Since cameras were able to shoot in both raw and jpeg, I’ve shot in both. During my decades of Nikon shooting I predominantly used the raw file to edit as I truly hated the colour science of Nikon cameras. About a year ago I deleted around 600GB of Nikon raw files I had accumulated over time.
I’m now in the situation where I have accumulated around 300GB of Fujifilm raw files, so it’s time to take a look at what I’m doing, what I need for the future and what I should be doing.
Firstly, almost every single sale I’ve made, or commission I’ve done, I have used the Fujifilm jpeg file. The only exceptions are very low light images and images I want to play with film simulations later. Everything else has been from the jpeg image.
Secondly, I’m just enjoying photography now and not concentrating on sales. More than ever I’ve been trying to have beautiful images in camera, with minimal tweaks in post processing. Thanks to Fujifilms colour science and quite malleable jpegs, I’ve relied less and less on raw files.
The other day I sat down to look at my photos, straightened a few images, adjusted exposure if needed and was making very minor tweaks when I realised the last time I edited a raw file for myself (as opposed to editing to test software updates etc) was a long time ago!
Why was I also shooting raw then?
I always think to myself that if the jpeg is unusable for any reason, then I have the raw file as a backup. Also, in many years time I might want to go back over an image. I think a lot of people think like this, it’s like storing old newspapers/magazines for a time you want to re-read them. That time never comes around and you end up with piles of old newspapers/magazines.
As I said, in very low light, I was always use raw files over jpegs, because on this occasion it makes total sense.
Why jpeg only from now on?
I enjoy treating the art of photography like film. With film, we didn’t have a second chance, we took the photos, sent them to be developed (yes we all dabbled in the dark room, but for the most part, and for most people, film was sent away) and enjoyed the results.
Of course, we can edit the jpeg file enough to correct things like exposure and other tweaks, so there is an element of safety, plus it’s super simple to add an LUT or preset if needed.
I don’t believe shooting one way or the other makes you any better/worse a photographer. No one cares how you get to the final result when they buy your images, or enter competitions or when they study your images on the wall. No one at all! So I’m happy to go jpeg only from this point forward.
I am a semi-professional photographer who runs a weekly meeting photography group as well as numerous Facebook groups (Great Photography Walks South Wales and Fujifilm Lovers Worldwide Group). I also have a brand-new blog website dedicated to various other things which I like to call The Ramblings Of A Welshman. I hope you can join me there; you might find it interesting! You’ll find my YouTube Channel Here!