What are RAW images? - Phil Rose Photography

What are RAW images?

When you take a photograph with a commonly used point-and-shoot style camera, the image is recorded in the format known as JPEG. Your camera makes all sorts of decisions with regard to how the image should look. It will decide how bright it should be, how the colors should look, and so on. But when you take a photograph with a more high-end camera, particularly a digital SLR, you have the option to record the image in a different format called RAW. This format does not make any of those decisions and throw away all the rest of the information that came in through the lens. Instead it retains all of that information so that, using imaging software, you can make those decisions later on. This also allows the photographer to bring back lots of information that otherwise would have been lost so that highlights and shadows can once again have information (tonality) in them.

Raw Versus JPG

  • The raw image. Dark, soft focus, distortion at edges.

    The raw image. Dark, soft focus, distortion at edges.

  • This is the final image. Bright, sharp, colorised, dreamy!

    This is the final image. Bright, sharp, colorised, dreamy!

These two images show you just how different a finished image can look from the way it was when it was snapped at the wedding.

This is the beauty of shooting RAW!

Photographs taken this way may look dull and uninspired until they have been processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. Each shot can take up to ten minutes or more to perfect; this is the reason that there will be a set number of finished pieces available to clients (that number will be agreed beforehand and will appear on the contract). Any raw unfinished images that you are shown will be for comparison purposes only, and will not be available to share.

So What Will I Get?

So, how do these facts affect you? After your shoot, I will create an online gallery titled “Raw Images” that contains all of the images in their raw state. From these, you select which raw mages you would like me to finish. The thumbnails in the “Raw Images” gallery have filenames overlaid on them. As you choose the images you would like me to work on, please note these filenames. Then, send me the list to let me know your selections. (I will also create a second folder called “Worked On Images” in which I will put a few sample images which I have worked up, just so you can see the difference between raw and finished images. These sample Worked On Images do not count towards your final number of available pieces as set out in the contract, and are free extras for you to keep.)

Once they are finished, your selected images will be added to the Worked On Images folder where they will stay indefinitely. You can order prints, canvas etc directly from the site, or download the images in order to share them or take them to print yourself. You can also share the link with friends and family so they can order prints too. 

A video in case you are interested!

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