Why shooting RAW is the best idea

For those photographers who are shooting using the jpeg format, here’s a pretty compelling demonstration of why you should change to a RAW format if you can.

Recently I took some car interior shots while the car was in being repainted. These were shots for my insurance company who, quite unreasonably I thought, wanted to have on file  some photos of the cars they insure.

Suffice it to say the shots were taken quickly with no real attention to detail.

With one shot the flash hadn’t fired and you can see the results below –  an interior that looks virtually black with no detail – but by tweaking the RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw the shot was made passable.

As a comparison I wondered how a jpeg of the same image would perform if tweaked the same way and the results were quite dramatically worse. I wasn’t expecting the quality gap to be so big.

The amount of detail contained in the shadows of the RAW file which can then be brought out is phenomenal.

So, if you can shoot in RAW but choose not too, think about a change.

Our Shaky Isles

Just over 12 hours ago the east coast of the South Island was hit by a major earthquake. In Wellington it rolled through shaking up everyone and everything. Thankfully we suffered no damage as the old house rocked and rolled with the punches.

It was the strongest earthquake I’ve ever experienced and, being a born and bred Wellingtonian, I’ve been through a few.

What I’m not used to are the aftershocks following this quake. They seem to have been constant for the last 12 hours.

The shot below is my iPhone’s notification of “moderate” or greater earthquakes that have occurred in the last few minutes – about one quake every 4 minutes – with anything above 4.5 being strong enough to notice. The experts say this could continue for days or weeks.

Yikes, there’s another one.

GeoNet notifications

A terrace with a view

view-of-sienaAs our thoughts turn to Italy, a look through the photo album reminds us of time spent around Siena. This photo is taken from the front terrace of the cottage we called home for 6 months at Casavacanza Vesta and is looking towards Siena on a warm October evening.

When we arrived the view was almost completely obscured by trees but while we were away one weekend the kind owners thinned the trees – providing us with this fantastic sunset show each evening.

Poppie – our ageing girl

Poppie is eleven years old this year. In human years that’s around 67. But no one has told her that, and she still acts like a youngster most of the time.

But every so often you catch her feeling her age, taking the stairs a little slower than usual, sleeping a little longer in the mornings or preferring to snooze on the end of the couch rather than watching the street for anyone brave enough to pass our front gate.

Happily these times are short-lived and before long she’s back to bouncing around the house and terrorising innocent pedestrians.

What a great time to fly

tuscan-sunset-crete

Tuscany in October 2011

If you are thinking of heading overseas next year – check out the early bird airfare deals that are available at the moment. We’ve just booked our flights to Italy next August and it cost $600 less than exactly the same flights in 2015.

We’ve also booked Villa Arienzo for two weeks over Positano festival time and plan to spend a week in Tuscany when we will catch up with friends.

The fourth week? We are thinking of heading to the heel of Italy to explore Apulia as we’ve never been to this part of Italy before.

 

A view of Siena

siena-and-duomo-from-torre-wideI’m not sure if there is a best way to see Siena. Walking the narrow streets it looks great. Standing in the the middle of the Campo it looks great. But from the top of the Torre del Mangia it looks breathtaking – quite literally breathtaking – because of the 400 steps (exactly 400 steps) that need to be climbed to reach the top.

Here are some shots taken once I had caught my breath.