I am often asked why I shoot my photographs in RAW format. RAW capture refers to the direct transfer of the information acquired by the sensor of a digital camera to the memory card without any in-camera processing. In the 18-megapixel Canon EOS 7D, this translates into files of 25MB, compared to the 6MB of a high-resolution JPG-compressed file. Why would one like to shoot RAW files? The RAW format contains all the information captured by the sensor and is therefore most amenable to corrections of exposure, saturation, chromatic aberrations and noise during post-processing. Compressed JPG files contain a reduced amount of information and so are much more limited to adjust during post-processing. Why would someone want to adjust a photograph? Shown below are three examples taken during a recent trip to the Otavalo valley in Northern Ecuador. In all cases, the top image is straight-out-of-camera, while the lower image is after conversion in Adobe CS4 Camera Raw (no Photoshop in any of these examples!).
A visit in November 2009 to the islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela, gave us the opportunity to contemplate many of these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
Several of the birds that live in the Galapagos are also only found there, such as the iconic Blue-Footed Booby, pictured here basking on the golden light of sunset atop black lava formations in Isabela island.
The Galapagos are a fragile ecosystem, threatened by increasing human activity as well as climate change. During recent El Niño episodes, the majority of Galapagos penguins were wipped out, rising fears that this unique species may not survive for much longer.
Marine iguanas are not an uncommon sight in the Galapagos. Here are two males having a good row at Tortuga beach in the island of Santa Cruz. By this time they had been fighting for over a couple of hours and began to look a bit tired. Not clear what the object of the fight was though. 🙂