The Value of The RAW file format

One of the most significant  image output enhancement options is often ignored by amateur as well as many professional photographers, – the RAW file format.

Shooting in RAW is perceived as  extra work, more data to store and unnecessary since we all know how to shoot good jpegs . . . right?   We don’t ever make an exposure error or concern ourselves with color temperature.   Hummm.

Here is an example:
Photographing people is fluorescent environments . . . as I recall many, many corporate and small business offices are lit how???

I created  this image in one of the worst lighting scenarios on the planet – an office with fluorescent light – with a digital camera set to Program Auto Exposure mode.

Image shot in RAW - no Correction

Image shot in RAW – no Correctio




• Overhead light casts shadows under the eyes and tends to make people’s faces look flat and tired.

• Fluorescent light casts a greenish yellow color, which makes the skin look pretty bad.






Image file shot in RAW - corrected for flourescent

Image file shot in RAW – corrected for flourescent




• I used a fill card to redirect the diffused fluorescent light to fill in under the model’s eyes, nose and chin.

• I removed the greenish yellow cast from the fluorescent light source by clicking a button in Photoshop.







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The Camera: Set your DSLR to 400 ISO – from the camera menu, select the RAW file format –  put your camera on a tripod – elevate the camera to slightly higher than the subjects face – use the  longest focal length available between 85mm – 135mm.

The subject: Place your subject under the edge of a fluorescent panel – have the subject hold the fill card to redirect the  light to fill in under the chin and the eyes – take lots of pictures – work with the subject  to get a range of emotions – do the left & right side.  Pick the one with the best expression!

Happy Shooting!

Sylvester Garza
P.O. Box 920778
Houston, Texas 77292-0778
office: 713.957.2777
cell: 713.899.9706