The Benefits of Shooting Raw

   Over the past couple of days, I've been going through my catalog of photos I've taken and re-editing them with my current post processing techniques that I've accumulated over the years. Luckily, I've kept a relatively decent amount of raw files for most of my older stuff. Some of them, sadly, I no longer have the raw files for. While it's still possible to edit some jpegs, due to compression, amongst other things, it's just not quite the same. With a raw file, you have seemingly infinite control over almost everything short of the composition itself. You can literally create an entirely different image than what you originally shot without degradation of quality.

Older shot on the right. Reprocessed shot on the left.

   So after going through some of these photos, I found one that seems drastically different than what I did before. It's almost as if I didn't even edit the original one that I took a year ago. The blacks are deeper allowing the background to truly fade and blend, the eye is more pronounced and defined, the silver medallion has a slight glow to it and the contrast makes the new edit pop just ever so much.  Going back and editing some of your older work that you may not be so proud of now or possibly love so dearly and reprocessing them gives you such a confidence boost once you see just how much you've actually improved your technique and expanded your knowledge. This is why you should shoot raw. Sure there's plenty of reasons, but having the ability to go back and essentially rework something you might not put into your portfolio anymore is such an awesome feeling. At least I think it is. You now have another photo you can add without actually going out and taking a new shot, just redefining something you've lost. Go and give it a try, even if you don't have your raw files anymore. It's still a great exercise to see how far you've come from not too long ago.

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~~Writing Light Across The Land~~