Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Developed RAW vs Developed JPG

When it comes to the RAW vs JPG debate, You don't have to look very hard on-line to find ample amounts of writing espousing the benefits of one format or the other and why you should or shouldn't shoot exclusively with either one. And despite what the title of this post may imply, I will not be debating the merits of either format but rather providing a visual example of one image edited with both formats as a starting point. Both the RAW and JPG file formats have their inherent advantages and disadvantages, but that's another post.

The photo below of a Giant Pacific Octopus was taken on a recent trip to the Seattle Aquarium. The photo was taken on RAW+JPG @ ISO 3200, with the RAW file then developed in Darktable and the JPG file in the GIMP.

Camera JPG

Darktable Edit

Gimp Edit

Of the two developed files, I think the Darktable version is closer to what the scene looked like. But then again, I don't recall exactly as I spent about as much time watching the Octopus as it took to take that photo. Chasing my highly active and very excited 16 month old son left little time to focus on taking anything more than the passing snapshot. On the other hand, in this case I like how the GIMP edited photo turned out a little better, the slight color differences change the mood and feel of the photo. I also could have explored more of the editing options in Darktable to get a similar look, but this was a fairly straight forward, minimally adjusted image for this comparison.



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