There is only ONE correct edit per raw file

You shoot raw because of the big range of high quality data it provides. This gives you so much more control and flexibility when editing.

It is known.

Unfortunately this has given rise to a massive widespread misunderstanding. Nearly everyone believes that there are numerous, even infinite, ways you can edit a raw file. This is not true. Every raw file has only ONE correct edit, with only a very small amount of variability.

Shocked face

It’s true. Your job, as the editor, is to achieve that correct raw edit. That is all.

Hes a witch! Burn him!

You can protest all you like. I realise this goes against everything you’ve ever believed. You’ve played with sliders and presets, and made your raw photos look all different ways. You’ve probably told yourself, and others, that it’s your right as an artist to do whatever you want with your images. You do all of this for one reason - to avoid admitting that you have no f*&king clue what you’re doing.

How dare you!

Go on, search your conscience. You know I’m right. More often than you’ve ever admitted, your raw editing workflow consists of aimless guesswork, followed by a feeling of relief when you stumble on something that looks ok.

Yes man, youre right

You do this because you’ve been lied to. You’ve been lead to believe that a raw file can have a million different interpretations. Whereas the opposite is true.

Highlander There can be only one

As soon as you understand this, your life changes. It gives your workflow purpose and direction. You open the raw file, and you edit it. Simple as that.

What the hell

Does this mean you can’t do ANYTHING creative with your photos?

Of course not. As you said, you’re the artist. Your photos can be anything you want them to be. Your editing can be as conservative or crazy as you want. But that decision doesn’t happen during raw processing. Raw processing’s job is to be correct. That is all.

AFTER you have achieved correct raw processing, you use that perfect file to edit the photo to your heart’s content. That’s what Photoshop is for.

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