The Benefits of Raw Image Files

The Benefits of Raw Image Files

There are many benefits to working with a raw image format. Although these files are often quite large, it is sometimes worth the space.  Some of the advantages of raw photo files are:

  • Better image quality: Because there is more information stored, there is more to work with. This allows for more versatility and ultimately results in a higher quality image.
  • Nothing is lost through compression: When images are compressed into jpegs, information is lost. Working with raw files means that everything is preserved exactly the way it was shot.
  • More control for the artist: Using raw photo files allows the photographer to make non-destructive changes through programs such as Adobe Bridge. This allows the photographer to play around with images risk-free until they have established a look they are satisfied with.

Because working with raw files can be difficult at first, we have created a tutorial to help explain the process.

  1. To begin, change your camera’s settings to shoot in raw. The method for doing this varies from camera to camera, so check with your user manual if you are having trouble locating this option in your menu.
  1. Import the files into Adobe Bridge. This is a good program to use because it makes it easy to organize your files and edit them all at once. It also relays changes made from one Adobe program to another.  Changes made are non-destructive.
  1. If you haven’t already, install Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in . This is a great program for editing raw files.  Double clicking on raw images in Bridge will launch this program. Because there is so much to cover, we have created a video tutorial to demonstrate several techniques. In this tutorial, we will cover topics such as colour selection, spot removal, saturation, contrast, and noise reduction. The video can be found at:

http://vimeo.com/29967746

For additional information, check out these tutorials we found very useful!:

http://www.jonamerica.com/photography/tutorial-working-with-raw-image-files/

http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/tips/phs7rbrawbasics/movie_qt1.html

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