RAW – Before and After

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1534779116090{padding-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]I often get asked about RAW files and in some instances, a client may request these files during or after a shoot. It’s a sensitive subject for many professional photographers so I hope this quick post helps you understand why I (and most pro photographers) prefer not to share them and why its actually counterproductive to do so.

Here is an image from an interior shoot I did for an airport lounge. The one on the right is the RAW file, straight from camera and the one on the left is the final edited image. By scrolling left or right, you can see the full pictures.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Scroll the arrows to see the before and after.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1534779132463{padding-bottom: 40px !important;}”][vc_column][gambit_before_after before_image_id=”842″ after_image_id=”841″ start=”.25″ angle=”0″ slide=”click” return_on_idle=”true” arrows=”true” arrow_color=”#2d2ef0″ border=”true” border_width=”1″ before_caption=”RAW Image” before_caption_pos_x=”right” before_caption_color=”#ffffff” after_caption=”Processed Image” after_caption_color=”#ffffff”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1534779116090{padding-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Clearly, the RAW file is the least impressive. This is because RAW files are intended to come out of the camera totally flat, ready for the photographer to process, much the same way photographers would process a negative in the old days of film photography. Essentially, a RAW photo – like a negative – is purposely unfinished.

In addition, the original picture also contains parts that need editing out, it has a mixture of unsightly blue daylight on the left with yellow interior light to the right, shadow details which need recovering and the windows are way too blown out to show any detail. All of this got fixed through a combination of RAW conversion, retouching and combining parts from a different image all together![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

Next example is a people shot from the same lounge shoot. This one hardly needed any retouching at all, but you can still see how a proper conversion of the RAW file makes it pop. During the processing, I helped bring back some colour and detail in the sky and also in the foreground shadows.

So there you have it, there is no magic dust in those RAW files you’ve heard about. In fact, you’d have every right to be disappointed if I sent you these RAW files. In my eyes, I’d be doing half a job. The RAW conversion is a big part of my workflow, giving clients crisp, finished images fit for purpose.

My advice to anyone who commissions a photographer is to ask for the edited photos, in high resolution and make sure they are saved without compression. TIF or JPEG is fine. This will still allow you some wiggle room if you need to edit or stylise them further and they’ll also be much more user-friendly for your own workflow. And let the photographer deal with the RAW part.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][gambit_before_after before_image_id=”844″ after_image_id=”845″ width=”564″ start=”.5″ angle=”0″ slide=”click” return_on_idle=”true” arrows=”true” arrow_color=”#2d2ef0″ border=”true” border_width=”1″ before_caption=”RAW image” before_caption_pos_x=”right” before_caption_color=”#0a0a0a” after_caption=”Processed image” after_caption_color=”#000000″][/vc_column][/vc_row]