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Thread: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

  1. #1

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    JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    can any one tell me in which format (jpeg/raw) most of the photo contests are held ? IF raw gives better quality photo graphs then National geographic is inviting photographs in jpeg format ? can any one expain the reason behind such an act of National geographic ?

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Hi Samirlalgola,

    Welcome to the forum.
    To keep it short and simple, it is always better to click in raw, as it gives you more flexibility & an edge when it comes to post processing. However, when one is done with processing, the image is saved as (in most of the cases) a Jpg image. Which is a compressed form of an image and recognised format worldwide. Hence you share your pics in JPG format.
    Hope that helps.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by samirlalgola View Post
    can any one tell me in which format (jpeg/raw) most of the photo contests are held ? IF raw gives better quality photo graphs then National geographic is inviting photographs in jpeg format ? can any one expain the reason behind such an act of National geographic ?
    RAW photos are unprocessed - so submitting a RAW photo to a photo competition would be like submitting flour, eggs, water etc to a cake baking competition.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by samirlalgola View Post
    can any one tell me in which format (jpeg/raw) most of the photo contests are held ? IF raw gives better quality photo graphs then National geographic is inviting photographs in jpeg format ? can any one expain the reason behind such an act of National geographic ?
    RAW is often described as a "digital negative", and while I feel that this is not 100% correct, it is not a bad analogy. You do have to "know what you are doing" if you shoot RAW, because straight conversion into a viewable format like jpg or png will always requires a bit of tweaking on your part (mostly sharpening, colour adjustment, etc). The jpg that comes out of your camera has this done to the image, BUT this work is done by an algorithm that your camera manufacturer has designed and the results will usually be in the "okay" category, not the "great" category. There are a whole number of other reasons to shoot RAW as well, if you are doing PP work.

    If you want to enter your image in a contest, sell it or print your image, I would suggest shooting RAW, if all you want to do is show your friends and family, jpgs are probably good enough.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    It's possibly worth mentioning though that although most competition require JPEGs, they may also require that winners supply a RAW shot as evidence that the photo hasn't been manipulated to a degree that's outside of the rules of the competition (eg perhaps a composite image)

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    As a side note, read the fine print as to who owns or has rights to a submitted photograph. Sometimes the sponsors retain all rights to the photo and limit what you can do with it afterwards. Also, submitting the same photo to more than one contest can sometimes be frowned upon.

  7. #7

    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    As a side note, read the fine print as to who owns or has rights to a submitted photograph.
    +1 to this. Make sure the rules state that you retain copyright on your images.

    As to the initial question most competitions want a small jpeg (1000 pix longest side) for submission/initial judging, but require a high res file for images that are short listed/win.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    The question is flawed. Note JPEG and whatever the RAW format of the camera is aren't the only formats available. As already mentioned, a RAW image hasn't the processing that is expected to compliment the scene for most contests. JPEG in its common form is a lossy image format. There are lossless formats as well. JPEG 2000 includes provision for lossless compression and there is also a lossless JPEG which is even less popular. PNG is well supported. TIFF also allows for lossless compression. Given image quality is important in a contest I wouldn't be surprised if they require a lossless encoding such as these.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon Hacker View Post
    JPEG in its common form is a lossy image format.
    Technically yes, but is generally regarded as being visually lossless at the highest quality settings.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    So, a person who is has started to take photography seriously should cosider to buy cameras that give raw images. Is that your advice? Earlier i'd be using filmloading cameras, 1o years back, then stopped this hobby due to some reason. Now again i want to start with it. But the worldhas changed a lot since then. Your davice is most welcome in this regard. Thank you.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by samirlalgola View Post
    So, a person who is has started to take photography seriously should cosider to buy cameras that give raw images.
    Yes. However, I think that most modern DSLR cameras would have this capability.

  12. #12

    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photon Hacker View Post
    Given image quality is important in a contest I wouldn't be surprised if they require a lossless encoding such as these.
    Actually every contest I have come across wanted the initial submission to be in jpeg format. I think when you are expecting/hoping for thousands of submissions space becomes an issue. However, as mentioned in prior post the rules usually state that high res files be submitted if an image is selected. At that point a lossless file would probably be in order.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Actually, although I have a lot of respect for National Geographic Photography in general; I suspect that their contests are mainly a money making ploy because they charge for entering images...

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    Actually, although I have a lot of respect for National Geographic Photography in general; I suspect that their contests are mainly a money making ploy because they charge for entering images...
    I'm sure that this is a dynamic that many people miss. They think "good on them" for running a competition with "$50,000 worth of prises", but when the sharper mind has a closer look they discover that the $50,000 worth of prizes are either donated or soft-dollar - whereas the entry fees are hard-dollar. And I'll bet they write any actual expenses off on an "advertising and marketing" code.

    I would say that it's a rare event where the organizers of competitions like this actually lose money.

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    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    GReat to get such informations from you people.

  16. #16

    re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Dear Samirlalgola,

    Hope you found your answer for this topic. Typically, you never want to hand in a RAW file, unless specified too.

    What is important to understand is color spaces and the end result (file type) a contest asks for.

    Understanding color spaces is truly important in delivering and outputting images for web, whether they are jpegs, tiffs, or raw.

    There are three RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color spaces that we use:

    ProPhoto RGB, Adobe RGB (1998), and sRGB

    Most current DSLRs and even point-and-shoot cameras support the Adobe RGB and SRGB. Usually a default.

    When working with RAW files, these settings are irrelevant, but come into play when you shoot jpeg.

    You should check out this great article on understanding color spaces, so that you will not have this issue again in the future. http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2011/print_workflow_colorspace_article.shtml

    Hope this helps a tiny bit. Cheers!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 7th June 2012 at 10:56 PM.

  17. #17

    Re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    To keep it short and simple, it is always better to click in raw as it gives you more flexibility & an edge when it comes to post processing.

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    Re: JPEG or RAW for Photo Contests?

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickjohnson View Post
    To keep it short and simple, it is always better to click in raw as it gives you more flexibility & an edge when it comes to post processing.
    Patrick,

    You might like to keep an eye on previous posting dates; this one in particular is coming up on 2 years old, so it's a very old & cold thread.

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