Even though “real” photographers only shoot in RAW I’ve always been a .jpeg kind of girl.  Once I learned about the “Open As” command (more on that in a second) in Elements 8.0 I just saw no reason to shoot in RAW.  The files are so much bigger and I just couldn’t find any reason to justify all that hard drive space.


FYI – The “Open As” command allows you to open a jpeg file as a RAW file and still use all but a couple of the sliders that you could use on a true RAW file – including white balance.  Since the ability to adjust white balance seems to be the most common advantage to shooting in RAW and I could still make that adjustment and not fill up all my drives jpeg has always been my file of choice.


Until now.  One thing I’ve read over and over about Lightroom 4 is that it has an astounding ability to recover shadows and highlights – but only from RAW files.  Blown out highlights are forever blown out highlights in a jpeg file.   The shadow/highlight recovery is so awesome that it might even remove the necessity to use HDR in some instances.  You know I love my HDR but it can take a long time to process.  Now we’re talking move a few sliders and I’ve got all the shadows and all the highlights?

processed in Lightroom 4 using the highlights and shadows sliders

So what do you think?  I obviously need to cool down the HDR shot some and the trees at the top of the gorge are looking kind of funky probably due to an adjustment I made.  But I do really like the rock detail that came out of the Lightroom 4 photo.  And it was so easy!!


One thought on “JPEG vs RAW

  1. I shoot JPEG, too. As Aperture does adjust White Balance, etc. However, there is a time and place for RAW and I might have to try it out the next time I am faced with a large light range. Though I am not sure Aperture does a good a job as LR does. Testing is needed.

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