For those that would like to know more about the principles behind your images:
We as professional photographers have two main options when we take an image we will either shoot in JPEG format or RAW format. When one starts editing images, there is a vast difference between the two formats.
JPEG is an abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group. This is the most commonly used file format and it will be found in most point and shoot cameras and smart phones and tablet. Most computers can open a JPEG image. There is a special algorithm that compresses the file with an acceptable amount in loss of data. When we edit we like to use all of the available data, so although we will present you with your images in JPEG format we like to use as much data as possible before we get to this final stage. JPEG images are also small in comparison with RAW images.
A RAW file does not damage any of the data using compression algorithms, this files is uncompressed, considerably larger and needs specialised software to open the files. They could also be considered to be digital negatives containing all of the unprocessed data. The strange thing to a non professional editor is the JPEG images appear to be sharper and have more colour than the flat looking RAW images, but for those of you that remember the old film cameras, a RAW image could be seen as these negatives. In layman’s terms if you were to scan an old photo you would have a JPEG image and if you were to use the old negative film and have it developed you would have a RAW photo, so you have far more control over the RAW files than you do the JPEG files.
Advantages of your photographer shooting in RAW
To make things more understandable lets look at colour, a 12-Bit RAW image has over 68 billion colours with 4096 shades of Red, Green and Blue. A 14-Bit RAW file has around 4.3 trillion possible colours. A JPEG file usually has around 16 million colours containing 256 shades of Red, Green and Blue. JPEG images also suffer from image compression artefacts.
An 8-bit JPEG format contains 256 shades of Red, Green and blue (16 million), a 12-Bit RAW image contains the most amount of information with 4096 shades of Red, Green and Blue (68 billion colours). We shoot 14-Bit RAW files which equate to around 4.3 trillion possible colours. RAW files do not suffer from image compression artefacts, that is when your image looks a little blurry.
One of the great things with a RAW file is that you can use a program like Photoshop which uses very advanced sharpening algorithms where a JPEG file is automatically sharpened. Photographers will debate the advantages of both systems until a better one is developed but we personally like to work of RAW files.
JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group it is pronounced Jay Peg and has a file extension of .JPG uses an internationally agreed algorithm to compress the image resulting in a loss of data.
RAW – Contains minimally process data from the digital camera and are not yet processed.