Sep 152013


Shooting RAW Its like a piece of meat, RAW meat with no herbals and spices and special sauce, even though it looks uneatable but you know once you start mixing the spices and herbals and whatever extra you put it in and start cooking it, than the outcome is endless. However,  shooting JPEG, is like  you had a piece of meat which already being mixed with all the herbals and spices by someone else, hence the creativity of it is gone and you are forced to cook it with what someone else has done to it, therefore the outcomes may be bad and not to your liking.

In Technical Term, RAW photos as the name implies, the image in its RAWEST format, meaning all the details and info are in it and not yet processed and its up to you as Photographer to edit it without the fear of destruction, and this is why when you view the RAW files they look horrible, simple because they are PURE and untouched and up to you, with no string attached to make it as beautiful as possible

JPEG files on the other hand, are images already processed and produced by the CAMERA internal software and this is why they look nice when viewed but  you are forced to accept what the camera has given you, and should you wish to process it, you have limited control to bring it to what you want it to be. Sometime they may look very nice and to your liking and sometime they dont, and if they dont than chances are you have no choice but to accept it


Three Reasons why you should shoot in RAW


(1) Forces you to Edit your Photos:

And this is not a bad thing at all, actually its a MUST. All professional photographers and the best among the world shoot in RAW. Imagined the films days, they used to have Black Room to edit their photos. With Digital Photos, you have the EDITING via the software. And as I always say, you are not a  complete Photographer unless you start editing your photos otherwise you are limiting your artistic creativity and thats the whole point of photographs, they are ART at the end of the day. If you are not editing your photos, than trust me you are missing big chunk in your path to a become better photographer. I do give a course in editing, click here for more info

PS/ Editing is transform the Photo to what you saw in real life, and not to ADD CLOUDS to a photo, that’s Photo Manipulation


(2) They are Technically Superior:

Ofcourse they are, otherwise why would anyone shoot RAW, that’s the whole point of it:

  • They can easily correct Dramatic Over Exposed and Under Exposed Photos
  • Easily correct White Balance. White balance is about the color of the ambient where you took the photo. So imagine a place where it was Yellowish and you got a Bluish outcome, with JPEG most likely you cant do anything about it, but with RAW you can and that’s big percentage of your photo useability. Not all that, Photo is all about manipulating the colors, if you dont have control on that, what else you have?
  • Bring out or In the Details: Sharpness, Noise etc all are saved in RAW in great detail, hence bring them out or removing it is like walking the park
  • And Finally, they Produce lovely and  High Quality Prints


(3) Its a Professional Choice:

Client and Photo Award Judges only accepts the best prints and Quality Photos. With RAW you will consistently provide that. If you shoot in JPEG, sooner or later you will be left out in the Professional Arena and start loosing client or getting no awards. As I said, shooting JPEG limits your Artistic creativity which plays a big role to distinguish your photo style from another, which is the main reason why client or Photo Award Judges prefer a certain photographer from another. THIS PERSON HAS A UNIQUE style


AS they say Pictures says a 1000 Words. Here is a Photo in JPEG out of the Camera, which I took in a rush. So that photo is a bit under exposed, and not exactly the Cropping I intended and as well the White balance in the Blusish side of which it was more of the yellowish side. Also notice the building behind the kids, its over exposed, so I needed the details back.



And here is the Photo in RAW, process using Light Room Software. Its better exposed, the contrast is much better and the building behind are more visible and because it was in RAW, I didn’t destruct any image quality and got what I needed



Niokon D90, Nikon 18-200mm, A:7.1, S:1/200, ISO:200


Hope the above explains RAW, let me know if you enjoyed it or not, your comments always appreciated.


  10 Responses to “Why Shoot in RAW Format? (Three Reasons)”

  1. Great Salim. As usual you always give very useful details for the visitors of your blog. Thank you

  2. Guess another important point is, it reduces the number of shots.. which happens with me atleast… from 100s of JPEG I am now in 10s of RAW….as I am scared of editing 100 RAWs !!

  3. Lol Sanjoy, very good point. But I hope you are reducing due to the fact you take sometime before snapping away, thinking of composition, light, technica aspects of the photo etc

  4. thats manila.. you’ve been there?

  5. JAK for this Br. Salim! I’m just getting into shooting RAW now, believe it or not. I came to digital photography after decades of being away from film photography. It’s all been a learning curve for my old brain! I’m taking Insha Allaah a workshop in LightRoom at the end of the month where I hope to learn how to work with RAW images!

  6. Brilliant !! Simply Great explanations… loving your blogs..

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