You have an underexposed photo. It is too dark but the more you adjust the exposure setting, the more dithering you will get. If this situation sounds familiar to you, it might be because you have been shooting with JPEGs. Stop everything you’re doing, download RAW photos and experience the power of photo editing like you never had before.
What is RAW?
RAW is an image file format that captures significant amount of data recorded by your camera’s sensor when you take a photo.
Most low-end cameras, or even a DSLR by default uses the format JPEG which compressed your image. The good thing about JPEG; you would be able to save a lot of storage space.
Why RAW instead of JPEG?
If you are serious about photo editing, RAW is the way to go. Why? Because of the dynamic range and the amount of data that you can recover. Since no information is compressed with RAW, you will be able to brighten up your photo in a way that isn’t possible with JPEG. As a result, a RAW photo gives you more room for post-editing.
Have a look at an example of an underexposed photo I shot when I was in Barcelona. Simply edited just by bumping up the shadow and bringing down the Highlights. The result is something that you can’t achieve with a JPEG.
We have compiled a number of websites where you can get unedited RAW photos taken by professional photographers with their top of the line cameras.
Here is the list of websites where you can download RAW Photos for free :
We’ve got a new number 1 spot, and after checking these guys out, we feel like this is probably the best place to download free RAW photos to practice your editing skills. You can use these photos for commercial or non-commercial use. For photographers out there, you can contribute to this page by uploading your work. Do note that whatever you are uploading will be subjected to their license.
WeSaturate (UPDATE – No Longer Available)
Unlike Unsplash, WeSaturate allows you to download the RAW version of a photo. Not all photos are available in RAW but you could find some of them whenever there’s a RAW icon below the photo located next to the regular JPG icon. (Edit: Sadly, it seems that WeSaturate has been discontinued)
Their main business is a professional retouching service which focuses on portrait photos. Modestly they offer free RAW photos you could download for the purpose to learn more about image editing.
A great website to learn about photo editing moderated by the great photographer Serge Ramelli. You need to sign up to his website in order to be eligible to download his free RAW images.
Thanks to the professional Photographers networked with Retouching Academy Lab, Hana Gonzalez, Verginiya Yancheva, Isaac Ruiz, Tales Henn, and many more have granted the permission for you to user their amazing portrait photography RAW photos for editing practice. Note that these photos are solely for practice purpose and you need to credit the photographers should you decide to post them in your social media or website.
Can you shoot RAW on your iPhone? Yes, you can!
There are some apps that would allow you to do that, and the end products I’ve seen are just stunning! One of the apps is Adobe Lightroom for iOS. I’m sure you could do the same with other phones as well so be sure to download Adobe Lightroom CC and start capturing beautiful RAW images.
Do you know about any other websites to download RAW images? Please do share with us the links in the comment box below.