going to be instantly a better photographer because they're shooting RAW. You can improve your technique shooting jpeg as you could shooting RAW. Yes!, "a nice leisurely stroll is a good thing."

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Thanks , One other quick thing if you have a child in school than some educational discounts are available with software . I think CS3 is maybe 199 dollars compared to 800 dollars. So this maybe a avenue for some. Geez i have a 18 year old daughter and I did not think of that until now.

    BTW Great Discussion and everyone should read it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Joan,
    As Tim, Guy and others have pointed out, capturing RAW provides the most any camera capable of delivering that kind of file will produce, and give you the most flexibility. However, there are some things that one can do when shooting JPEGs that can have them coming out of the camera looking quite stunning. First, make sure your white balance is correct for the scene you are shooting, and if you can custom white balance, that is the best way to go. It will require doing that for each new lighting setting, but it is so worth the effort. The second thing is to make sure your exposure reading are as good as you can get them....not blowing the highlights, nor clipping/crushing the blacks. Sometimes a 1/3 stop either way can make a world of difference in the final product. Always save the largest (least compressed) JPEG file you possibly can. Memory cards are cheap, and more data saved is better every time. And play around with the camera settings to get your contrast, sharpness and saturation to your liking, and maybe even different for different settings/scenes. If you start doing these things regularly, you will be amazed at how easy shifting to RAW will become, as you are essentially setting things up for as good a capture as you can from the start. After that, playing with RAW files in processing can become both fun and creative.

    So, if you have a camera that allows the kind of adjustments discussed, you can crank out superb JPEGs. Many event photogs and others taking high volumes of shots never bother with RAW, but they do bother getting the settings as best they can for JPEGs. That learning process actually makes RAW look easier after a while, and once you shift, you will not want to go back.

    LJ

  17. #17
    Player
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Geeze, I hope I'm not talking too much, but Guy, that's a perfect example of finding a way to make something happen. If you have a kid in school that would knock 600 bucks off PS. In my case, I started with Ulead that came free with the original crappy Spider calibrator. Then I tried all the free editors out there and eventually ponied-up for Elements 3. It wasn't until I reached the point that I absolutely knew I needed Photoshop did I buy CS3. The point is don't buy anything until you know you need it. Just because the vast majority of photographers may say, for example, that PS is the way to go, it's not the way for you to go until you understand why it's the way to go. And even then, there are alternatives. Maybe Lightroom, or a combination of LR and the newest edition of Elements, for about half the price of PS CS3.

    And have fun!!!

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    to play the devil's advocate, i see pretty often people get sidetracked by technology and an image of perfection.

    cartier-bresson said, 'i am not interested in photography, i'm interested in life.' and had someone else print his pics

    robert henri in 'the art spirit' urges students over and over again to be a master at every stage of the game, to be masters of what they already know. and to only develop (learn) new stuff when they need it to express a specific idea.

    the choreographer twyla tharp said, 'all you need when you're stuck is a new idea.'

    personally, i think the aim is not perfection but expressiveness.

    though i've shot a lot of raw in the past year, for the moment the jpegs from the fuji f30/31 seem to me to often be the most interesting.

    if you only show on the web (or mostly), noise, for example, seldom matters.

    even in shows. a few of these jpegs shot with a hundred dollar polaroid x530 from the audience: http://www.pbase.com/wwp/blue then blown up into large prints (something like 20x30) for a show of theater photos. out of the couple hundred displayed pics of various sizes, etc., many people liked these the best.

    true, having raw files is a nice luxury, but a review of the fuji s6000 said you had to shoot raw to match the jpegs of the f30/31.

    ultimately, it depends on your vision, doesn't it?

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp
    Last edited by smokysun; 27th June 2008 at 15:20.

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Wayne,
    Not going to argue with the various philosophies you highlight, nor with the drive toward creative expression. And it is not always about a "perfect" image. But if the image capture is totally lousy and data has been clipped or lost, it cannot get better. On the other hand, if the image contains the most information, the photographer can choose what to discard or use for creativity. HCB's films may not have been perfect exposures, but you can be assured that they were within a range that would allow his lab folks to work with them ;-) Getting it good from the start is a simple discipline that give one the freedom to be as expressive and experimental as they care to be. All of the people and philosophies you mention took much the same approach. Perfect practice permits the most freedom. Bad practice instills habits that are much harder to fix later. One need not be rigid or overtechnical or anything else to create expressive masterpieces, but understanding light and how to use it most effectively to express one's vision comes with lots of experimentation and/or learning.

    LJ

  20. #20
    Player
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Wayne, I think it depends what you want to do with photography. If your goal is selling images as stock, for example, then the technical quality is probably more important than the vision. To make an artistic statement, the pendulum could swing the other way. Afterall, a great expressive image is great because of the idea, content, and artistry, but if you're trying to sell deodorant to the masses, the picture needs to clear and technically undistracting.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Let's face it folks of all the masters mentioned above, they were technically masters as well. They knew how to shoot in any condition with any light and get great exposures just guessing at it. Not many talk about there technical abilities but more of there art. This really is not about the art of photography though but more about the readiness to shoot and knowing what you walk into and how to adjust to the situation and conditions at hand . The old masters knew this stuff exteremly well and trust me there were not many surprises when they processed there film , they knew what they had in the can.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Joan,
    You can go a long, long way shooting jpegs. I shoot RAW but a very good (and successful) professional photographer friend of mine has been shooting jpegs for the past ten years or more. I used to tell him he was crazy but it was a tough sell because his jpegs were better than my RAW's I do think that for someone who wants to take it to the next level you need to develop post processing skills. Without those, shooting RAW isn't going to do much for you. There are some great online tutorials which can help you along the way.

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the thoughts and advice expressed here. You've given me a lot to think about, and I do realize that it's what I want to get out of this that determines the answers to the questions I posed. And, YES, my son is going to be a college student soon, so maybe I can get some academic software deals, great idea!

    I initially got into digital photography in order to try to get some good reference photos to use for my watercolor paintings. Now I find I'm really enjoying it a lot for its own sake. So, I am going to try to just take it one step at a time and add a little bit more to my skill set as I go. Rome wasn't built in a day, and I still want get back to my painting -- I've spent 25 years working at that, so I know I can stick to something and persevere.
    Regards,
    Joan

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    i can't disagree with anything that's been said. however, these three dvd's a great lesson in the greats:

    http://www.amazon.com/Contacts-Vol-G...4620964&sr=8-2

    each segment is a photographer talking about his or her contact sheets as he or she goes thru them. this includes many of the greats. and for every iconic photo you will find half a dozen (at least) versions.

    a book i'm re-reading and can't recommend highly enough:

    http://www.amazon.com/Education-Phot...4621256&sr=8-1

    here you will find many more of the great (and lots of others).

    to answer guy a little more directly. most of the masters used one camera and one or two kinds of film. they knew their rolliflex/leica/view camera backwards and forwards. and usually with one or two fixed focus lenses. we keep changing our equipment, looking for the camera that will make us better photographers. an embarassment of riches! they had much simpler resources.

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

    ps. helen those cumulative three years in the big apple wonderful experiences. envy.

    pss. sorry to ramble on. one good way of getting a usable, high-density jpeg: load with lightroom, then save as a 16 bit tiff. a 6 meg jpeg ends up a 34 meg tiff.
    Last edited by smokysun; 27th June 2008 at 20:16.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Wow, I saw this thread was starting to buzz but was on my way out the door for a beach weekend. Just sat down and got to read the whole thing. Lots of good thoughts. I was shooting jpegs with compacts for a while and moved to shooting RAW exclusively with the M8 (as we all know how good the jpegs are and how horrific the WB used to be!) I am very far from being a master at PP but I learn a little bit more all the time. I know a lot of people really don't like Lightroom, but that is what I learned on. I've got to give Adobe some credit for putting all the RAW tools out there generally in the correct order to get a good workflow. Now that ACR has a lot of what Lightroom has, Photoshop Elements which includes ACR is a bargain at $80 or about $60 as a student....from what I understand there isn't a whole lot missing from Elements these days.

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Wayne,
    The contacts series is fantastic. I've watched most of the segments and the DVDs were used as part of a class I took at ICP.

    Terry

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    to answer guy a little more directly. most of the masters used one camera and one or two kinds of film. they knew their rolliflex/leica/view camera backwards and forwards. and usually with one or two fixed focus lenses. we keep changing our equipment, looking for the camera that will make us better photographers. an embarassment of riches! they had much simpler resources.



    I agree Wayne we do switch a lot (Guilty) and for newcomers and with less experience this can be very dangerous because you never really get that chance to be to intimidate with a camera and this take time to learn. For me no problem just because of my experience but still sometimes I feel too often. For me I have been chasing MF quality for several years in 35mm and coming up short until recently just buying the darn thing and getting over with it. One reason I like The M8 is because it is a great teaching tool both on the workshops and for folks that have the means but want to learn also. It is a simple camera with few bells and whistles but more important for learning is if you want great images you need to work the camera and get to know that tool real well so you can leave the technical stuff outside the brain and concentrate on the image.

    My believe is when you master the tech end and make it simple and easy for you this leaves the energy into creating a image. I do this everyday and to struggle with gear is a big no no . Clients don't pay Pro's to struggle and play games with the gear, they pay us to produce. I like to teach this to the hobbyist and get to know your gear so well that you don't have to think about that end of it. When you free your mind than you free the creative juices to flow. This is one reason I like the M8 because it is simple and you work the camera in the creative side. It's funny most advanced hobbyist and Pro's will turn off more stuff on the Canon's and Nikons than turn on. Just because the camera has it does not mean you have to use it. I would love to see more folks turn some things off on these robots than turn on.

    Now taking this back to Raw with the same thoughts . Raw teaches you how to expose and how to work images so when you are out there shooting you know exactly what you can do and know exactly what will get you in trouble. I would like to say look at the big picture of the whole process of shooting and processing and you learn more from that than just shooting a jpeg and posting it on the web. I know many folks just posting on the web is fine and nothing wrong with that it is the level they want to work in but if you want to progress and grow in photography you should learn everything you can and understand it all. This will make you a better shooter more than any gear will. Even after 35 years shooting i wake up everyday hoping to learn more and the day that stops I hope i am in a box. I love to learn and encourage everyone to do the same. That is the fun part of Photography.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  28. #28
    Bob Yanal
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    A thought-provoking discussion of raw v. jpg:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/raw.htm

    A polemical response (and some tips):

    http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/How_..._workflow.html

  29. #29
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    I don't think Rockwell is anti-RAW, it's just that he perceives his audience to be amateurs/ snapshooters.

  30. #30
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Exactly , after reading his stuff sometimes a gun to my head would be a better option. I just can't read the guy at all. But that is me and he will do and say whatever he wants . Free world
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  31. #31
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Exactly , after reading his stuff sometimes a gun to my head would be a better option. I just can't read the guy at all. But that is me and he will do and say whatever he wants . Free world
    Some of his stuff is pretty entertaining to read, but you gotta take it with a grain of salt. I only resort to Rockwell when I run out of reading material. :sleep006:

  32. #32
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    LOL i agree my issue is there is never a flip side of the coin. It's his way or the highway and if you understand that than fine. But he is not giving his readers that option and to me that is short changing them. But i agree read with a grain of salt
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    hi guy,
    your teaching philosophy very sound. i'm sure your students learn a lot from you. looking through your portfolio, i'm blown away by the various situations in which you have to produce technically finished results. you simply couldn't do it without your technical knowledge.
    differences arise from intent. someone took beautiful photos of brancusi's sculptures. he hated the pictures. took some himself, bleary, torn, but exactly how he wanted the spirit of his work to be perceived. so an art intent is different from documentary, journalism, advertising, etc.
    and the learning curve a lot different for us older folks. kids raised at the breast of computers have a natural ease with the equipment. i just read a recent book, edited by sylvia plachy

    http://www.amazon.com/25-Under-Up-Co...4669857&sr=8-7

    these kids coming out of photographic graduate programs can really write about their projects, the quality of the photos outstanding, and the projects themselves various and interesting. that doesn't mean they will ever make a name for themselves, but they're all starting at a level far above myself. (this is documentary photography, by the way.)

    for most of us i suspect the simplification you recommend is the only way we can achieve satisfactory results. all this study seems mostly to help us find a focus with which we resonate and have something special to say, a special kind of urgency.

    let me quote robert henri (from 'the art spirit'):

    "It is useless to study technique in advance of having a motive. Instead of establishing a vast stock of technical tricks, it would be far wiser to develop creative power by constant search for means particular to a motive already in mind, by studying and developing just that technique which you feel the immediate need of, and which alone will serve you for the idea or the emotion which has moved you to expression."

    for us older folks time is of the essence. at 25 i had all the time in the world, at 68 i feel time's winged chariot at my heels.

    thanks for thoughts.

    wayne
    www.pbase.com/wwp

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    The big thing we have not talked about and most important is having a eye and/or developing a eye. Some have it , some don't but developing one is important. Bottom line as you are alluding too you can have all the tech . ability but if you have no eye your lost and I agree. Some folks just have it no matter what and some are never going to get one. But developing a eye can be done and that is what you work on and as a shooter is developing your eye. But these things do go hand in hand and you need to round yourself out well and have both in your arsenal. There are many many great shooters of our day and some will never process a file and have there techs. do it but all of them know how and know how to get the best out of there shooting and there eye. Just because they have a team to help them does not mean they don't know the tech. side far from it they know it well and they use all that data to there advantage. But I agree you have to have a eye and know how to create. Another thread maybe in order on that one. Honestly that is what I try to teach on the workshops and that is what i am better at than the tech. side. Jack is the genius there.


    BTW this is the stuff I love to talk about more than the gear. I wish more folks would bring these kinds of topics to the forum. I would but i talk too much as it is and often feel it is just me starting these things. Please folks this is your home , use it to learn.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  35. #35
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    I never believed that the shooter's eye was something that could be taught, which probably explains why teachers seem to stay away from it and focus on the stuff that can be taught, like technique and processing.

    Music is the same. You can teach a student music theory and the mechanical techniques, but when it comes to applying that knowledge towards the playing and creation of music, the student is pretty much on his own.

    I always thought that some people are just "naturals" when it comes to the arts. And you can pretty much observe that right from the beginning. They just seem to do the right things even when they don't really know what they're doing. They have a feel for it, or a natural talent. How do you teach that?

    I think with photography though, you could make a damn good living if you absorbed all the stuff that can be taught, but the creative/ art thing seems to be a birthright.

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    I agree with both sides of this, knowing the technique but also having a motive. On the technique side, it is so much easier when you know the equipment backwards and forwards and you don't have to "think" about your camera settings they just happen as you are looking at the shot you are going to take. Or, if you do need to make a settings change it is fast and instinctual. When this is the case I feel like I am a MUCH better shooter because my concentration is on the subject and not the camera.

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    I agree that naturally some people just have an eye but I also believe that you can with work at it to see and shoot better. I took a class where we needed to shoot at least the equivalent of a roll of film a day. My work at the end of the two month period was much better than when the class began. There is a lot to be said from others giving critiques and helping you see patterns in what you do. It can be very valuable in moving you forward to produce better work. Just by something simple in looking at the contact sheets can be very revealing. How many shots will you atempt at something before giving up? It was wild to see these sorts of patterns in people's work and was awesome if they weren't spending enough time on the subject to see what they got the next time when instructed to not stop at 5 or 6 but try it more ways. So, yes the gift of an eye is great but training can also work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Player View Post
    I never believed that the shooter's eye was something that could be taught, which probably explains why teachers seem to stay away from it and focus on the stuff that can be taught, like technique and processing.

    Music is the same. You can teach a student music theory and the mechanical techniques, but when it comes to applying that knowledge towards the playing and creation of music, the student is pretty much on his own.

    I always thought that some people are just "naturals" when it comes to the arts. And you can pretty much observe that right from the beginning. They just seem to do the right things even when they don't really know what they're doing. They have a feel for it, or a natural talent. How do you teach that?

    I think with photography though, you could make a damn good living if you absorbed all the stuff that can be taught, but the creative/ art thing seems to be a birthright.

  38. #38
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    one thing we haven't talked about is ambition. how big is it? obviously shakespeare and dante wanted to be the greatest, and they developed the chops. an art teacher once told me he had many students who had much more natural talent than himself but they never did anything with it. oscar wilde said, 'everybody has talent. not many have persistence.'

    a case in point. i was walking around the kroller-mueller museum, set in a beautiful dutch park and full of masterpieces: seurat, van gogh, etc. quite something. then, in a darkish hallway, i saw a glass display case of terrible, amateurish paintings. i wondered, 'what the heck?' and looked at the label. they were early van gogh's when he was self-teaching himself to paint. he had worked years for an art dealer. looking at his letters, he always had the eye. but it took time for him to bring it out.

    player is right about some people being naturals. they have the potential to start out above everyone else and become masters. few have the drive to make a lifetime of it, often too vulnerable or disliking to spend so much time alone.

  39. #39
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I agree that naturally some people just have an eye but I also believe that you can with work at it to see and shoot better. I took a class where we needed to shoot at least the equivalent of a roll of film a day. My work at the end of the two month period was much better than when the class began. There is a lot to be said from others giving critiques and helping you see patterns in what you do. It can be very valuable in moving you forward to produce better work. Just by something simple in looking at the contact sheets can be very revealing. How many shots will you atempt at something before giving up? It was wild to see these sorts of patterns in people's work and was awesome if they weren't spending enough time on the subject to see what they got the next time when instructed to not stop at 5 or 6 but try it more ways. So, yes the gift of an eye is great but training can also work.
    The thing I didn't mention you called me on.

    Yes yes yes, absolutely, I too believe that you can improve your eye by practicing, but I also believe that there is a difference between a "practiced eye" and a natural eye.

    Forgive me for leaning on the music analogy again, but I've seen guitar players who have literally worked their butts off practicing, and they have molded themselves into very good players, even outstanding players, but there is a stiffness to their playing, and a subtle lack of fluidity, difficult to explain but a musician can recognize it right away. On the other hand, I've seen guitar players who don't go through this rote type of practicing, maybe just spend all their time working on their music, and their playing is effortless and fluid, with a virtuosity you can't be taught. I've seen an 8 year old guitar player that is at a level that some people will never reach in 30 years of studying and practicing, and he's only been playing for two years. He just has it, and there's no denying that some people just have it, and most don't. It proves the old cliche "that life isn't fair." This is so common in music that it isn't even discussed; it's just the way it is, and it's common knowledge.

    I'm not sure this is discussed much in photography because the bulk of photographers are not really artists, and they're just trying to create some good pictures, or maybe earn a living, but I believe that photography is an artform as well as a recording medium, and the same laws and trusims that exist for music as an artform, exist for photography as an artform too.

  40. #40
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    smokysun, yes, the whole ambition thing is definitely another aspect of this discussion. I've seen where an artform might come so easily to someone that they lose interest. And the people who work so diligently at their chosen art want to kill these people; they just can't understand why.

  41. #41
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Darn you Guy, you got me thinking about this stuff now.

    Let's say you're a tennis player. You started playing the game very young. You loved the game but you just didn't have much athletic ability, plus your hand-to-eye coordination wasn't the greatest, but you decided to take lessons with a fantastic teaching pro. After a couple years your game had markedly improved, and you've even entered tournaments and did okay, maybe actually making a semi-final once, in your age class. If you stuck with the game and dedicated your entire life to it, you might even become a decent journeyman pro on the Satellite Tour, the minor leagues of pro tennis.

    Now let's say your name is John McEnroe. You took up the game at the same age. You took lessons with the same pro and were entered into tournaments after a year. You found yourself absolutely dominating tournaments against your peers. So the tennis pro puts you against kids 3 or 4 years older than you, and you're still winning everything you enter, but the kicker is that you never really enjoyed practicing, just playing matches. You play on your high school team as #1 singles and dominate, winning the state championship without even losing a set. Stanford offers you a scholarship and you win the NCAA chanpionship as a Freshman, so you decide to turn pro. You enter Wimbledon as a 17 year old and make it all the way to the semifinals before losing to the number one player in the world, Jimmy Connors, plus you were unseeded. And the kicker is that you never really put much work into the game, it just came to you. You played doubles instead of practicing. Next year you become number four in the world, and the year after win your first Wimbledon beating the legendary Bjorn Borg, who was considered unbeatable.

    Now remember, both players had the same teacher. And did the pro teach McEnroe something that he didn't teach the other player. No, not at all, McEnroe just had a gift for tennis that was natural, it was destiny, and couldn't be taught. No one could have taught McEnroe to become the player he became. He just had it.

    I think it's exactly the same in the arts, photography, music, writing, painting, whatever. Actually tennis is an art, as well as a sport.

  42. #42
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Well let's take this a step further and actually put it into photography. There are many great shooters out there that have the talent and the tech ability to be considered a elite shooter. Than there is the guy that is very good but not nearly as talented as the guy I just described but he is considered a elite shooter because of his marketing skills to attract the best clients and made a name for himself but he really has no eye but just fell in **** and makes a lot of money. Now the first guy is a true artist which produces some of the best images we have seen but no one knows him and he is just getting by in life. The second guy is the marketing genius and is making all the money. Question is who is really better at this. That is the Pro life unfortunately. But the first guy really is the winner just no one knows it. Sad but very true

    It kind of follows what you said only a different ending and actually more realistic because we have more talent out there that makes a lot less money than the guy that just has better marketing skills.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    a dose of reality sure doesn't hurt. a lot of my experience has been in theater and especially with university theater students. the dreams they have! the unrealistic expectations! until they graduate, even if they take an audition class as i did and learn about the truth of type-casting, etc.

    yes, absolutely, it takes a hard-nose to succeed, no matter how talented you are. for example, one girl i knew not a very good actress but very outgoing and good-looking. she did her master's thesis on 'safety in the stunt profession.' a girl from the same university already working as a stunt woman in hollywood helped her meet the right people. after graduation she went to hollywood and began the process. last time i saw her she'd married one of the top stunt men, had a new car and a horse. she's the best smoozer i've ever met. (think 'hepburn'). by the end of the day on a job everybody on the set knew her name.

    you have to have the looks and smoozer ambility to make it. and very few do.

    this is not to say a theater education not extremely valuable. i've seen ugly ducklings turn into swans. and even if they don't continue in theater, the skills applicable to any group work, design work, presentations, etc. and they value live theater and often support it for the rest of their lives.

    the same goes for photography. i love looking through this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/fotolog-book-G...4703046&sr=8-1

    it's really fun seeing people's imagination at work all over the world. not many photos knock you over, but they can make you smile or laugh or feel sad. there is this revolution of the intimate going on. whether it's vulgar or artful, it can be very liberating. photography has always acted as a diary for most people. and it gives me kicks to see others going about their lives.

    the best always ride on a wave. once took a class in shakespeare's contemporaries. he had lots of people to stimulate him and from whom he could steal ideas and make them better. that's really the case in photography today, especially photography.

    the past was full of kitsch too. it turned to dust and the paint faded on the greek statues to reveal their true beauty. (sorry, i have a way of making it sound like the last word on the subject and i know it's not. love this discussion.)

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    "Smoozer ability" ... that's a great term, Wayne! :-) Sad how many really talented people remain in obscurity because they just don't have that gene for shameless self-promotion. I've seen some "artists" who get by for years re-hashing the same damned paintings over and over without a care in the world because they're so good at selling themselves. It's rare when exceptional ability and self-confidence reside in the same person. That's why it's so important to have teachers and mentors who can recognize and guide people so as not to let talent go to waste. I think all of us have something special to offer, a unique feeling or vision to express. It's just finding the key to unlock that "spark" and free it by finding the right medium and a supportive teacher/audience to say "atta boy" and "now how about trying this?" to move it along.

    After all, what is life for if we don't keep trying to create something, to leave a little part of ourselves behind once we're gone, even if it's only a few friends and family members who see it? I know I'd go bonkers if I didn't at least TRY to make something unique that has a little bit of "me" in it.
    Regards,
    Joan

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Well said Joan , nice to leave your mark somewhere and not a pee stain either. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Absolutely Guy, this is where photography is interesting. You have artists like HCB who expressed themselves through photography, and created art that will survive long after they're gone. Then you have the pro/ commercial photographers who are business people/ salesmen first, with maybe a hint of artistic ability. Someone of HCB's ilk might make peanuts over his lifetime yet he profoundly touched the lives of anyone who viewed his work. He was an artist, a genius really. The businessman photographer might have made millions selling his images to companies which in turn used them to market their products, but these images are disposable and forgotten after they've run their course in the marketing campaign. Which photographer is more important?

    This is related to the natural talent thing: I've seen interviews with HCB where the interviewer would praise the heck out of Henri, and Henri would get very embarrassed and give this incredulous look (I'm thinking of a Charlie Rose interview). I believe that this is because, to Henri, it's nothing extraordinary, it's just what he does effortlessly, and it's no big deal. He says, "I just point the camera and click the shutter, that's all." And Charlie Rose is looking for detailed explanations on how Henri is able to do what he does, but to Henri it's like asking a bird how he is able to fly. Silly when you think about it. HCB just had it, and don't expect Henri to explain it, it's just what he does.

    You could teach a photographer to produce marketable images, and maybe even get very rich if he also had marketing skills, but you could never teach someone to be Henri-Cartier Bresson.

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Joan, you have a great attitude about the whole creative/ art thing. If you're not expressing yourself, or leaving a bit of yourself behind, then you're probably just looking at the bottom line, money.

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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    I've seen some "artists" who get by for years re-hashing the same damned paintings over and over without a care in the world because they're so good at selling themselves..
    Hi Joan
    This is an interesting point, but in this case it isn't JUST about being good at selling yourself

    I reckon that lots of these 'artists' you've seen are getting by BECAUSE they re-hash old work.

    The public really needs to be able to get a handle on a photographer/painter to remember their name, which will in turn make them more famous.

    Think of all the famous photographers (in particular), they all seem to have a particular (and often limited) milieu in which they work, I can't think of many who do diverse work and are also famous, and the one or two I CAN think of are consummate performers (David Bailey springs to mind).

    The 'public' is a simple beast, and if you do a gritty black and white urban scene one day and a landscape the next, nobody is going to remember you, however good you are! Bang on with the same old same old, and in the end you're going to get noticed.

    Just this guy you know

  49. #49
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    I can't help thinking that striving for fame is exactly the same as striving for money. I think an honest artist just has to make his/ her art and not worry about the public at all, let the chips fall where they may. Once you start trying to tailor your work to fit with an audience, you've sold out, and you've become untrue to yourself. That's what's happening on top 40 radio.

  50. #50
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    Re: The benefits of shooting Raw over Jpegs

    If an artist is worried about the whims of the public, he becomes no different than the pro shooting for money. It becomes marketing.

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