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New AP Magazine Article on Shooting JPEG

Recently I was invited to contribute to an article in Amateur Photographer Magazine on 'Why Pros Shoot JPEG' (we'll have to forgive them for the misplaced apostrophe on their front cover!). It was an interesting one to write, as I only shoot JPEG myself for very specific purposes - but I often advise my photography tuition clients to do so, which meant I felt I had something valuable to say.

To expand on that point, you often see conversations on photography forums or Facebook groups where someone will say that you 'have to shoot RAW or you're not a proper photographer' - but for beginners who have no idea about post processing, this is just rubbish. Much better to start with JPEG and then move to RAW when they are ready to think about editing their images - but not until then!

From my perspective as a commercial photographer, there are times when JPEG is definitely the right answer, and in my case that's mainly for gigs, when light levels are low, ISO can be sky high, and turnaround times can be short. In those instances, I have learned from more seasoned gig photographers than me, that the JPEG engine in most modern cameras does a really good job, and cuts down massively on editing time.

Beyond that, with today's mirrorless cameras (I use the Lumix G9 micro four thirds and the Lumix S5 full frame) you can set them to shoot in mono if you want to, and even change the aspect ratio to square - which makes for lots of creative compositions that you may not have even seen in colour - shot as JPEG and ready to post on social media straight out of the camera.

Having said all that, as a landscape photographer at heart, I would never shoot JPEG for those types of images, where the dynamic range can be high, and it's vital to hang on to every pixel of highlight and shadow that you can capture!

So anyway, if you'd like to read my page at least, this version might be easier to see - it's just a screen grab from the article on Readly, as I never managed to track down a print copy in time:

And if you'd like to read the whole article, you can find it here, with apologies for the poor PDF quality:

Amateur Photographer Shooting JPEG Article
Download PDF • 2.48MB

I would have to say though that their editor has possibly made me sound like slightly more of a JPEG fan than I actually am in places . . . but such is life with journalism!


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