JPEG, RAW.  JPEG, RAW.  I know the debate is huge, and has been gone over a million times by photographers far more experienced than me, but as a photographer, I’m trying to figure it all out.

About 6 months ago I started shooting only in RAW, just to give me the latitude that comes with that file format, but I always had that nagging thought in the back of my head about storage space.   So my mantra, which never went into practice, was shoot paying gigs in RAW and everything else in JPEG (unless I thought I was really getting a great shot).  But like I said, I actually just started shooting everything in RAW.  And then a few days ago, I started shooting everything in JPEG.

I think for right now, I’m going back to RAW, and for the simple reason that I don’t nail my exposures well enough to feel comfortable in JPEG.  And even when I do, sometimes I want to post-process an image past a point where my JPEG starts to degrade.  Urgh.  Whatever.  I think what it boils down to is that storage space is just too cheap.  I mean I’m on a desktop with 2TB’s of space, and a laptop with 500GB’s.  And I heavily delete poor images (I know, a topic for another blog – should I be doing this?).   So am I really going to get into a position where my 2TB are being taxed?  Maybe.   But will it happen in the next 2 years or so, and by then, what will a 10TB drive cost?  A couple hundred bucks?  I don’t know….see you in the future.

Oh, and lastly, shooting RAW + JPEG seems like a good way to go, but where am I’m at in figuring out my workflow, I think I’ll postpone adding one more step, at least until for the moment.

About Bryan Oster

Photographer of people and food. You can see some of my work at my site (, and at my blog (
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