Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Technique Tuesday: The Power Of The JPEG!

Good Afternoon Everybody,

Sorry for the late post today – it seems Camtasia, my default video editor, is having a little trouble with my higher resolution video files I'm using. It gets pretty frustrating sometimes. So, I'm on the lookout for some new video editing software – any suggestions?

Technique Tuesday: The Power Of The JPEG!
JPEG Power LRAnyway, I finally have today's post organized so I hope you enjoy the presentation.  The whole idea for today's Technique Tuesday came about as I was uploading my brand-new Canon 5D Mark III images into Lightroom 4. Since I  duplicated all the images to a second SDHC card as JPEG's I thought I would just play around and see what kind of JPEG versatility I had in Lightroom 4.  Before long, one thing led to another, and I was spending a fair amount of time testing the limits of some of my JPEGs.  The more I played with them in Lightroom 4 the more surprised I was with the results.

In this tutorial I'll walk you through several images, some as many as three stops overexposed and some almost 2 stops underexposed and show you what I discovered.  I will tell you that the ones that were three stops overexposed, even those that were two stops overexposed cannot be saved. That was also true with the duplicate RAW files I also use this comparison in my demonstration.

Understand that my exposures are pretty consistent throughout an entire event. The images I chose to use were just a few image hic-cups every photographer experiences in the course of a nine hour shoot. But what was most surprising to me was the fact that I could easily recover data from JPEG files that were 1 - 1 1/2 stops overexposed and 1 - 1 1/2 stops underexposed!  The LR4 adjusted images looked quite good!  The experience has certainly made me reconsider whether or not I want to shoot an entire job in RAW. My thinking at this point is to shoot the secondary images and the lower priority images as JPEGs while reserving the RAW setting for the most important images of the day. That should save me quite a bit on hard drive space without any compromise in the final product that I deliver our clients.

I cover a lot of ground on this tutorial and it does run a little bit longer than usual. I suggest you break it into a two-part viewing session.  I think the information is quite valid and quite useful. Why not hit the PLAY button below, be patient, and enjoy the show.



Hey gang, that's it for me today. Since we made it through convention season we're getting a few loose ends wrapped up here at the studio and it feels good.

B&H Gift CardJust a quick note – I invited our DPT readers to submit suggestions about my new book, Make Your Lighting Exciting, in last Friday’s post [link]. I'll leave the suggestion box open for a few more days but after that I'm closing it off.  Remember, the best suggestion will win you a $50 B&H gift card. So don't delay, shoot your ideas over to me in the Comment section following the post right here and you just might win a $50 gift card from B&H.

On that note, I'm out here. Have a great rest of the day and I'll see you soon.

Adios, – David


  1. How about a discussion of ISO settings vs flash settings for your new book. I know you push the ISO when using your off-camera flash. How do you know where to go with the ISO? Do you do the same with an on-camera flash?

  2. Hy David .Thank you for the great tutorial.
    I have a question.Do you always hit the auto button when you are editing in lightroom?
    thanks,Paul from Romania

  3. I know it's not your usual equipment, but if you ever use LED video lights, that seems to be a growing trend.

    LED flashlights seem to be growing in popularity (I know you use the Brinkman instead, but it has a different color temperature).

    I'm seeing interesting things with light painting also. Not only flashlights and sparklers, but setting steel wool on fire and swinging it around the bridal couple. Personally, I think the last leaves you wide open to all sorts of liability, but it did make for a dramatic photo.

    If you could use a Fresnel projector to project patterns on the bride's dress (like the light projections they use at the Phoenix)that would be a different and dramatic effect.