Not long ago the Raw format was limited to high-end digital SLR cameraswhich meant you pretty much had to be a professional (or at least quite serious) photographer to take advantage of it. Not so today. Now that Raw is included on even the simplest point-and-shoot cameras, shutterbugs of all stripes can start taking advantage of its greater editing flexibility to produce better final images. This guide is the place to start. In these pages, veteran author Ben Long begins at the beginning, explaining exactly what Raw is and why photographers should use it. He then describes the theory, shooting, and image editing practices needed to work with Raw files. Ben also provides an overview of software used to convert raw files and a thorough explanation of how to use Photoshop Elements to edit Raw images. Some cool Camera Raw tricks, tips for shooting for Raw format, and a glossary of important terms round out the offering.
If you have a camera that offers a raw mode and you've been wondering what it's for and how to use it, then this book is for you. Just a few years ago, raw mode was available only on expensive, high-end digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. But as camera manufacturers have migrated their high-end chipsets to more affordable cameras, and as more people have seen the advantages of shooting raw, raw capability has begun to turn up in more cameras. Now even small point-and-shoot digital cameras often have raw capability.
You don't have to have any particular skill level to take advantage of raw. If you're new to digital photography and photo editing, this book will guide you through all of the basic theory and foundation skills that you need to take advantage of raw capabilities. If you're an experienced photographereither digital or filmthen this book will help you make the transition from shooting in JPEG or film formats.
If you shoot only in JPEG, then you may have already encountered the limitations of that format. Switching to raw may be the ideal solution for you if you've encountered any of these problems:
You can't get the color in your images quite right. If you find that you can't push and pull the colors in your images as far as you'd like, then shooting in raw may give you the additional editing latitude that you need.
You want more exposure control. Precise control of highlights and shadows is the goal of all photographers, and it's much easier to achieve when shooting in raw.
You frequently shoot in low light or in situations with lots of mixed lighting sources. The white balance controls offered by raw converters are ideal for getting accurate color from these difficult shooting situations.
You regularly crop and enlarge your images or print your images at very large sizes. You'll prefer raw over JPEG for its lack of compression artifacts.
If any or all of these benefits of raw sound appealing, then you'll want to know how to use raw, and this book will show you how.