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Does shooting in RAW ruin the fun in photography?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Dinobe, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Dinobe

    Dinobe Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Nov 23, 2017
    Lochristi, Belgium
    Let me start by saying that I fully understand what RAW means, I've been shooting (purely) in RAW for over 15 years now. The first couple of years I only shot in jpeg as I didn't get what RAW was actually about. I don't want to start the next jpeg vs. RAW debate.

    As a full-time working father of 2 (one baby, one toddler) I have rarely any time left to do photography. So going on photography trip somewhere doesn't really happen any more. Mostly the photography trip is limited to taking my camera while taking the dog for a walk in neighbourhood.

    As time is limited to go out and take photos, the time to actually process the images on my computer is even more limited.

    The problem is I have a gigantic backlog of photos that still need processing. And there is always that nagging feeling in the back of my head 'still need to do those photo's from this or that occasion'

    Would it be more satisfying to shoot in jpeg? Just do a quick cull, maybe a bit of tweaking and get the photos out there for people to see. If a SOOC jpeg file can give me 85% of the results in 15% of the time, would it be more fun?

    Or is the full RAW processing still the most rewarding way to go? But if you going to tinker a bit with the jpeg files, why not go full RAW?

    What's most satisfying: getting your images out there, or getting those 2-3 images out where you spent hours on processing and photoshopping?

    What do you guys feel?

    (Yes you could RAW + jpeg if you just happen to get the shot of your life)
     
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  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    I know where you are coming from. Processing RAW does take time. I find culling images also time consuming as well (I take a lot of shots to try increase my odds get a better one, where our toddler is smiling and looking at the camera). I don't process every single RAW though, only ones that I feel are decent. And if I don't set myself a time limit, I find processing the image some what fun. Having time limits does make the processing feel like a chore.

    Or as you mention, shoot RAW+jpg - use the jpg and process RAW if you need to (e.g. to recover exposure/wb/increase DR/etc)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. I have a 2.5 year old, and can sort of understand where you're coming from, but don't really relate. I just do my PP at night when she's asleep. I have managed to get really good at culling and PP RAW very quickly though.

    I'm not sure what JPEG/RAW has to do with the fun aspect - what draws you to photography in the first place? I like going out and seeing the world (including where I live), it doesn't matter if I get one shot or many, if it's worth sharing or printing I'll get the most out of it with PP.
     
  4. Dinobe

    Dinobe Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Nov 23, 2017
    Lochristi, Belgium
    I mean the satisfactory feeling of publishing the photo. Now I have this nagging feeling in the back of head that I still need to process these images and the more time I wait to process them, the more photos need processing as I keep shooting, the more work needs to be done, the more tedious it becomes. If you quickly publish some sooc jpeg's this amount of work wouldn't be there and you the turnaround quicker...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  5. BamaBoy

    BamaBoy Mu-43 Regular

    Actually pushing the button is only one third of the process; perception is everything and PP, matting and framing are as important as the original capture if you are interested in " showing " your images. How your image is presented in the mat and framing stage can make or break a good shot. Personally I enjoy the time spent in PP as rewarding as the time spent on the original capture. Yes, if you want quick shows, by all means shoot Jpeg as well as Raw and then you have options. You have to ask yourself what is most important; getting your pic out there quickly or presenting a finished product. I go back and work on OLD Raw files all the time.
     
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  6. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I used to shoot RAW+JPEG all the time and used the jpeg for quick sharing and had the RAW if I really wanted to tweak a photo. But then I realized my PP skills aren’t great and I have no desire to spend more than a few minutes at most on PP each photo. So, I switched to all RAW (I know you’d think that I would go all jpeg with my previous comment). If I have a photo I really want to share quickly I do a jpeg conversion in camera and transfer it to my phone. The rest I process on my computer and find it really doesn’t take any more work for me to process a RAW file than it does a jpeg.

    It sounds to me that the lack of time in your life has taken the fun out of photography. Maybe you should just go all jpeg and not worry about squeezing the last bit of quality out of every single shot until it’s fun again.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    811
    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    Makes sense to me! I used to spend MORE time post-processing when I shot all jpg. I find that if I am going to do any processing at all, even just changing the crop / aspect ratio, raw is no slower and sometimes even faster than starting with jpeg.

    Very similar to what I do. If I know I will want to share photos quickly I use raw plus jpeg, otherwise as you say, convert a few raw to jpg in camera. Then I still have the raw to go back to later if I want to.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Dinobe

    Dinobe Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Nov 23, 2017
    Lochristi, Belgium
    I keep saying this to myself all the time. There are full collections dating from 2012 and even earlier that I still need to do....
    The backlog keeps getting bigger and bigger

    Yes, I actually like processing the images and trying squeeze the last bit of quality out of it, but it's too time consuming right now I guess.
    If the grandparents have to wait 3 months before they can see the birthday pictures of our toddler and I have to rush the processing before the baby starts crying, I won't the quality I want, so I might be better off shooting jpeg's and upload those directly
     
  9. Acraftman

    Acraftman Mu-43 Veteran

    262
    Jan 7, 2017
    I remember asking the question ,how long do I have to do this and my fathers response, until you like doing it then you can quit! Really never cared for that response. I have regretted shooting in jpeg only more than raw only.
     
  10. cdmicha

    cdmicha Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    136
    Dec 28, 2012
    Arkansas
    Chris
    Closer to option #2. I don't spend hours photoshopping, but I certainly just pick the handful of good shots from a shoot, process those only, and share. If I get one shot I'm really proud of in a session I'm happy.

    I find that when I'm not as excited about photography, its because I've been shooting the same thing over and over. I really enjoy challenging myself, and the learning that comes with it, and I think that's where I enjoy photography most. I'll spend hours post processing if I think it's something cool and new (and enjoy it), but if it's the same shot I've taken 1000 times before I can't say the same.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Dinobe

    Dinobe Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Nov 23, 2017
    Lochristi, Belgium
    Good remark! I've been going over the same local tracks over and over again the last couple of months while walking the dog....
    I need a free moment the explore the neighbourhood a bit more :) 
     
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    One thing is for sure: in-camera JPEGs have come a long way in the past 5 years. While RAW still delivers better ultimate IQ, it takes time. The 80/20 rule comes to mind here: Can I achieve 80% of "perfection" with 20% of the effort? If so, that's likely a smart use of time.

    Ultimately, it depends on what you're doing with these images. Going to print one big, hang it on the wall? Doing a shoot for a paying client? Then yeah, RAW makes sense. Going to post on FB for family members to look at, and maybe get a small photo book made to document the trip? If so, then JPEG is probably "good enough".

    Only you can decide what the best use of your time is, but I would keep things in perspective by asking yourself how these images will be used, and if the output medium really warrants the extra time spent editing RAW files.
     
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  13. protapic

    protapic Mu-43 Top Veteran

    526
    Feb 12, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    John

    I *reluctantly* moved to digital photography and gave up my chemicals and darkroom and film because of my 2 young kids and full time job that took away the time to hide in a dark space and hand develop pictures...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    For me, it's 100% raw only. I do landscapes, cityscapes and street and so the number of images is usually low and I want the best final result possible. If I were doing snapshots of the kids where jpegs were enough, I'd use my phone.

    Maybe if you're doing sport/action shots there's a place for jpeg, but otherwise why buy an expensive camera and compromise on IQ?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    As a grandparent, I can tell you it would drive me crazy to have to wait three months to see a picture of my grandchild’s first birthday. It would be tolerable if I saw my grandchild on a regular basis, but if I lived far away and didn’t see them often I’d be thinking, ‘just post a picture you took with you phone or anything. I want to see my grandchild.’
     
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  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I do jpeg + raw. I like having raw copies of what I shoot so I gave the option of more intensive PP if needed.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. I only ever shoot RAW and TBH, I don't know why folk find it so time consuming. I don't have a workflow as such and treat every image individually. I reckon that I never spend more than 30 seconds on an image and often much less. I find the converting to dng more annoying than actually processing. I've always used PS CS6 and ACR and haven't even opened the olympus viewer yet. My main reason for using RAW and ACR is that I find highlight and shadow control more to my liking than anything else that I've tested. That said, I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to work with layers and my post processing is very simple, and in fact, I enjoy it almost as much as taking the photograph.................it's just another sense of achievement added to taking and presenting which is something that I wouldn't get if I trusted tha camera's jpg processing.

    I actually mistakenly changed the camera settings the other day to RAW+JPG and only noticed when the images were downloaded. None of the jpg's were to my liking which again confirms my belief that I am doing right by shooting RAW
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  18. thazooo

    thazooo Mu-43 Regular

    33
    May 24, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    Dana F.
    Chasing Grandkids and documenting an event, JPG. The Oly JPG engine is the finest out there. For those Art Shots or Wall Hangers, RAW. That way you can manipulate forever and get your digital art.One caveat , don't get lost in 'Fix it in Post'. Get it right in camera.
     
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  19. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I would hazard a guess that the issue for many is not raw or jpeg, but quality control.

    Take less photos. Don't spray and pray - take the shot when it is as you want it. Don't take dozens of frames of flowers, what are you going to do with them? When you do a landscape shoot, how many keepers are you expecting from an evenings work? It should be one or two.

    Show only the best - the very very best. Bin the rest. If that's one photo from a day out, that's fine. If you come home with nothing you are proud of, don't show anything.

    Use presets as a base for postprocessing if you find or create a look you like. At least have default colour space, sharpening and lens corrections set so you don't have to tweak those every time.

    There is nothing right or wrong about shooting in any format. There is only what you enjoy doing, and how you do it. I shoot jpg if out with the family and I'm just after a couple of snaps to show the grandparents. I shoot raw when i might get anything I want to show more widely .
     
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  20. Wonderful question! Another reminder to stop and think is good for my soul.
    For me, I made the switch several years back and have been working on capturing as much in camera as possible and producing a 'solid negative' to work on if I choose to. This has made it a LOT more fun than shooting raw ever was (it was always a reminder that you were working). It brings me back to my roots (eons ago. Before you could re-soup your Tri-X into VPS.) and creates a challenge that helps get my juices flowing (along with enough strong coffee). And it takes up much less space and is easy when those many 'quick' opportunities present themselves.
    Thanks for a thought-provoking question to start the day!!
     
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