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iPhoto ’11: The Macintosh iLife Guide to using iPhoto with OS X Lion and iCloud by Jim Heid, Michael E. Cohen, Dennis R. Cohen

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Shooting in Raw Mode

If you’re an advanced photographer, a control freak, or both, there’s an image format that you should be using. The image format is called raw, and it’s supported by many mid-range and all high-end cameras.

Here’s why raw matters. When you shoot in JPEG format, your camera permanently alters the photo: tweaking color balance and saturation, adjusting sharpness, and compressing the image to use less space.

Today’s cameras do these jobs well, but you pay a price: you lose some control. You can still adjust the color balance, exposure, and sharpness of a JPEG image, but within a relatively narrow range. Exceed those limits, and you risk visible flaws.

When you shoot in raw mode, your camera saves the exact data recorded by its ...

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