Favourite Video Friday: The Benefits of RAW over JPEG

Sorting through lots of old images last weekend gave me the opportunity to remind myself just how far I have developed as a photographer. One element that I kept coming back to though was the fact that I used to shoot everything in JPEG, like I did for my first basic point and shoot digital. Now, I always shoot in JPEG+RAW and I believe it is this that has helped me to get the most out of my images. I should say at this point that for those of you who are not familiar with these, JPEG is your standard file format, (what you would load onto Facebook etc), and is a much smaller file size. RAW, is a much bigger, more detailed file format which allows you to do more to the image when editing. While I don’t remember why I changed over and I do know that I wouldn’t change back and as I have never researched the key differences, it makes the ideal topic for this weeks post.

Which video and why did I choose it?
As soon as I started looking around for RAW vs JPEG comparison videos, I realised that this would be a tricky one to narrow down to the shortlist of 5 that I choose from for all these posts. Some looked at editing in Photoshop/Lightroom, some just looked at the technology behind the file types and some gave a live tutorial of how to edit in RAW only. I also wanted to make sure that it focused on a style that I currently shoot. With this in mind, I searched for nature/landscape specific videos and found the ideal one: Lightroom 5/6 Landscape Photography Editing Tutorial From The RAW File – Explained in Detail! by YuriFineArt.

Now, below I give my overview of the video I want to point out that it is a long video (roughly 40mins) so if you choose to watch it, set aside some time. That said, it is very detailed, doesn’t cover anything that is not required of the final image and certainly shows the full potential of what you can get from a RAW image. The best thing that I found from watching the video (yes I did watch all of it) was that the RAW image is worked through in a logical way using the Develop section of Lightroom, meaning that if desired, you could open your own landscape image and work on it while watching the video. What was also great was that I know from personal experience that you simply wouldn’t be able to get as much detail from a JPEG image and it would be worse off for that. The example image that is used in the video, really goes to show that with some time, patience and a RAW file, it is possible to create what in my opinion, is a stunning image. My recommendation is that if you are not already, switch to using RAW and see the difference.

Should you wish to see the video, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMT0AjcnC0o

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