The RAW Truth

Adobe Bridge, Camera RAW, Photoshop

RAW, RAW, RAW. A lot of people harp on it. A lot of people don’t know how to use it but more people use it for the wrong reasons. It’s not a miracle file format, nor will it save that horribly over-exposed photo or fix that camera shake for you. The main benefits I see are exposure latitude and color-balance. After shooting 2400 frames in a wedding, you do want the photos of the solemnization ceremony at church or the toast at the ballroom to have the same color and look. No out of whack color balance here. Now, most people know that you can use Photoshop’s levels (in separate RGB channel mode of couse) or white-point tool to fix the color balance but the key here is consistency. Uncle George is looking a bit pasty in one frame and in another frame, he looks like he’s spent the last two weeks in the Bahamas or something. With RAW, you dial in the color temperature you feel it’s right and it’s all done right. I’ll go preach about exposure latitude on another day. I have two dozen out-of-whack JPEG’s to color-match. (Oh yeah, thank God for Photoshop’s color-match…)