I recently had a very interesting conversation about photography. A friend wanted to know the difference between RAW photos and JPG images. I paused before giving my friend my response because I immediately started to think about some of the responses that had been provided to me when I first became interested in photography. None of the responses provided to me years ago were simple and I wanted to make sure that my friend could make of the concept that I would explain.
Think of a RAW images as cake batter and JPGs like fully decorated cakes. Cake batter can be modified quite easily to become different kinds of cakes. A fully decorated cake is far more difficult to manipulate. Sure, one could scrape off the icing of a fully decorated cake and attempt to redecorate it but can the flavor truly be manipulated? Attempting to decorate a cake that has already been decorated will prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. It just makes more sense to manipulate cake batter. Change the flavor of a cake or add more sugar to the batter before you place the mixture in the oven.