I've received few emails asking about photography. I love to respond to the emails. To be able to share what I know is a very good thing. That is why starting from this post, I will make an FAQ post from time to time to tell you a little bit about photography. I am not a professional nor a photography guru. The FAQ will be based on my personal experience. I believe every people has their own style so it might not work on you. What I could guarantee is my love for photography. ;)
A little information regarding the photos. All the photos were taken last week in Chiba Minato. They had fireworks there last weekend. I didn't go watch it though. The photos were taken a few hours before the fireworks.
Let me start with a little bit of facts about photography.
Fact 1: Photographer is more important than the camera
You need to learn this fact in the very beginning. Otherwise, you will be very disappointed later when you see the quality of the photos taken from your 2000 US$ DSLR.
"Expensive camera can take better photo."
"More pixels in your camera means better photo."
I've heard that lots of time and I believe I will always hear it. One thing you should realize is the only one who wants you to think like that is the camera salesman (and people who got tricked by the salesman). Do you like a certain musician because they use expensive equipment ? I like to listen to Jon Schmidt's album not because of his piano. It's because he's really good at using his piano. The camera is just tool and it is heavily depends on the user.
Truth to be told, getting a better camera allows you to take a better quality of photo, but you need to be able to utilize the full potential of the camera. It is a difficult thing to learn how to do it. I have seen lots of photo taken by a really expensive DSLR which you can easily get with a much cheaper first-entry DSLR.
It is also true that having a pricey camera also raises your chance to get a bad photos. You will be surprised on how easily to get an out of focus, overexposed, or underexposed photo.
Fact 2: You don't need to shoot RAW in order to get a good photo.
In term of quality, shooting RAW is better than JPEG. The post-processing ability to correct the color of your photos is fantastic. No doubt about it. The downside is the file size. It is fantastically huge. For one photography session, I might need to take two memory cards. Using JPEG,I still have all photos I took few months ago. Also because of the size, it is slower to take photo. This is not good if you want to shoot rapidly.
I shoot JPEG. Every photos in this website is shot using JPEG. RAW is very good for post processing. Unfortunately, I prefer to do the post processing as little as possible. By shooting JPEG, I am forced to learn to get the photo correctly with few shoots.
Does that means I will not use RAW at all ?
I will use RAW if the photo session is absolutely important such as wedding. Even then, I believe I will only use it for few really important shoots.
I know lot of people who shoot only RAW and they really do take amazing photos. I would say that it is depends on your preference. It's just that "RAW is not my thing". ;)