Before I hit the shutter button I am a photographer, when I commence work in my digital darkroom, I am a retoucher. My decision to go RAW is personal and it came naturally.
As a photographer, shooting in the RAW helps me see how awful or good I was before I took that image. In theory, a lot of the preparation should be done prior to taking the image. Lighting, composition, color coordination etc. RAW is for the ultimate control freak. 100% manual, no decisions made by the machine (camera) to enhance and compensate for the lack of skill or technique. RAW does not sugar coat the truth. If my lighting was below the standard, I see it right away. I use it as a guide.
As a retoucher, the RAW file gives me the most room to edit, make changes and ultimately enhance the final product. Without being too technical, a RAW file gives more room to manipulate textures, colors and lighting. The higher image quality is prized as well especially when dealing with composition, cropping and printing to name a few.
I find myself even shooting candid family photos in RAW, but that’s just the photographer in me. Usually jpegs are just fine especially if the day is really sunny.
What about you guys, any preferences to file formats?!