It's easy to get frustrated seeing the fruits of so much effort capturing a set of photos reduced to a set of dreary, uninspiring, and bland RAW files.
It's a barrier that gets in the way of many photographers realising the true potential in the shots they're already taking. And it really can be discouraging.
The thing is, most RAW files start out dull.
It's like mining for diamonds. After you've got one, you need to cut and polish it to really put the shine on.
So when people ask me why their RAW files look so disappointing, I encourage them to take a leap of faith and look past that initial moment of disappointment.
Because your RAW file is your digital negative.
It MUST be processed to make it look anywhere close to the image you have in mind.
Just like with the image I've included above…
Here's what the RAW file looked like:
Pretty horrible, right?
But having such a powerful tool in Photoshop to cut and polish the diamond, I was able to turn it into the vibrant finished version you see at the top.
P.S. out of curiosity I did a quick Google search and discovered that 92% of the worlds diamonds are cut and polished in the industrial city of Surat, India. Luckily you don't have to go all the way to Surat to cut and polish your RAW files when you can do this in the comfort of your own home.