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6.  Shooting in RAW (continued)

larger than its jpg counterpart.  But since the price of memory cards drops constantly, while at the same time storage capacity increases significantly, this is generally no longer an issue today.

The benefits of RAW are immediate to professional photographers:  greater tonal range and control of lighting. 

For example, a very common problem with jpgs is "banding" --the absence of gradual tonal range.  An expanse of sky may appear to have "streaks" running across it, since the subtle shading gradations of the sky are lost during jpg post processing.  RAW allow the photographer to capture the full range of colors and shades, eliminating the problem. 

But while there are obvious advantages to shooting in RAW, especially if the intended output is for a professional submission, there are certain myths about the benefits associated with shooting in RAW.

Many people believe that since RAW captures so much information, it can be used to correct virtually any exposure or focusing problem.  That's not the case.  And it's a common failing among photographers.

An overexposed picture, with its detail bleached out by the wrong exposure, will always be washed out.  RAW cannot restore detail that is not there in the first place. A blurry picture cannot be realistically sharpened to the point that it's indistinguishable from a well-focused image.


This common misconception brings me to the most important issue that faces the beginning  photographer:  there is no substitute for understanding the basics.  They incorrectly believe that

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