The Beauty of RAW

Sorry I haven't posted this week, my wrist is killing me, so I've taken a break from keyboarding... like it helps! 😉 Alrighty then. There are a lot of sites that advocate just using Jpeg. They say it's faster, easier, blah blah blah. If you have a small or older camera, that is true. If you have a newer, faster dSLR, you may be missing the boat. Who among us hasn't messed up our manual settings at some time? Forgot to change the white balance, set the exposure compensation and forgotten it at 1 stop under or some such thing? I'd love to say 'not me' but I'd be lying. That's why I strongly suggest you always remember to change your settings to default when you shut the camera off at the end of the day. That way you don't miss a shot fooling with your camera. Horrors!! Nothing's worse than the one that got away... Wednesday I had a great day taking pictures I'd been planning forever and never took the time to stop and do on my way to a preliminary set up shoot at Seven Cedars Arabians. I've done work for them before, and it's always been a pleasure. Arabian horses are known for their 'in the tent' personality, and Seven Cedars horses have that in spades! ... The problem is that they're so laid back and so curious that it's an effort to get the standard tail in the air and flared nostrils look that are what Arab fans want, much less get far enough away to get the shot. It definitely requires handlers, and since I was there just scoping angles I was on my own. A delightful rose grey filly decided she was my new best friend, and followed me all over the farm. I finally ended up with the shot I am going to use today to show you why RAW rocks. 🙂
Jpeg unmassaged original
Jpeg unmassaged original
Yuk. Dark, weird colorcast, Eww. My camera was set to bright daylight and I'd just happened to walk into the shade and there she was right over my shoulder while I was on my knees on the ground, so I took the shot while I could. I always shoot RAW+Jpeg, and thankfully I did this time. Adjusting the colorcast and doing the adjustments necessary to this picture would not have been as easy and harmless a process as it was in Camera RAW, or would be in Nikon ViewNX. Camera Raw is downloaded directly from the Adobe site for free, and adds on to Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. They're constantly updating the program to cover new cameras, since not all RAW formats are alike. Anyway. So when I chose to open the NEF file (Nikon's proprietary RAW format) I was able to quickly use some toggle sliders to change the color balance from Sunlight to Shade, and add a fill light. The image changes are previewed so you can see exactly what you're doing, no guess work. Then when I was ready to put it into Elements to take out the lovely pesticide tag/extra ear sticking out of her cheek with the clone stamp, all I had to do was click a button. Quick, easy, done. No permanent change done to the NEF file, yay team. Easy and quick is good.
My New Best Friend
You're shooting digital now. Don't be satisfied with less than your best! 🙂