I have done some more homework and this time set my white balance far from what it should have been. In the original photos I shot both RAW and Jpeg in cloudy mode in camera. This made both images much too warm. The noise is also really high as I was shooting inside with filtered light coming through the windows and my exposure was off too. A perfect example really to show you what the difference will be once they have been edited the same way using Lightroom.
Here are the SOOC (straight out of camera) shots.
SOOC RAW image: cloudy white balance
SOOC Jpeg image: cloudy white balance
And the final result…
edited with Lightroom
I was really surprised to see such a huge difference actually. So after completing two comparison tests to see which is better for me, I am definately going to shoot my images in RAW from now on. The difference speaks for itself really.
So as part of my goals this year, I really want to improve my skills as a photographer. I stumbled upon a great blog called beloved muse photography where she has set up her own project 52. Instead of doing a theme she has set up a curriculum focusing on a different skill each week. I am going to participate in this one too. Each week I will be doing some homework to improve my own photography skills. For the past few months I have done lots of study and reading on many things including which format is best to shoot in, RAW or JPEG. Initially I was thinking JPEG is fine and of course it does have advantages in that the file size is much smaller too. But I wanted to see what the difference really is when the exact same image is edited the same way.
For the first week’s assignment we were to intentially take a bad photo in both RAW and Jpeg formats. The aim is to see how much control there is when editing an image in programs such as ACR, Photoshop and Lightroom. For me it’s Lightroom. I took these photos on the RAW+Jpeg setting in my camera, then opend them in Lightroom and edited them the exact same way. Here is the final outcome.
Both images were really underexposed and dull. After adjusting exposure, brightness, contrast and clarity I then sharpened each image and reduced noise slightly. I am definately convinced now that RAW is the better format. The after image is much more natural, the colours are more accurate and the highlights are not blown out like the Jpeg image.