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Why You Should Always Shoot in Raw

You have probably heard of “shooting in raw” (If you haven’t, its okay!) Just because you have heard of it doesn’t necessarily mean you know what it means or how to do it. I am going to explain what shooting in raw means, how you do it and why it’s beneficial! Once you start you will never want to stop, trust me.

There are two types of shooting jpeg and raw. If you have never switched the settings over in your camera chances are you are shooting in jpeg. A jpeg file is compressed and a raw file isn’t. A raw file is much bigger and has much more detail than a jpeg. So lets say you are shooting and your settings aren’t quite right (because we’ve all been there) if you are shooting in raw your image will be much easier to recover in post processing. Because the file size is larger and has more detail it is easier to recover an image that is too dark or too light. Jpeg files are much smaller so it is almost impossible to fix extreme lighting issues. 

I shoot in raw because sometimes life happens. Vivien will do something really cute and maybe my settings weren’t right or maybe I was at a session and the sun was setting faster than I could change my settings since I’m shooting in raw I am able to fix it in Lightroom. You should always try to get your images right in camera but sometimes its hard.

The image below was taken at the zoo. We were constantly going from inside to outside looking at different exhibits. I looked up and saw the tiger right at the window so I quickly took a picture, he was gone within a couple of seconds. When I looked at the back of my camera the picture was so dark! I was hopeful that I would be able to lighten the image in Lightroom, thanks to shooting in raw I was able to! 

One thing you should know about editing raw images, they are extremely large files so you need a good heavy duty program to edit them in like Lightroom. You won’t be able to open raw files on your computer if you don’t have Lightroom or adobe camera raw. If you don’t already use Lightroom I highly recommend getting it. Not only is it great for editing but it also allows you to open up and edit raw images. Lightroom will convert your raw image (which is a cr2 file) to a dng file, then it can be saved as a jpeg.

Comment below if you have any questions!

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