To edit, or not to edit

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Straight out of camera Jpeg
Very often you will find people asking “why are you shooting jpeg” and then recommend that “you must shoot Raw to capture most data” and finally “you can do wonders in post processing on Raw files”. Well, I can’t deny that these statements are actually correct, but most of the time, most of them who recommend these may not know what they are saying. They simply follow some advise from some pros and then shoot Raw blindly.

I’m not expert in photography, I’m just amateur at most, and my editing skill sucks. I’m not against shooting Raw, in fact most of the time I’m shooting Raw + Jpeg (though most of the time I ended up using the Jpeg file straight). My take to Raw is: Shoot Raw only if you know what you are doing and why you need the Raw files for. Jpeg from camera nowadays are pretty usable, and for those who are not good in photo editing, perhaps no matter how hard you try, you still can’t beat the in camera JPEG processor.

For me, I will use the Raw files only under certain condition:

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Single Raw file, edited in Lightroom
1. HDR landscape
When the scene’s dynamic range exceeded camera sensor’s capability, take bracketed shots and merge them later on during post processing to expand the dynamic range.

2. When AWB fails
Shooting Raw allows you to adjust the white balance later, useful when shooting under mixed lighting condition where the camera simply can’t nail the correct white balance.

3. When I have a final image in my mind that can’t be captured as it is

Sometime looking at a scene, I know I will do post processing later for sure (e.g. Black and white landscape) then I’ll shoot in Raw to make sure I have most of the data with me to work with later on.

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Single Raw file, edited in Lightroom
For professionals, they shoot Raw most of the time because they simply need the quality, they need the files to edit later to their taste, they need to make fine print and so on, therefore there’s a reason for them to shoot Raw. For hobbyists and amateur like me, I rather spend more time in shooting than post processing my pictures at home 🙂

Well, it’s just my personal preference. At the end of the day, you just need to do what you think is right. Enjoy shooting!

2 thoughts on “To edit, or not to edit

    1. in fact people used to do it in darkroom, but now we do it in lightroom, lol. I do agree one needs to learn and improve on editing skills, as a good photograph can be great with a touch of editing. but one really needs to know when and where to use and apply it, and make sure not over doing it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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