Just for Beginners, post your questions, ask for help, get opinions...
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Can someone please explain to me the difference in shootong raw vs jpeg? Someone told me it is easier to remove shadows and such and makes editing easier if u shoot in raw. Is this true? I just started doing this and really do not understand the benefits and drawbacks. What exactly is raw and jpeg anyway? Can I still use portrait mode in raw?
Read this: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/raw-vs-jpeg
If you want more, Google "Raw vs Jpeg" and you will find many, many, many more links to explore.

To get a contrasting point of view, by all means read what Ken Rockwell has to say. Remember, Ken is a professional photographer ... he has learned how to "get it right" when making the shot. I'm not that good, shooting Raw lets me recover from a lot of mistakes I make when shooting.

Many of these articles talk about Photoshop CS. Don't worry, Elements handles Raw just fine.

Rusty

PS - sure, you can use any of the shooting modes with Raw (I think).
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness" - Dave Barry

If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough. - Robert Capa

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What exactly is raw and jpeg anyway? Can I still use portrait mode in raw?


The simple answer is that RAW files do not have any in camera processing done to them. JPG's are processed by the camera and if the settings you are using add contrast, saturation, white balance, etc. they will be applied to a JPG but will not be applied to a RAW file. JPG files are also compressed, so you will end up with much smaller files than if you shoot in RAW. My 12 Mp camera outputs 4-6 Mp JPG files, and outputs 10-12 Mp RAW files. So you can see by that, that I have a lot more data to work with in RAW.

The only things that impacts the RAW file is shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. As long as your camera modes are only using those, then yes you can use them in shooting RAW. But if, for example, your camera has a vivid setting, that will not be applied to the RAW file.

The biggest advantage to shooting RAW is that you get to make all the processing decisions on your photos, and you have the most information to work with in the photo in order to do your processing. With JPG, you can be somewhat limited in what you can do to a file in post, but if you are getting it right in the camera to begin with, you may not need to do much.

Editing RAW files can be more labor intensive, but with retaining all the information the camera captured, you have the most options. I used to shoot RAW exclusively, but have started shooting more JPG lately. If I am shooting a lot, and the shots aren't going to be that important to me, I will shoot JPG. But if I am aiming for more than just snapshots, I will use RAW.
GeneVH

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Teresa,
Think of a RAW capture as a digital negative. Just as a film negative the digital negative has to be processed.
The digital processing is being done by you using an editing program that has RAW editing abilities.
Because the RAW capture is much bigger than a JPEG, it takes longer to process in-camera and it takes up more room on the memory card. Both formats have their good and bad points. You have to decide which works best for your workflow. BTW there are tons of information sites about RAW vs. JPEG on the internet.
Chas
Chas's Gallery
f/16 on a sunny day.....:)
genevh, are you saying that you switch between raw and jpg modes in the camera and upload them together? Does PSE store them in the same organizer? or are raw iamges separated into another organizer? how does that work?
Adding my 2 cents worth here.

On my cameras (Canon 30D, 50D) you cannot shoot RAW in what canon calls the Image Zone - Automatic, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scape, etc. The camera automatically switches to JPG only images.

To shoot RAW, I have to use the Canon Creative Zone settings - P(rogrammable), Tv(time), Av(aperture), M(anual), etc. In this zone, I can shoot RAW, Jpeg, or Raw+Jpeg. The images files are all loaded and processed by Elements or full Photoshop.

In the Organizer (Elements) or Bridge( full Photoshop), you see the thumbnail of the images and can be oblivious to the format (Raw or Jpeg) - it gets resolved when you actually open the file into the Editor and the ACR program comes into play.
John
genevh, are you saying that you switch between raw and jpg modes in the camera and upload them together? Does PSE store them in the same organizer? or are raw images separated into another organizer? how does that work?


Yes - I switch between RAW and JPG in camera. So far I haven't shot RAW+JPG in camera.

As for downloading them, I use LR3 primarily for organizing and processing my photos, and will ship them out to CS5 if I need to do anything to them I can't do in LR, and they go right back into LR when done with them in CS5. My filing system in LR is a bit more involved also. For a particular shoot, I create a folder named with the date of the shoot, and what the shoot was, then I create additional folders inside for the type of file, something like this:

20110429 Twin Lakes
1-DNG
2-PSD (These 3 are sub folders of the Twin Lakes folder)
3-JPG

I then store each type of photo in the designated folder (PSD's would be moved after I am done editing them). If I shoot JPG's, they go straight to the 3-JPG folder. My RAW files I convert to DNG on import, and put them in the 1-DNG folder. This does involve separate downloads when I import into LR; an import of the RAW files and a separate import of the JPG files. A bit of a pain, yes, but it works for me.

I then color code my shots. Green for those I am going to edit, Yellow for edited photos. Red for ones I REALLY like. Ones I am not going to edit I don't color code. Throw aways are marked as rejected and then deleted. I could also rate them 1-5 stars, or combine the ratings. LR gives me tons of flexibility.

It sounds complicated, but I have been doing it this way ever since LR came out and its become second nature to me now.
GeneVH

My SmugMug
My PrestoPhoto
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CS5/LR4/Nikon D300 & D70s/Win7
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