The Power of Shooting in Raw: Shocking Image Inside

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The Power of Shooting in Raw

I am not hear to tell you that you must shoot raw or that shooting jpg is wrong.  I just want to show you a photo. Since it is said “a picture is worth a thousand words” just look at this image.  Then scroll to the bottom.

raw 600x800 The Power of Shooting in Raw: Shocking Image Inside
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RAW Format = More Information

That top image was recorded in the raw file format by a photographer, Nura Heard.  She is brand new at photography.  She was practicing.  And she did not change settings when she switched directions toward the bright sky… OOPS.  The image was basically white.  If you look closely and come a few inches from your monitor, you might see that there is a bubble floating.  No sky and basically no detail… Lost cause. Right?

Lost Cause?

It should be a lost cause… As a photographer, you should definitely learn to nail your exposure.  Plus when you do, even your edited work will be superior.  But guess what? Not everyone is a pro.  Not everyone is experienced enough to get perfect exposure and white balance every time. And yes, some of you will say editing, or saving a picture like this is cheating.

I am not actually suggesting you get lazy and rely on raw, BUT what if you snapped a once in a lifetime moment and the “before” happened.  Maybe your photo is overexposed but is somewhere in between the two…  Either way, the power of shooting in raw is evident.  Whether or not you feel it is right, the fact is it achieved what you see above.  Raw format records more information to your memory card.  It gives you maximum control over your images.  It does not apply default amounts of anything – it lets you be the photographer and control your final results.

[The "after" photo was editing in Lightroom - using Quick Clicks Lightroom Presets. I used the following presets and settings - Remove 2 Stops, Blowout Buster Full, Shadows moved to -62, contrast to 34, black to -87. I then edited in Photoshop and applied One Click Color from Fusion.]

After that, I decided to make the image more artistic (as seen below) by adding a few textures to the photo from the MCP Texture Play Overlay set. Then the photo really came alive.

Now you decide what is right for you… RAW or JPG? Comment below…

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 The Power of Shooting in Raw: Shocking Image Inside

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and teaches Photoshop to photographers across the globe.

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5 Comments and 4 Replies



  1. 1
    Carol says:

    I would like to shoot in RAW but I only have Photoshop Elements 11 that I am not proficient with. Should I keep shooting in JPEG until I get PSE figured out?

    • Michelle Monson says:

      NO!! Start shooting RAW now! I was always afraid and I use PSE6! I bit the bullet and shot raw and they say once you go raw you won’t go back! Well, guess what…they are right!! So, just do it! I have to process and open the file in my canon software and then edit in pse.

      Jodi, recently before switching to raw, i had trouble with printing and resolution. Will this not be a problem now due to shooting raw??

    • I would suggest shooting both at the same time. I am not aware of a camera that doesn’t allow this. It takes up more space on your card but memory cards are cheap.

    • Laurie says:

      I just started shooting raw plus jpeg and have PSE 11. It’s awesome! The color and contrast is so much better in sooc. You won’t believe how easy it to do this. You won’t regret it. Still have questions about what and when to save it all but haven’t lost anything and all is good. :)

      Thanks Jodi!

  2. 2
    Dianne says:

    I was thrilled when somebody educated me on shooting RAW. I wouldn’t think of shooting any other way now. I use Photoshop for editing, and even when I think my photo is good, there’s almost always something I can do to improve it in the editing process. I love RAW!

  3. 3
    Kerry says:

    “Location, Location, Location” is to real estate as “Raw, Raw, Raw” is to photography. As demonstrated in this article, raw images are malleable vs jpgs which are compressed and stripped down files.

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    lol for a while there i just thought my top image wasnt loading ;) awesome example!

  5. 5
    Steve says:

    Love this… I shot for the first 6 years in JPG and I’ve got so many shots I go back to wishing I’d shot them in RAW, knowing I could have saved them. :-(

    No more though!

    Great article!



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