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Ashland Daily Photo - A picture a day from beautiful Ashland, Southern Oregon USA in the Rogue Valley
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Posts tagged raw vs. jpg jpeg

RAW vs jpg in outdoor sports photography

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@SOURaiders @clay__10 @B_RAB13

Until last year I only shot in RAW for difficult lighting conditions. Now I only shoot in RAW, even for outdoor sports. Yesterday I was on the road, without a computer, so I shot in both RAW and jpg. I sent some jpgs in for quick publication, and they showed up in places like here and here.

Back on my computer today I had the chance to process the same RAW files.

RAW SOU Men's Soccer Clayton Nadon

edited RAW version of Clayton Nadon’s pass

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RAW SOU Men's Soccer Brendan Allen

edited RAW version of Brendan Allen’s goal celebration

RAW vs jpg (#6 or 7 or something)

jpg image, straight out of the camera

jpg image, straight out of the camera

I have mentioned several times before that there are situations where images shot as jpgs are “throw aways” that had they been shot in RAW format could be salvaged.

Today’s comparison is one such example. With a rainbow outside a dimly-lit gym, I had the choice of shooting the rainbow and getting a nearly black gym (above) or shooting the action on the court and getting a white sky (not shown). By shooting in RAW I was able to process the above image to come up with what you see below.

ahs volleyball rainbow

Ashland High School volleyball – rainbow out gym window in front of Grizzly Peak

By the way, Ashland won last night, advanced to the Sweet 16 in state, and will be playing in St. Helens on Saturday. The winner moves on to the Elite 8 round.

Another RAW vs. JPEG comparison

michael wright raw vs jpg compare side by side jpeg concert low light photography

Today’s top photo is of Mike Wright from The Yearling, the second band to play on Friday night. I processed it from the original RAW file.

Below is the same file from the original JPG, quite a difference…


processed from JPG file

RAW vs. JPG (RAW isn’t just for weird, indoor lighting)

raw versus  vs. jpg landscape clouds contrast

I previously mentioned how I was getting better results working with RAW files in concert lighting situations. When going through my jpg image results I almost deleted the above image because the amazing clouds my eyes saw were totally ruined in the jpg file. Before hitting delete, however, I decided to see what I could do with the RAW file. Here is the result:

raw vs. jpeg

Another jpg vs. RAW comparison

raw vs jpeg jpg compare concert photography poor lighting

from jpg file (about 30 seconds of processing)

I still use jpgs for most of my images even though I shoot in both RAW and jpeg. Whenever I try to process a RAW file, and the photo was taken in decent lighting, my jpg either looks better or it is indistinguishable from the RAW file which took many times longer to process. However, in low, poor, or weird lighting I still, sometimes, try to process the RAW file to see what I can come up with.

I don’t think there is much comparison in today’s photo. The jpg simply does not look better. I could have processed that jpg for hours and still not got it to look remotely as good as the RAW-processed result.

fates medallion

from RAW file (about 5 minutes of processing)

Clouds over Ashland

blue sky and clouds ashland oregon

JPEG version

I always process my .jpg image file separately from my RAW image of the same scene. Usually I delete the version I don’t like as much. With this photo, I couldn’t decide. Which do you like better?

raw clouds over ashland oregon blue sky RAW vs. JPEG

RAW version

David Satori of Beats Antique

beats antique david satori

David Satori of Beats Antique @ The Historic Ashland Armory, Oregon

I’ve been shooting in RAW + jpeg for the past month or so. For most photos, I can’t get the RAW files to look as good as the jpegs even though the RAW files are about five times as large and take several times longer to process. However, when the lighting is really poor, when the jpeg photo shows lots of noise, or when the lighting is just funky the RAW processing can yield superior results.

raw beats antique david satori raw vs jpeg jpg

Same photo as above, processed from RAW file instead of jpg


from RAW file with minor post processing in Photoshop - skin color is more natural and background contains less noise, also more details in face and hair

I have had cameras that have the capability to shoot in RAW for over four years now. However, every time I have taken RAW photos I have done nothing with them. I have tried to convert them to .jpg format without much success. Usually my out-of-camera .jpg looked better than my converted RAW image that I worked on for 5-10 minutes.

Today, however, I believe I have made a breakthrough. These .jpgs didn’t look very good no matter what I did in Photoshop to them so I struggled with the RAW images and finally came up with something better than the original. What do you think?

from jpg (with minor post processing in Photoshop)

from jpeg with minor Photoshop processing

john javna

from RAW file with minor Photoshop processing - you can see John's face again and less noise

This second photo is of John Javna. He spoke at the Ashland Martin Luther King Jr Holiday Celebration. He is a major reason why we have ScienceWorks in Ashland. My son loves his Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers. On this occasion he delivered a message about the Ashland Food Project.

Ashland Creek

I headed into Lithia Park to try my first pictures shooting in RAW. The above isn’t one of them. I took the same picture in RAW and could not get it to look anywhere near as good as this. I took a bunch of others in both JPEG and RAW mode too. Same result. All look far better in non-RAW mode. The processing of the RAW images is a huge hassle too. Just to load one takes a few minutes and then the manipulation can take pretty much as long as you want to spend on it.

Some people don’t shoot in RAW because it takes a few seconds to save it to the memory card (as the RAW files are huge). That isn’t a problem with the LX3. In fact, I think you can take something like four or five pictures a second even in RAW mode. But my initial experiment in RAW will not likely have me using it again anytime soon.

This photo is of Ashland Creek in Lithia Park. The little kid’s playground is just off to the left.