Today’s topic, RAW, is another reader inspired subject from Natasha who left a comment on a previous photography post. She said that many photographers are afraid to shoot RAW, which is a mistake, and I absolutely agree. I also know that for many photographers, the concept of shooting RAW is unfamiliar or overwhelming.
I’ll be honest: When I bought my first DSLR four years ago, I had never heard of RAW files and didn’t know the difference between RAW and JPEG files. Even when I did start learning about RAW files, I was hesitant to make the switch from shooting JPEGs. I was brand new to using Photoshop Elements, I had never used Lightroom, and I had no real understanding of the power of shooting RAW. So I kept shooting JPEGs.
Fast forward six months to when I finally bought Lightroom (before the days of Creative Cloud). I shot my first set of RAW images at some friends’ annual lobster boil that week. I was so scared that I’d spend hours working on those files in Lightroom, trying to figure out how to make the most basic edits. But right from the beginning, with minimal knowledge of Lightroom, the program was so easy to use, and I saw SUCH a difference in my photo edits. I’ve never looked back.
If I’d known shooting RAW was so easy (and affordable) and would make such a difference, I would have started shooting RAW as soon as I bought a DSLR. I encourage all DSLR photographers to take the plunge today.