Fellow Photographers,

My featured post this week, is an answer to a question from one of my subscribers about the value of shooting RAW + JPG.

My Introduction to DSLR Photography Course will be starting in a little over a weeks time – if you haven’t yet booked your place please do so soon as know numbers really helps with the planing.

Also getting a plug this week is the Shooting Silhouettes event which takes place on Friday 24 April, and my FREE 120:20 Challenge event that is taking place in Manchester on Bank Holiday Monday May 4th.

Featured Post

BLOG: Shooting RAW + JPG

You should be shooting RAW

You will probably know all the reasons why you should shoot RAW and not JPG, if you need any convincing as the the merits of RAW take a look at this image.  Due to an error on my part I discovered I was ONLY shooting JPG when I took the image.  It’s not a bad shot… until you look at the sky above the model’s head and you can see the posterisation on the sky (the sky is in bands of colour).  If you can’t see what I mean click on the image to view a high resolution version of the image.  This is cause by the fact that a JPG image doesn’t really contain sufficient date to handle the type of post processing I wanted to do with this image.

However…. this blog is not about the merits of RAW over JPG.  It is about shooting RAW+JPG.  A reader of this newsletter contacted me recently to ask, if he was shooting RAW was there any point in shooting JPGs as well.  Or in other works why shoot RAW+JPG?  There are a number of reason why you might want to shoot both.

The first thing to say is that if you are going to convert all your RAW files then you could argue that you don’t need the JPGs from the camera, you can just export converted JPG files from lightroom (or whatever tool you use to do the conversion)

Learning to convert RAW files

However, if you are new to processing RAW files, one of the reasons you might want both RAW and JPG is so that you can use the JPGs as a benchmark to see what is possible from to create from the RAW data.  When people make the switch to RAW they often find that initially their processed RAW files don’t look quite as good as the JPGs the camera can create.  This is usually a short term problem cause by inexperience in processing the images.  Have the JPG as a bench mark helps you know what can be created from the RAW data.  Pretty soon however you are likely to find that you processed RAW images look better than the camera JPGs.  That is the time to ask yourself do you still need the JPGs?

Again if you are new to shooting in RAW and if you don’t want to process all your images – you can use the JPGs for those shots that you don’t want to process the RAW files for.  If you are happy with the JPGs straight out of the camera for 90% of the images you shoot great – use the JPGs 90% of the time and only process the 10% that you need work on.  Eventually you may find the split becomes 80/20, then 60/40 and so on until you are processing the majority of you images.  Again this is the time to ask do I still need the JPGs?

Other Reason to shoot RAW+JPG

So if every image you work on or display is shot in RAW are there times you still might want to shoot RAW+JPG?  Yes there are.

My camera has two memory slots – 1 SD and 1 Compact Flash.  In my case I send the RAW files to my Compact Flash and send JPG copies to the SD card.  This is a form of live back-up.  If anything happened to my CF card, at the very least I have the high resolution JPGs on the other card.  As you could see from the image at the start of this blog they are not perfect, but in the event of a card failure they are better than nothing.  Why not just save RAW to both cards?  Well, in my case the SD card is also my wi-fi card and I use it to send the images to my iPad as I shoot – RAW files would be too large for that.  Additionally as I can store large quantities of JPGs on the card I almost never remove it from the camera, so less chance of losing it!

One other final reason for shooting RAW+JPG.  If you are shooting for a client who wants to see the images at the shoot – you can quickly show them the JPGs to give them an idea of what the images will look like after you have processed them.  When shooting at an event I will transfer the JPGs over to my laptop for clients to look through and place their orders.  After the event I will process the corresponding RAW files to give them the best possible final image.

Forthcoming Events

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 – Introduction to DSLR Photography Course


Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £149

This course will give all the basics to go out and start creating great images. The course is 7 sessions long and will be running weekly on Wednesday Evenings 7.30pm – 10.00pm. starting Wednesday 15th April.

Custom Thumbnail

The course content will include the following:

  • Composition, seeing and finding great photos.
  • Camera settings – understand what your camera can do
  • Getting the camera off auto:  understanding F-Stops, shutter speeds, focal lengths and ISO
  • White balance – what is it and when to change it
  • Flash photography.  Creative ways to use your flash gun to enhance your photos
  • Controlling the light – reflectors, difusers and filters.
  • RAW and JPG – what’s the difference?  Why shoot RAW?  How to process it
  • Downloading, processing and editing.
  • Photography in difficult conditions:  at night, in the heat of the day, in the rain.
  • Photo critiques – learning how to assess your photos and teaching yourself to improve.

The course is aimed at beginners and those who wish to consolidate their photographic knowledge.  As with any course the time spent on any given subject will be tailored to reflect the current knowledge and experience of those attending. Printed course materials (over 100 pages of notes) will be provided to all attendees.  Throughout the course there will be opportunities should you wish to have your photographs assessed to help you improve.

The total cost of the course is £149.   A minimum deposit of £40 is required to reserve your place on the course.

Please note: The course is designed for users of DSLR cameras.  If you have a “compact” camera or a “bridge” camera please contact me to discuss its suitability for this course.

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/introduction-to-dslr-photography-course-7/

Friday, 24 April 2015 – Shooting Silhouettes


Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Price: £29

Tonight’s Friday Night at the Studio event will be all about shooting silhouettes.  We will look at a couple of different techniques for creating interesting silhouettes.

To give maximum flexibility our model will be working to art nude levels for this shoot.

Details of the model will be published shortly.

Price £29

Maximum number of places will seven.

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/shooting-silhouettes/

Monday, 4 May 2015 – 120:20 Challenge: Manchester


Location: Ian’s Studio
Time: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Price: £Free

Are you up to the challenge?  You have exactly two hours 120mins.  All you have to do is take 20 photographs.  But here’s the catch:  There must me no duplicate images.  No retakes.  No deletions.  The twenty images must be consecutive frames.  At the end of the challenge you must show all twenty images.

The challenge isn’t easy.  You have an average of 6 minutes per shot, including getting between the locations you are going to shoot.  The challenge makes you think about each and every frame you take.  Check your settings and your composition before hitting the shutter release.

I am organising this free event in Manchester.  Meet at the fountains in Albert Square (in front of the Town Hall).

Even though there is no charge for his event I would appreciate it if you can book via my website just so that I know how many people are going to be coming.

I’m going to try to arrange somewhere for us to go and have a drink and a chat afterwards… and so we can look at what we have each photographed.

Price: Free

Please book via my website: http://www.ians-studio.co.uk/events/12020-challenge-manchester/

Photo of the Day

POTD (1 Year Ago Today) : Mon, 7 Apr 2014: Marker Pens

Highlighter Pens


The highlight of my day…. (sorry!).

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

Image Reference: FG0407A-G06225

POTD (4 Years Ago Today) : Fri, 8 Apr 2011: Zoe at Night


Although this image looks like it was shot in some posh night club. It is actually just outside my studio. The background is just a roller shutter to one of the units with two speedlights with coloured gels on them. The model, Zoe, was lit by a third speedlight with an umbrella modifier.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

Image Reference: FD0408A-E06721

Stock Sales

For those who are interested in Stock Photography here’s some information about some of the strange and not so strange sales that I have made.

SALE 17 Jun 2005: Pen Parts

Pen Parts

LICENCE: Royalty Free

Back in 2002, I was preparing for the day when I would become a professional photographer. As part of that process I experimented taking some macro shots of pen parts. This image I colorised and submtted to Alamy. It sold once, three years later.

Usual problem with Royalty Free – I have no idea who bought it or how it was used.

17 Jun 2005
17 MB
1981 x 2986 pixels
408 KB compressed

Alamy link: http://www.alamy.com/image-details-popup.asp?Imageid={20F879A2-7341-4AB3-82F5-1B3CEB32F204}

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a source of free photographs.
This photograph is (c) Ian M Butterfield. All rights are reserved. No use Is permitted (including non-commercial use) without prior permission. If you wish to use any of my photographs please ask first.

Image Reference: 2002-EOS009-23a

The Full Programme

For full details of all our fourthcomming events please use the links below or click on the event eFlyer.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 – Introduction to DSLR Photography Course
Friday, 17 April 2015 – Backlighting
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 – Intermediate Photography Course (8 Sessions)
Friday, 24 April 2015 – Shooting Silhouettes
Saturday, 25 April 2015 – Introduction to Wedding Photography Workshop
Monday, 4 May 2015 – 120:20 Challenge: Manchester
Friday, 8 May 2015 – Friday Night Venom
Saturday, 9 May 2015 – Night Photography Workshop
Sunday, 10 May 2015 – Comprehensive Studio Photography Course
Friday, 19 June 2015 – Falling Down and Floating Up
Saturday, 5 September 2015 – Learn to Use Your flash Workshop
Saturday, 19 September 2015 – Digital Rain & Wet-look Glamour Workshop
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 – In-Depth Art Nude Course
Saturday, 10 October 2015 – Messy Art Nude Workshop
Saturday, 24 October 2015 – Studio Photography Taster Day

Don’t forget our referral programme

£10 for each new photographer you refer to the studio who goes on to book for an event, workshop or course. More details here.