Frequent readers know that I often tote the benefits of shooting RAW. In fact, I usually sum it up with a simple sentence like this:
“If you’re serious about your digital photography, you should be shooting in RAW.”
Here’s an example that I often use to illustrate that statement.
Your digital camera sensor is capable of capturing an incredibly wide range of tone and color detail. By shooting in RAW and processing your captures in your digital imaging software, you’re able to preserve the maximum amount of tonal detail and produce images that have the highest possible quality.
Don’t you want that from your imagery? Don’t you want your landscapes to jump off of the paper with wonderfully dynamic tones? Don’t you want your portraits to carry stunning impact with rich color detail?
Of course, you do, which is why it’s worth spending some time learning the ins and outs of how to shoot and process RAW.
Enter Adobe Camera RAW for Digital Photographers Only, by Rob Sheppard. This book is great introduction to the world of RAW digital photography and Adobe Camera RAW, which is the RAW converter program found in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Rob is the former editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine and he does a great job explaining RAW is and how to use both your camera and ACR to bring your RAW captures to life in a way that matches your own personal and creative vision. He teaches you how to manage white balance, how to understand histograms and use them to ensure proper exposure, how to reduce noise and how to make the most of the powerful tools that you have on your camera as well as in ACR.
He also explains the steps towards creating an efficient workflow for your digital photography so that you don’t have to spend hours in front of your computer processing images. After all, you’d rather be out shooting and making more images, right?
Rob’s main goal with Adobe Camera RAW for Digital Photographers Only is not just to shower you with technical jargon so that you can be an software and digital imaging expert, instead, he keeps the focus on the imagery. As he explains how to use each tool, slider and method, he always keeps the artistic aspect of photography in the forefront so that you can produce beautiful photographs. The technology only serves that end, and he’ll be the first to admit that fact.
Whether you use a DSLR or one of the higher end point and shoots like the Nikon Coolpix P7000, if you’re new to digital photography, or if you’re new to shooting RAW, I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s filled with great information, useful tips and, of course, great images to help illustrate each concept, and it will help you get up to speed with both the technology and the terminology.