Adventures in RAW

RAW format. My S90 has it… the Rebel XS has it… what’s so great about it?  I’ve been looking around the web to try to figure out whether I should shoot in RAW or jpeg. The best post I found was here.  The answer appears to be: if I’m not in a hurry to get multiple shots, go for both. (RAW carries more information so it takes longer to save to the SD card.)

It was cold and gray outside today, so I chose to stay inside and take pictures out the back window, to try to see whether RAW + jpeg mode is worth all the space it takes on the card.  There was a nice squirrel outside who volunteered to pose for me (while looking at the bird feeder, trying to figure out how he could partake.)  Since it was cloudy, I set the white balance to “cloudy”. But that maked the squirrel look all nice and warm-brown, not the steely-gray that he really is:

When is a Gray Squirrel not Gray? When he's shot with a "cloudy" white balance setting.

I opened the RAW copy of the picture in Photoshop, and it opened a window that I’d never seen before – one whose function is purely for modifying RAW images. It has a drop-down menu where I could change the white balance, thereby restoring order in the universe.

Phew! Gray once more.

We wouldn’t want that squirrel to look too cute.  After all, as my sister says, he’s just a rat with good PR.


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