Friday, May 1, 2009

Little by Little

In my last post I mentioned my new camera lens and Robin asked about my other lenses. I only have one other lens and it is the kit lens (18-55mm) that came with my now somewhat out of date Canon Digital Rebel. When we bought our SLR I knew nothing about photography except that it was annoying when using a digital camera that had a delay in taking the picture. So I tried to find a camera with the shortest delay possible. In reading on a few websites and Consumer Reports a lot of people said to truly get no delay you had to have an SLR. I also figured we could afford it while I was still working and I would never be able to justify it once I was not gainfully employed (because I still work--like, A LOT!).

So the point of all that is basically that I bought way more camera than I knew what to do with. In time I thought I would figure it out and then maybe I could stop using that little green square that was the auto setting. And in trying to learn there is a lot to tackle and if you try to do it all at once it will make your head spin. So I read somewhere that shooting in RAW file format is what the pros do. So I decided I wanted to be cool like them so I should shoot RAW too. The thing is RAW files are about 5x the size of regular jpegs. But if you are still reading this boring post you probably already know that. The thing is though, it was an easy thing I could do to give me some cred.

The problem is, I didn't know what the point of all those huge files was. I knew I could change stuff about the pictures, but I was confused because I was still saving the images as jpegs too and the jpegs always looked a bit better than the RAW versions, so why would I waste all that extra space for poor pics.

Now I am figuring things out. Not everything, just a few things. This is a pic I shot a couple weeks back. Pretty bad, way over exposed, and I think it looks a little on the cool side. But with a few clicks, it gets better.

Here's the jpeg.

Here's the RAW version (and I realize now this is probably a bad example because the RAW version actually looks better than the jpeg in this case).
First, I warmed it up a bit by changing the white balance to flash.
Then the real magic happened when I hit the auto button to fix the exposure/recovery.
For the final touch, I cropped it a bit (I could have cropped a regular jpeg too).
It isn't perfect by any means, but it is way better, and I am starting to understand, just a little bit why shooting in RAW is cool.

**I haven't had a chance to play with the sharpening yet, but I owe the little bit I know about RAW to Digital Photography for Moms. This looks like a great blog that can give me (and you) lots of great tips.
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1 comment:

Rachel Keyser said...

My husband learned a lot from friends and online. I can ask him if he recommends any websites. He actually started with film and learned all of the camera functions and then switched to a professional level digital afterward. He ALWAYS shoots in RAW and recently starting shooting jpegs too for my sake. (Now I don't have to wait for him to edit pictures and export them before adding them to the blog :) He uses Adobe Lightroom for editing.