Saturday, July 25, 2009

RAW images

Camera RAW, Lightroom, GIMP, SilkyPix, Apple's Aperture, etc. all allow you to change the exposure settings after having taken the shot. Isn't going through all the trouble getting the correct exposure just for newbies shooting in JPEG? Any problem is easily fixed in post-processing!

As a test, just deliberately bracket a shot with lots of highlights and shadows with ± one or two stops under- and overexposure and open the RAW files in the post-processing program of your choice. Change the exposure settings in post-processing such that they all correspond to the neutral exposure; for example, for the one stop overexposed shot, move the slider back to underexpose it by one stop, etc.
I'm hoping that you get the same results as I encountered: Even though changing the exposure sliders will bring back details in the blown out highlights and shadows, it will also bring out noise and the results do look poorer when compared with the correctly exposed shot. Especially when the difference in exposure was large. My conclusion was that I could only get away ever so little with playing around with the exposure sliders, especially on the highlights that seem to suffer more than the shadows on most DSLRs when exposed incorrectly. More about shooting for highlights or shadows in a later post.