JPG vs RAW part 5 (at last..!)

Part 4 ended part 4 with - Why would you shoot in RAW?  Because YOU have control over the final result.  If you take a look at two images in the "Blog Examples" section of the Image Collections, i will try to explain what I am taking about.  The first image is as the scene was shot. Although it was shot in RAW, the JPG would have looked about the same.  I was at a relatively high elevation with a low cloud cover.  The background is almost completely obscured.  However, the naked eye could discern that there was a mountain range in the distance.  I took the shot to determine what would be captured by the sensor in my camera.

In post-production using Adobe Lightroom,  I was able to bring the mountains out of the clouds.  See the second image.  This is because data representing the mountains was captured by the sensor.  By shooting in RAW, rather than JPG the processor did not evaluate the image, determine that there was not enough differentiation and then compress the mountains out of the final image.  I saw the mountains and the sensor did too.  And you can as well, in the second image.  I think the difference is dramatic and illustrates the benefits of capturing as much data as possible.  Remember, that film did exactly the same thing as RAW capture.  JPG was developed to minimize file sizes and may be useful in situations where there is not a broad range of tone, colour or contrast.  JPG, since it uses a "lossy compression" is also not well suited to files that will undergo multiple edits, as some image quality will usually be lost each time the image is decompressed and recompressed.

I hope that this series of Blogs will help you understand why RAW is preferable and also help you to determine when JPG might suffice.  As always, feel free to comment or ask further questions.  Thanks for reading.