I’ve always wanted to write about reasons to shoot RAW file format but never really had the perfect example of a photo as reference. Well, I finally got the shot in a once in a lifetime situation.
Awhile back the wife and I went out for a nice walk in chilly about to rain weather. Fifteen minutes into the walk, straight ahead in our path, a photographer stood by concentrating on a scene about to drive by with non other than a Rolliflex TLR rangefinder on a tripod with remote shutter attached. The thought of taking a photo of him crossed my mind that instant but the ultra wide EF-S 10-22 f/4-5.6 mounted on the DSLR wouldn’t make much of an exposure without flash in that dark sidewalk. After a few steps of passing the waiting photographer I changed my mind. Gently tapped him on the shoulder and asked politely to take his photo. He agreed and smiled. At 22mm (equivalent of 35mm on x1.6 crop sensor), I took a total of 3 frames in RAW and thanked him for the opportunity.
Waiting Photographer: What you are most likely interested in is the camera, aren’t you? Me: A little of both, actually (photographer and camera).
I gave him my card so he could contact me for a copy of the photo. My wife and I walked away and WP continued to wait for his shot. But in the back of my mind, the exposure was bothering me to no end. Should have used the on camera flash-nah, that would’ve made WP look like a deer caught in the headlights of a big bus. I had an extra lens with me but that would have taken too long to change and mount.
As the original shot shows, if it was jpeg-trash bin here I come. My only saving grace, I always shoot in Canon’s native RAW-CR2. Increased the exposure level 2 whole stops for WP. Then doing a bit of white balance gave it a more realistic look versus the yellow cast from the building’s lighting to camera right. With the RAW file converted and saved as tiff file I opened it in Photoshop for some magic. Boom-it’s the scene almost from my memory except a tad brighter (thank you curves tool).
Now, wouldn’t you all agree that it was a ‘little of both’?
If anyone knows who the WP (waiting photographer) is please let me know so I can send him a copy.
Next post: Advantages and Disadvantages of Shooting RAW