I hate editing. (jpegs vs RAW)

sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
edited August 2013 in General Discussions
This is a quote from another thread

"I hate editing.

I don't think any of us actually like editing

but unless you are one of those people always gets the exposure and WB spot on, or who insist on showing, your few remaining friends, all 2000 + of your holiday photos , it is a job just that just has to be done

Like many of you, I use Lightroom , with a fast computer, it does not take too long, it is certainly faster than any other program I have tried

Yes I shoot RAW but I cannot see any reason why editing would be any faster, if I shot jpegs

There seems to be only a few advantages of jpegs; faster fps, more files on a card, and the one I can understand, if you are an event photographer and need to be quickly send your photos, straight from the camera, to another location

I am interested to hear from those of you who only shoot jpegs

Post edited by sevencrossing on


  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Love this.....and will make a statement that editing is what separates a pro from an amateur. From history, it is my understanding that in the days National Geographic was shooting film, approximately 2-5,000 images were taken for each one in the magazine. This is editing.

    Also, for me, I will have about five or less images which I offer to a client for final pick of one or two. But the original shoot is maybe fifty to several hundred.

    In a venue which has consistent shooting conditions, i.e., studio, and a fixed subject...product photography, the final shoot may be only a couple images for bracketing.

    But, today, to obtain the best capture, IMO one shoots a lot of images and edits via a specific algorithm.
    Msmoto, mod
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,287Member
    Umm, did you quote me by any chance? :D

    I don't shoot professionally so I can get away with not editing at all. And even then I've been dabbling in editing now- I do some cropping and resizing now so it's technically not true either.

    Personally, I like the photo taking aspect, and not the editing aspect. I know for sure there are certain things you can get right in editing that you can't in camera. But I have accepted that because there are so many technique related things I can improve on, like learning my camera that I can avoid editing for now.

    Maybe I will edit more later on.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    If you shot digital images, editing your photo's is part of the process in turning something ordinary into something that is extraordinary. It is during PP that your image comes alive and separates itself from the pack...even if it is going from color to B&W.

    To put this process into reality think of it this way from a male vs female perspective: Men) to shave or not to shave: Which makes you look better and feel better after it is done...regadless of the like/dislike process? Personally, the process is a pain in the ass but it has to be done unless I want to look like Chubaka. Females) to put on makeup or not? Which makes you look better or feel better about yourself?

    If every day all us humans had to do is get out of bed and do what we do, then life would be simple...but to look good we "edit" ourselves: we take a shower, we brush our hair, we shave, and put on makeup. This is like JPEG vs RAW. And for me I Shot RAW (NEF in Nikon's world) and edit to my hearts content. :)
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    The secret to perfect photography is to never let anyone see your mistakes.
    Since all of my shots are perfect, gaps in post edit file numbers must be because of bugs in the firmware.

    All of my cameras seem to have this bug.

    Seriously, the best possible consistent results, require shooting raw and acquiring editing skills.
    If we are not looking for the best possible results, why are we spending time on this forum.

    Regards .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    edited August 2013
    Interesting subject,
    I usually shoot RAW on one card and JPEG on the other. Last week I did an engagement session and obviously planned to give the clients the best quality images possible. So comparing the JPEGs to the RAW files it became a bit of a challenge to get the skin tones of the RAW files to look as good as the tones in the jpegs. I initially thought I'd just use the jpegs but gave myself the task of seeing if I could duplicate the more desirable tones with the RAW files. To sum it up, after a blur of time and lots a slider action in LR4 I got similar looks, hue, saturation, and shadowing with the RAW files - after which I saved the settings as a user preset. I then breezed thru the rest of the images with a click and a smile. The overall benefit here is still utilizing the raw files for further editing.

    I must admit here that if I hadn't have looked at the JPEGs I might not have arrived at the final product that I eventually did. Editing does take time and patience - two things that many of us don't always have - but I think it's often necessary to make your work look better than the average shapshot. Then there is the higher end detail retouching.....time, time, time. I've often considered buying some of the boxed retouching programs but can't seem to pull the trigger.

    What I can't understand is why people who come across as proud of their potography,even if it's a hobby, would post on-line portraits of people with foreign objects in the teeth or nose without first editing those things out. Talk about ruining the whole look... :(

    Post edited by Rx4Photo on
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013

    But I have accepted that because there are so many technique related things I can improve on, like learning my camera that I can avoid editing for now.

    It is during post production (editing), that I become aware of mistakes I made with the camera
    Part of the editing process and probably the most time consuming , is a very critical look, at what you have taken
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,090Member
    I shot JPEG fine large exclusively. I have tested RAW versus JPEG to the greatest degreee of anybody I know including a very large print run. Having had 3 8x10 cameras and a whole fleet of panoramic pro cameras and medium format including some of the best and most expensive (Hassy, Fuji, Linhof, etc. ) I think personally RAW versus JPEG is not something I am going to waste my time on. After proving to myself RAW was not necessary for me I do not agonize over such matters any more. Yes, you can save a bad photo of a good subject with RAW. I have known people that spent hundreds of dollars salvaging one blurry photo. I spend far less time editing as a consequence and I am sure must of you know that. However I always have to get my camera set up very close to right before shooting JPEGS. On the RARE occasion I get a marvelous photo I save that to a TIFF.

    The system I use by the way does not allow further compressions of JPEG unless I go to Photoshop to achieve that. If I ever email a photo (very rare for me as bandwidth where I use my computer for Internet contact is very limiting) I detune to low res. Even in ideal conditions throwing out marginal photos is needed. I have had National Geographic work with me on research projects and I know they took 5,000 shots for each one that appeared in three articles. On the other hand the techniques they used were wasteful compared to how we shoot and I think they machine gunning their way through these assignments. Such a preponderance of photos to illustrate one article is not the approach you would use if you came from a large format background.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Just because you shoot jpeg, does that preclude editing? All the programs I use work on both raw and jpeg. Granted you have less ability to do certain things like pull detail from shadows, but for other things like cropping or straightening you have essentially the same control. This is assuming you start with fine, large not basic, small.
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    The D800 changed things in this debate,for me at least. There is no arguing the distinct advantages the shooting RAW has over JPEG in myriad situations in photography, so we can ignore the technologically ignorant perspective that DaveyJ offers any time this discussion comes up. However, with the dramatic increase in sensor resolution of the D800 it's now much easier to accomplish a lot more with JPEG including post work.

    With portraiture if I have nice even day light to work with and tweak strobes or reflectors or both to modify for fill on the subject I can usually shoot at an optimal aperture, shutter speed and most importantly I can set it to ISO 100. If I get all that right and nail all my modified light angles onto the subject Im only going to be left with minor cosmetic adjustments of blemishes and the light. Very little needs to be done besides a little vibrance, saturation, contrast, etc. All slider adjustments end up being very minimal for such photos and has made me opt for JPEG more often than not when I can get all such variables right - there is no point shooting massive RAW files when the post production work will constitute only lowest percentile adjustments(usually 5% and lower). This is very different than saying that you're getting it all right in camera. Its more about scene recognition, light management, subject direction, cooperative weather, well constructed camera/model/modifier angles, etc. And obviously this is very specific to scenes like portraiture when you can control a lot of the specifically important variables. With things like sports, landscape and wildlife I am almost exclusively shooting in RAW. :]
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    I shot JPEG fine large exclusively. I have tested RAW versus JPEG to the greatest degreee ..........
    This seem a very valid reason, for you, to shoot jpegs

    What surprised me, given that "film" is free and you can get a 30 free trail of LR; very few people can bothered to at least, try RAW

    If you tried both and could find no advantage, then it seems to makes sense, to stick to jpeg

    BTW what camera are you using ?

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PapermanPaperman Posts: 469Member
    I edit, but I edit the JPEGS..... ( keep the RAWS - just in case )

    I say it depends on what you are shooting. If you are into models/portraits/fashion , you do need heavy editing and you need it to be done well and that comes with RAW.

    However, if you are a hobbyist shooting landscapes - which by the way is usually done under ideal light/weather conditions with tons of time to nail correct exposures, then you do not need really have to work with RAWS starting from scratch with each image. As it has been stated, a correctly exposed image requires minimum editing ( the more you do, the worse it gets ) - 80% of what you want is already there in the camera created JPEG . Just another 2 minutes of crop /clarify / saturation /sharpness brings another 10-15 %. And I am content with getting that much.

    I have tested a few times editing some favorite shots in JPEG and at the same time asking a friend to get the most out of the RAW of the same image. The difference - if it was there - was not detectable by me. ( I am talking about almost perfectly exposed images )

    If you are shooting for others to see/ selling your images - then you probably need to target 100% and I guess that only comes with RAW ( & + 10 mins on each image ! )
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    There was a time we shot negatives and the printing process was the final edit. A contact sheet was made of the negative strips, then we selected the ones to print, and after a few final prints, the final was selected. I see the editing process as being one of the steps in producing a final product.

    I agree with what SquamishPhoto had to say about the proper set up initially. It is like so many folks do not see what is in the background until after the shoot. And as has been shown numerous times with his portraits...the background is what makes the final piece of the image. Bokeh, bokeh, bokeh....
    Msmoto, mod
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @msmoto, as a musician we always say its the spaces between the notes that matter more than than the notes themselves. How true that the parts of a photograph that are out of focus matter can matter more than those that are ;-)

    Incidentally, one of the reasons I put up with Capture NX2 is because I can get exactly the jpeg that the camera makes by starting with the raw file. This way if I compose and expose correctly in the field I have exactly that starting point in post.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,090Member
    @SquamishPhoto: Technologically ignorant is hardly the case. You comment is NOT appreciated. I know editors of photo magazines that preferred JPEG fine large over RAW. I edit less than you do. That is my choice. Not yours. The average Nikon DSLR user shoots JPEG or did you not know that. I also am certain that the average NR participant uses RAW as it its clear in the discussions. As a scientist for many years I still lead a life that is plenty complicated enough. I suggest you go back and take a very close look at the title of this discussion. You would think it should read, I hate editing and anyone who supports the use of JPEG over Raw.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited August 2013
    On my last day in Colorado during our NRF gathering, the setting on my D4 found itself on JPEG vs. RAW. After being very disappointed for about 20 minutes or so, I finally calmed myself down and started to look at the images themselves. What I found out was very comforting...about 80% of what I wanted to edit, I was able to do so. I must say, the manner in which the new bodies save the image "in-camera" in JEPG is exceptional.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    I know editors of photo magazines that preferred JPEG fine large over RAW. .
    Sending an editor a RAW file would be a bit like submitting a negative rather than a print or transparency

    while I shoot RAW, I send clients jpegs or prints

    (if you are a staff photographer, then yes, you do want ever the editor tells you )
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    edited August 2013
    I think it's a bit misleading to use "editing" vs. "no editing" as a synonym for RAW vs. JPEG, as it's two different things.

    As for RAW vs. JPEG:
    RAW gives you more range and information depth for editing, while you can perfectly edit a JPEG and get a very nice high-quality image.

    Everything totally depends on the job; studio work or work where every single picture is important, I (and most people I know) shoot RAW.

    If I shoot events, I use JPEG. I don't wanna end up with 1000 RAWs of a stupid event blocking my harddisks. And I do edit event pictures.

    As for editing vs. not editing:

    I know hardly anyone (except for people not into photography at all) who doesn't edit, even pictures from your vacation are cropped, slightly adjusted in tonal values etc. Nothing spectacular, but that's already editing.

    For professional work, editing, then being more extensive retouching, is part of the job. You can of course have it done by someone else, but any image is always retouched, there is no such thing as a non-edited image in professional photography.

    I always find it funny how some people see an image I shot and then say, wow how nice, how did you do that, PLEASE tell me this is post-processed!

    Um yeah, ok. I don't know where on the way this was lost, but back in the analog days, you would spend a LOT of time in the lab getting the positive right. HCB once said that for one good positive, he would spend a full day in the darkroom. Only very rarely, an image is done when you press the shutter.

    I guess it's just because so many beginners and bad photographers use editing tools to make crappy photos look a little better, and think that a boring landscape picture becomes a true masterpiece by boosting up the colors and making a sky look more dramatic. Hence the perception of "editing" being some kind of cheating.

    If you followed that stupid discussion about Paul Hansen's picture that won the World Press Photo Award recently, you know what the deal is.
    Post edited by FlowtographyBerlin on
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    I shoot raw.
    I always try to get the best exposure out of camera because I hate editing too. However I still do it.
    With my first DSLR Nikon D80 I was shooting jpg at first and the results were acceptable. Until I was confortable with the camera I changed to Raw.

    Nowadays with the d800 I still shoot raw and edit in Lightroom and Nik software when I want something creative.

    Ansel Adams said "you dont take a photograph, you make it"
    after I read that quote photography made more sense to me. I see it from a diffrent perspective.
    If it matters I am self taught and still learning.
  • zernickezernicke Posts: 14Member
    I also shoot raw on D3s and D4 but recently on D4 i have been shooting JPEG on second card. The reason is that the lens correction is built into the JPEG files, and since I edit on Aperture, it is nice to have, especially when there is some lens distortion. I find the JPEG's have rather pleasant skin tones and always have the raw files if i need them. For posting on the net, JPEG's are just fine.
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 398Member
    edited August 2013
    D60. I mostly shoot JPG. Am familiar with what it does well in camera, and what it does poorly. When I see I'm in a sticky situation, WB, Dynamic Range or available light looks challenging, I flip over to RAW. Also depends on if I'm just shooting snaps or if I'm shooting a 'valuable' scene.

    Then on the computer, I rate the good and bad in Aperture using 1-5 stars, trash the ugly. 1-3 I rarely touch. 4-5 I expect to share or print, so I clean them up with adjustments, Dfine or PTlens. I'd say 80% never get any further attention. Of the 20% remaining, the minority are RAW. I'm happy when they are, but I don't loose sleep or tears when limited to just the JPGs

    Yes the RAW's are technically better when I pixel peep, but even a well adjusted, cleaned-up JPG holds up to printing and my 42" flatscreen. "Good enough" for realistic output these days is far beyond what I need. The only time I wished I could push my camera further are in cropping scenarios when I had too wide a lens on, or in extreme low light... so that's why I continue to lust for new gear. But I'm realistic with the work I do on the ancient D60.

    p.s. as with audio and the ear, training of the eye will be different for different people. If I were to rate my eye (there's a new thread topic!), I'd give myself a 7. I'm sure I don't see what many pros do, but I see more in a photo than non-photographers who just have a camera. My ears are ~9. I know I hear details that others don't. A lot of these debates seem to come down to how refined the sense and demanding different people are.
    Post edited by KnockKnock on
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    I'd say just the opposite Pitchblack; I think today post production is as much a part of photography as aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

    I always viewed the two formats as:

    time (jpg) vs. production value (raw)

    I'm partial to trying to up production value, and so I spend time in post with RAW.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • CEBluecloudsCEBlueclouds Posts: 1,943Member
    Very interesting discussion... I initially started off shooting jpegs when I acquired my first dslr until a much more experienced hobbyist in 2008 advised I shoot in RAW because according to him, raw files can be preserved for much more longer than jpegs (I accepted this as gospel truth up till today and never verifed this fact!...and now wonder if this is actually true). Since then I shoot exclusively in raw and then covert to jpegs. I do limited post processing...exposure adjustment if needed, etc. But with the D800 I shoot raw on one card and jpeg in the other. I review and permanently keep the raw files that I want to preserve and delete the rest...I however keep most of the jpegs straight out of the camera which as already mention in this discussion are mostly suitable. I would always shoot raw first preference because I like the flexibility of making detailed adjustments when needed but for my needs (I shoot just for the fun of it... I just love it...It relaxes me...and I'm progressively improving on my technical skills especially since I started following NR). SO my advise....shoot what works for you.....not sure it's correct to say.....shooting raw or doing detailed pp is what makes someone a pro......e.g. It's not what would make a photo journalist a pro.....but it's unlikely you would be a pro fashion or studio photographer or landscape photographer without shooting in raw or having the competence to do detailed pp! Just my 2 cents....
  • blandbland Posts: 812Member
    I'm in a situation right now because of the number of shoots I have I do not have the time to shoot in RAW, because of the time it takes to edit RAW. But to my surprise using my D800 the jpegs come out incredibly well.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    because of the number of shoots I have I do not have the time to shoot in RAW, because of the time it takes to edit RAW. .
    Assuming you do some editing and have the skills to use a program such as Lightroom, why should a jpeg be any faster ?

    or do you have a very slow computer

  • blandbland Posts: 812Member
    @sevencrossing .. downloading, file transfer/saving/backup and converting is where the time issue comes in.

    One might say it's not that much slower but it is when you shoot 500 shots an event and then process 100 of them. When I was doing 1 shoot a week I would shoot in RAW but now I'm shooting 3-4 shoots a week, then I work 40 hours plus at my regular job.........makes for a full week.
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