RAW photos are a very important part of photography. We can say that almost everyone who wants their photos to be good takes the photos in RAW format, if you don’t have a camera you may not be familiar with the RAW format, so what is a RAW photo?
RAW format offers photographers greater flexibility when adjusting colors in the photo. It prevents overexposed bright areas, bringing out their true colors, and enhances visibility in very dark areas. This flexibility aids various creative manipulations, depending on the photo’s composition. It was not possible to shoot in RAW format in the past but today’s most of the smartphones are able to shoot images in RAW.
What is RAW actually? How can I benefit of the RAW images?
When you take a RAW photo, it may initially appear dull and lacking in vibrant colors. But, you have the power to shape the RAW image. You control the contrast, lighting, dark and bright areas, and color adjustments, rather than relying on automated processes that your phone makes for you.
Various mobile photo editing apps, such as Lightroom and Snapseed, allow you to edit RAW photos. In this article, we’ll focus on what you can achieve with Lightroom. Lightroom mobile is a simple and straight forward app for basic color editing. Here’s the RAW image we will edit on Lightroom app.
The colors of the car and road look quite normal but it is obvious that the sky is too bright. Because phone cameras have a lower dynamic range than the human eye, they can sometimes save bright areas as completely white and dark areas as completely black. A few adjustments to the bright and dark areas to make them as close as possible to what the human eye sees can completely change the look of the photo. RAW format allows you to completely change how a photo looks.
In this photo we reduced the highlights because the sky was too bright, when you adjust the highlight you only affect the bright areas of the image, if you reduce the exposure you make the whole photo darker. We reduced the exposure to gain the actual color of the sky but this caused the road looking dark.
We used the shadows slider to brighten the darkened road, achieving better balance. We also increased the blacks. The sky isn’t as glaringly bright, and the road is no longer excessively dark.
To make the colors vivid on your image, you can boost saturation in the color section inside the Lightroom mobile app. In our example, we increased the saturation.
If you want to pop a specific color, you can do so in the color mix section. We enhanced the yellow hue, leading to the sun rays on the mountain in the background becoming more vibrant.
With photos taken in RAW format, you have complete freedom with colors. While we have explained a basic photo editing, , but if you want to play with the colors a lot and create something completely different, that’s up to you.
RAW format gives the best flexibility, so should I shoot in RAW always?
If you care about quality, we recommend that you always shoot in RAW, but if the quality of the photo is not so important, you can continue to shoot JPEG instead of RAW.
It’s worth noting that RAW photos take more storage space compared to JPEGs. A 12 MP smartphone image might take up to 5 MB, while a RAW photo can be sized around 20 MB. If you have low storage remaining on your phone and you should take multiple pictures, you should be taking photos in JPEG.