Why I Stop Photographing In RAW

The “worst picture” is not one in which there has been an exposure error and that ended up going too dark or very burned. The worst picture is not the one that lacks clarity, and in which the subject is not distinguished from the background of what is blurred. That is not the worst photo believe me.

The worst photo is that which photographs but never sees the light.

Unfortunately, and although I’m ashamed to admit it, I’ve had a few like that. Dozens of photos, hundreds, thousands of photos that I have on my computer at this moment, and that I would call “the worst photographs of my life”. What I am going to tell you next is a shameful fact, but I am counting on the hope that others will learn from my mistake. This article is also in a certain way “swimming against the current”, because I will say something that many photographers will deny, I will fall, I know, I can not say what I am going to say, it is not “cool” to tell this, but not it matters It is a photographic lesson that I learned, something late (I recognize), and I would like nothing more in life than to share it with the people who read Blog del Fotógrafo to share the learning.

I have 120 GB of photos hijacked …
To date today I have more than 120 Gigas in my computer in photographs that I shot with some of my SLR cameras, but I kept prisoners, held back, waiting to be able to “process” them one day. They are in a folder that I have called “Unprocessed”, a folder that I created years ago, within which I created subfolders that I was calling as the places, trips or events I went with my cameras. Moments that I considered important enough in my life to live them with a reflex camera in hand, and that I put all my effort to portray in the most passionate way possible. Moments that were so important to me that I decided to immortalize them in RAW, instead of in JPG. The worst decision I made as a photographer.

With the passage of time I was seeing how the size of the folder “Unprocessed” was just growing. I was supposed to find holes in my day to day to sit down and process little by little the photos I was depositing in that folder, but that never happened, I think mainly due to the huge amount of “unprocessed” photographs that there they waited. I am the kind of photographer who comes home with 4 full memory cards. I do not shoot 3 photos, I prefer to shoot hundreds of photos so I can choose and process at ease. This, combined with the fact that I had decided to shoot them in RAW, made all those photos were somehow “kidnapped” by myself, by my decision to shoot them in RAW, something that in theory should be good, something that in theory He should have helped me improve them.

I never improved them.

Quite the opposite. I gave them the worst life I could give them, I left them abducted indefinitely, with no date of acquittal

What I’m telling you is called shooting in RAW. Something I discovered shortly after having a SLR camera and that was a revolution for me, as for most photographers, if not all. Nobody, absolutely nobody today doubts the advantages of taking photographs in RAW. Search Google or YouTube and you’ll find thousands, maybe millions of pages, videos, tutorials, etc., praising the supernatural powers of RAW mode. All are right, none of those videos, articles or tutorials is wrong (even a server has published in this blog a couple of articles about the benefits of shooting in RAW). What most photographers fail to say is when it is beneficial to photograph in RAW mode and when it is not. There are times when photographing in RAW is a wise decision, but others in which that would be the worst decision you can make.

When photographing in RAW becomes bad for your photographic health
There are many articles that explain when you should photograph in RAW, so today I will focus on when you should NOT, in any case, photograph in RAW. This is my opinion, something subjective and personal, I will respect anyone who does not agree with me, but it hurts so much to see on my desk those 120 Gigas of photos in RAW, thousands of photos that overwhelm me the simple idea of ​​thinking that I have to process them someday. The simple fact of writing about this relieves me, call it therapy blogger

Well, to the mess. Photographing in RAW is not a good idea:

When are you going to take many photos? Each one will have a different threshold, but in my case I have been photographing in RAW for some time only when the session will not exceed 50 photos. There are days when I go out with the idea of ​​returning home with at least 200 or 500 photos. In those cases I use JPG exclusively. If I doubt, or if I am at a moment in which I need to rescue a couple of photos for a more “artistic” processing, I can activate the RAW + JPG mode, which although it lets me have RAW photos, allows me to use the version JPG equally.