Back on the day job and wending my way to Cape Town for a couple of nights. A long flight this so over the next few days I will be spending about 27 hours in the aluminium tube being gently desicated. I have my camera gear so will be doing some stock photography work while I am down there. Probably some of the usual stuff… Table Mountain and the local views etc. With the events marking the death of Nelson Mandela there may be something more interesting going on so I will be keeping my eyes open. I’m sure there must be a fish market somewhere or some local markets that might add some colour but we have been advised to be a bit wary as the once safe city is becoming a little less so for visitors.
I think I have my Eye-Fi card with me so I will shoot with the camera recording RAW on the CF card and med (internet) quality JPG on the Eye-Fi so that I can transfer those shots to my iPad and post them. I’m trying to do without a laptop down-route to save weight but its not particularly easy to get images out of my camera and onto an iPad. The Eye-Fi card should get around that problem as it has a mini WiFi built in which can create an adhoc network that my iPad can join. Once created, I can transfer my photos. One thing the iPad definitely can’t do is work with RAW files… hence the need to record a duplicate of each shot in JPG that is more easily handled.
So whats the difference between RAW and JPG files? Well the RAW file is the data straight off the camera’s sensor and saved in a file before the camera software does any alterations. Because it contains a lot of data the files are big… around 20mb or so. To become a viewable image the RAW file must be put into a conversion programme and then the photographer can choose how to adjust the image to suit… in my case I use Adobe Lightroom 5. When the camera records in JPG the RAW image is automatically adjusted and converted to the JPG format by the software in the camera itself. It does the job by applying a set of general algorithms which usually do a good job but can easily be fooled. Once the conversion is done, most of the sensor data is lost as the JPG file is compressed down to around 7mb so any tweaks you might want to make are more limited. The main problem with RAW conversions is a matter of time. To individually adjust every image from a shoot of several hundred is quite a task but the benifits in the quality of the finish product are enormous.