Overexposed?? – No Problem!

Overexposed?? No Problemo!

. . . . as long as you’re shooting in RAW, that is!

“Raw” is the generic name for a camera manufacturer’s native file format, and it includes a wealth of information – everything your camera saw at the time of image capture.  (learn more abut RAW format here)

Unlike a JPEG, a RAW image doesn’t have any picture formatting or style settings baked in and is capable of being edited without a reduction of quality every-time you edit and save.  Shoot JPEG’s and you loose the flexibility to turn the overexposed image above into a usable image like the one below.

Now that looks better!

A RAW file format contains enough exposure information to easily correct for up to a stop of overexposure.

Now the picture above isn’t perfect, but it was certainly saved from the trash can!  Notice the highlights and detail that have been recovered in the Swans – this is what RAW – and understanding exposure adjustments in your image editing software – allow you to accomplish.

Well heck, so why wouldn’t someone shoot RAW?

As usual, there are a few downsides:

  • RAW files are BIG!  In megabytes that is.
  • If shooting in continuos (rapid fire) mode, you can’t shoot as many back to back RAW images as you can with JPEG’s without the camera stopping to empty it’s buffer.
  • RAW files, straight out the camera are . . . well . . . RAW!   They can tend to be flat as no processing was done, so you will have to either directly edit or apply camera styles before use.
Once a saw the flexibility of RAW, I never turned back to camera generated JPEG’s!  Look at that great image of those swans, it would have been ruined without RAW – what a difference!  Speaking of these “before and after images” – the next series of posts will take you step-by-step and show you how to get these basic results, in under two minutes!  So check back over the next few weeks.
Part 2

Part 3


2 comments so far

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: