Shooting in the Raw

I’m diligently reading my camera’s user manual and I got to page 122 yesterday where it talks about file formats. Apparently, there’s this thing called a raw file you can have it save instead of (or in addition to) a .JPG. So I thought, “what the heck” and turned it to raw+JPG and took my camera into town yesterday afternoon when I went Christmas shopping.

When I got home, I went to transfer the photos to my computer and noticed how big these things are. Using the raw+ setting seems like a really effective way to get the maximum use out of my little 4G SD card. These .PEF files are four times bigger than their .JPGs.

I found out right away, though, how useful this is going to be. I don’t like using a flash; unless you are really experienced, flash photos have a flat, fake look. Several of my photos were taken inside a shop with just the available light and they had that yellow cast you get with indoor lighting.

Indoor lighting

Indoor lighting

I installed a raw photo processor called RawTherapee and selected one of these yellow photos. The software has a white balance profile called “Tungsten” that did the trick in an instant.

Corrected white balance

Corrected white balance

You can really see it in the blues. That sea-green jacket at the left turned back into turquoise, which is what it looked like to my eyeballs.

That 4G SD card doesn’t seem so big anymore….

Photo taken in Local Color on Broad Street in Brevard NC, processed using RawTherapee 4.0.11 running on Ubuntu 13.10.


Filed under Department of Arts & Tourism

4 responses to “Shooting in the Raw

  1. Technology is Greek for me ……
    So , I know very little about it ,but I found your photos very interesting and lively, and noticed the difference between them…..
    Thank you for sharing!


  2. you’re right! (about the difference). and your camera is a wonder/marvel compared to my cheapy (< $100) unit — i still have trouble "turning off the flash". and … yes, there is so much "info" (bits/bytes/pixels/whatever) associated with the files — i remember when 50k was a decent file size for a pixure … and now even i wonder what to do with more than a meg …


    • Ann

      I remember when a 30-megabyte hard drive was enormous – two of these raw files would use that up. One nice thing about all those megapixels is that you can crop the daylights out of a picture and still get decent resolution.


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