I made a comment on a thread in the 'user critique' board related to the amount of time people can spend processing photos. This reminded me of an article on Kend Rockwell's website where he explains why he never shoots RAW.http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/raw.htm
His view is (in brief) that instead of spending hours in front of a RAW editor he would rather take jpeg, let the camera do the work and take more photos. As a professional photographer he does not have time to process hundreds of photos.
Blansky's view (on that same 'user critique' thread) consdiders jpegs are not good enough, and using jpegs instead of RAW is a reflectoion on their level of commitment. I apologise to Blansky now for removing his comments from their original context, but I think he represents a significant number of digital photographers on this issue.
Having recently started in digital photography, I have no commitments either way, but Ken Rockwell's views do make sense to me.
Using jpeg instead of RAW is no indicator of commitment but instead shows a different approach. Why do we shoot RAW? The only reason is to increase your options on post-shoot processing. You can rescue borderline pictures that are 'not quite right'. Shooting jpegs does not mean a drop in standards - just a recognition that if you don't get it right in camera then you lose the shot.
And this got me thinking.
For those dedicated RAW shooters:
- how much of your processing requires the processing to be done in RAW? If the picture is pretty good, minor tweak can be done in jpeg to good effect
- Hand on heart - how much of your post-processing is to create 'an effect' and how much is to genuinely get closer to the original scene you photographed?
- is the satisfaction you get from looking at your picture due purely to the result? Or is there pride because you
know how much work you put into it?
- if you took identical pictures with JPEG and RAW, and printed it at 18"x24", could a third party really tellyou which was which?
I will finish by saying that I realise RAW has a place. Some people love turning an average day-time scene into one of a burning sunset or crating fantasy montages. These would be hard to do in jpeg to the same effect. But I am someone who takes photos to record what I actually see - wonderful effects are (not yet) part of my hobby. What would RAW really give to me?