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Author Topic: Comparing RAW-to-JPEG -vs- JPEG only  (Read 9495 times)
dalethorn
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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2008, 03:09:40 PM »
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Quote from: michael
Dale,

You've come to ask a question and then when you get some answers (from knowledgeable people) you argue with them.

It's clear that you don't understand the fundamentals of of raw image processing and jpg conversion, so my suggestion is that you keep asking questions, keep reading, but don't be belligerent when you get answers that you have trouble with.

Finally, have you ever heard of ASICs? Application Specific IC's?

These are semiconductors that are specifically designed to do one things really well and really fast. That's what's in a digital cameras to convert raw data into JPGs. They can, as has been pointed out, do as many as 10 images a second, and then are held back by buffer size more than anything else. Even a fast desktop PC with the fastest general purpose CPU would be hard pressed to match this.

Hope this partially answers your question.

Michael
I've been programming computers for 34 years, and have achieved things that are rare in the field, so when I argue with someone who has provided "answers", I do so for what I feel is a good reason.  As I recall, the belligerence began with the other person who made insulting remarks, not with me.  Finally, my actual question as to why the FZ50 RAW-to-JPEG images were clearly superior to the in-camera JPEG's, while the same didn't occur with the LX3, was not answered as far as I could see.  I realize that my matter-of-fact approach to a lot of these things, sans the social grooming that many people practice, is seen by some people as arrogance or whatever.  It's not.  I'm just not a social groomer.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2008, 03:11:25 PM »
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BTW, I am well aware of ASICS as used by NSA for crypto work.  It's an interesting topic for cameras as well.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2008, 07:18:04 PM »
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BTW #2, I just spent about 3 hours cruising Internet postings on JPEG -vs- RAW, and JPEG quality as massaged by the cameras in general.  No new info I could find in 3 hours - a lot of guessing and so forth about what the cameras are doing to produce the often spotty results they do.  And of course RAW isn't quite as literal as some would have you believe.  There was one site that mentioned a new JPEG standard (possible standard?) as of February 2008, but nothing about it since then that I found.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2008, 09:05:13 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
BTW #2, I just spent about 3 hours cruising Internet postings on JPEG -vs- RAW, and JPEG quality as massaged by the cameras in general.  No new info I could find in 3 hours - a lot of guessing and so forth about what the cameras are doing to produce the often spotty results they do.  And of course RAW isn't quite as literal as some would have you believe.  There was one site that mentioned a new JPEG standard (possible standard?) as of February 2008, but nothing about it since then that I found.


Read this:
http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/p...renderprint.pdf
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Andrew Rodney
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dalethorn
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« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2008, 10:00:09 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Great article.  Actually, for those who've been over this topic many times, as well as newcomers, the clincher is right there on the first page:

"Camera manufacturers have applied years of research and development to the unique algorithms inside each camera. Given a scene, each camera will arrive at a different result."

Now the tricky part: Given *one* camera, arriving at a different result just by changing the file type (I know, there's more to it....), instead of a "photographic" parameter such as sharpness or contrast is disconcerting.  Then to have another camera of the same brand and only slightly different specs not produce a different output with a different file type, what is that supposed to mean?  I'm very close to saying that "there are no rules", despite what seems obvious to photo buffs, i.e. always process the RAW image.

Actually, I flop RAW's over to JPEG's with defaults with one camera, and shoot just JPEG's with the other, and in both cases, I'm getting photos that are equal to or better than what I got with my Leica M4-2 and M6 with fixed 35 and 90 mm lenses.  In the B&W lab, I never did a "dodge and burn", which other photo mavens seem to have loved to do.  I just decided never to do it.  I still don't see any pressing reason to hand-process RAW's, unless I can automate the process to a large extent by getting default settings that are "really good" for 95 percent of the stuff I convert.

Most people here really minimize the effort they put in on their lab work.  It's not just hand-processing a RAW, it's taking the photo, loading onto the computer, backing up, saving versions of the image, translating the RAW, making adjustments, and many other steps.  Like Tom Hanks said in the movie, "what's fun about that?"  And by that I don't mean doing all of that once, I mean repeating all of those steps thousands of times over, and over, and over.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2008, 08:26:24 AM »
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Quote from: Farmer
Sure it can.  You said yourself that you didn't post process the shot - it was just a straight up conversion.  The point of raw (and it's raw, not RAW - it's not an acronym :-) is that it allows you to do more with the image.  If you're not taking advantage of that then there's every reason to expect similar results are possible.  The manufacturer, after all, knows a lot about their camera specifically whereas raw conversion software is designed for many cameras.

This is an argument that has more to do with camera manufacturers hawking their proprietary (and generally crappy) software more than the camera makers being able to consistently build RAW converters that do a better job than ACR, C1, etc. Most of the differences between the default settings of various RAW converters can be minimized or eliminated by simply not using the default conversion settings. Most comparisons touting one converter over another don't bother to optimize the settings for each converter to the image(s) used in the comparison, and the use of third-party tools for sharpening and detail maximization are generally totally ignored. As a result, such comparisons are generally about as useful as DVD rewinders.

If you happen to like the rendering of a particular manufacturer's raw converter over one of the mainstream raw converters, great. But if you need to color-match shots taken by several cameras of different brands, or duplicate the default "look" of one manufacturer's RAW converter with shots from a camera from another manufacturer, ACR or C1 are your best options, since they accept custom profiles. And you just might discover that you can match or exceed your results from the proprietary converters if you experiment a bit.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2008, 10:40:19 AM »
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Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
This is an argument that has more to do with camera manufacturers hawking their proprietary (and generally crappy) software more than the camera makers being able to consistently build RAW converters that do a better job than ACR, C1, etc. Most of the differences between the default settings of various RAW converters can be minimized or eliminated by simply not using the default conversion settings. Most comparisons touting one converter over another don't bother to optimize the settings for each converter to the image(s) used in the comparison, and the use of third-party tools for sharpening and detail maximization are generally totally ignored. As a result, such comparisons are generally about as useful as DVD rewinders.

If you happen to like the rendering of a particular manufacturer's raw converter over one of the mainstream raw converters, great. But if you need to color-match shots taken by several cameras of different brands, or duplicate the default "look" of one manufacturer's RAW converter with shots from a camera from another manufacturer, ACR or C1 are your best options, since they accept custom profiles. And you just might discover that you can match or exceed your results from the proprietary converters if you experiment a bit.
Certainly spot on true.  Next time I start one of these, I will explain in advance that I understood the RAW and other editing technology, so it doesn't descend into lectures about image processing theory.  The link to the Adobe article was still good to have as a guideline.  I would still at some point like to read about someone setting up a mostly-automated workflow that can set defaults for a wide variety of RAW images more or less automatically, in a manner analogous to the "intelligent auto" feature on some digicams.  To name another analogy, I have automated my file management to a high degree with zero failure, allowing copy both directions (newer writing over older, or older writing over newer in some cases), but I see in this forum that file management is a horrific task for some people, particularly when that file management is part of some editing software rather than a separate program.  So I don't want to get into the kind of RAW workflow that's analogous to the horrific file management I described.  Too much work, too much grief.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2008, 11:55:27 AM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
I would still at some point like to read about someone setting up a mostly-automated workflow that can set defaults for a wide variety of RAW images more or less automatically, in a manner analogous to the "intelligent auto" feature on some digicams.

You can do this today with virtually all decent Raw processors. They range from "auto" correction functions, presets one can load to groups, image specific "look" and input profiles etc. Like any "auto" setting, its hit or miss.

Copy and paste parametric editing is a way cool feature (its fast and non destructive).
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Andrew Rodney
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2008, 12:26:27 PM »
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Quote from: Panopeeper
Who is making the chips for cell phones, computerized toys, washing machines, GPS, cars, etc.?
ARM in the UK for one (unless that was a rhetorical question...)
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dalethorn
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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2008, 01:02:02 PM »
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Quote from: LoisWakeman
ARM in the UK for one (unless that was a rhetorical question...)
Not at all. Some of the chips like those used in MP3 players for sound are so highly evolved, offering as good of sound as nearly anyone needs, that a few large mfr's can cover the field. But camera specialized processors would be impractical to make for anyone without a chip facility (anyone who isn't BIG), so the question is how do you get a chip made safely and cheaply if you're not that big.  I can design the software for example, but how do I design a chip, or do I let "them" do it for me.  And am I protected against leaks?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 01:06:30 PM by dalethorn » Logged
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2008, 08:45:39 AM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
I would still at some point like to read about someone setting up a mostly-automated workflow that can set defaults for a wide variety of RAW images more or less automatically, in a manner analogous to the "intelligent auto" feature on some digicams.

Then you might want to delve into the user guides for Bridge or Lightroom just a bit. Setting the white balance and exposure defaults to "auto", and setting tone curve, color calibration, and other parameters to your preference instead of the defaults will go a long way toward being reasonably automated with good results. Combine that with custom WB and other tweaks applied to many images at once, and you can have several hundred wedding shots ready for a web gallery with a minimum of manual tweaking.

It really isn't that hard.
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jani
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« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2008, 07:12:55 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
BTW, I am well aware of ASICS as used by NSA for crypto work.  It's an interesting topic for cameras as well.
It's a bit strange that you then didn't consider the possibility that digital cameras might make use of ASICs or FPGAs.

Quote from: dalethorn
Not at all. Some of the chips like those used in MP3 players for sound are so highly evolved, offering as good of sound as nearly anyone needs, that a few large mfr's can cover the field. But camera specialized processors would be impractical to make for anyone without a chip facility (anyone who isn't BIG), so the question is how do you get a chip made safely and cheaply if you're not that big.  I can design the software for example, but how do I design a chip, or do I let "them" do it for me.  And am I protected against leaks?

Here's an example of a JPEG-E core. It shows how small and simple a partially programmable JPEG core can really be (in terms of transistors). Pretty standard fare, in other words.

As for existing such processors, see Nikon's EXPEED system, Canon's DIGIC, Nethra's NI-2065/66 mobile phone imager with built-in JPEG conversion, Sony's Real Imaging Processor, and so on.

It's so relatively uncomplicated that I'd expect most independent camera manufacturers to have their own, custom ASIC, FPGA, or (V)LSI for it.
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Jan
dalethorn
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« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2008, 08:52:37 PM »
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Quote from: jani
It's a bit strange that you then didn't consider the possibility that digital cameras might make use of ASICs or FPGAs.



Here's an example of a JPEG-E core. It shows how small and simple a partially programmable JPEG core can really be (in terms of transistors). Pretty standard fare, in other words.

As for existing such processors, see Nikon's EXPEED system, Canon's DIGIC, Nethra's NI-2065/66 mobile phone imager with built-in JPEG conversion, Sony's Real Imaging Processor, and so on.

It's so relatively uncomplicated that I'd expect most independent camera manufacturers to have their own, custom ASIC, FPGA, or (V)LSI for it.
Didn't consider?  Sure, I've considered every thing you said years ago.  Too bad I didn't have the time to explain in detail (these forums consume too much time already).  For example, I knew I could have written much better autofocus routines for digicams than the folks Nikon and others were employing.  If you were a good programmer you probably could too.  The Mac became popular because people ("users") got tired of being the commander of their computers and decided they'd rather be users.  Now since nearly everyone has that attitude, good programmers (software "engineers" hee hee) are getting harder to find.  I seriously doubt that the "chips" being programmed/produced by every mom and pop camera vendor hold a candle to the chips NSA makes.
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jjj
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« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2008, 04:24:47 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
In the B&W lab, I never did a "dodge and burn", which other photo mavens seem to have loved to do.  I just decided never to do it.
And your pictures were never as good as they could be. The different a bit of dodging or burning can make is often the difference between an OK shot and a great shot.

Quote
I still don't see any pressing reason to hand-process RAW's, unless I can automate the process to a large extent by getting default settings that are "really good" for 95 percent of the stuff I convert.
As has already been said, read the operting intructions.
Besides unless you shoot under very limited circumstances or do very repititive studio/catalogue  work different imges will require different tweaking. And as you seem happy with OKish images, then why not leave everything on automatic?

Quote
Most people here really minimize the effort they put in on their lab work.  It's not just hand-processing a RAW, it's taking the photo, loading onto the computer, backing up, saving versions of the image, translating the RAW, making adjustments, and many other steps.  Like Tom Hanks said in the movie, "what's fun about that?"  And by that I don't mean doing all of that once, I mean repeating all of those steps thousands of times over, and over, and over.
The beauty of Software like Lightroom, ACR etc is that you can adjust a lot images at once, rename a lot of images at once...etc. But the usual difference between good and great work is the time and effort spent on creating the image, whether it's waiting for the right moment, spending ages lighting the shot, years of study and practice, finishing it off in the darkroom/lightroom....etc
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« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2008, 04:26:48 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
Too bad I didn't have the time to explain in detail (these forums consume too much time already).  For example, I knew I could have written much better autofocus routines for digicams than the folks Nikon and others were employing.
   So why don't/haven't you?
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dalethorn
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« Reply #35 on: December 30, 2008, 08:46:50 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
 So why don't/haven't you?
That's just a useless comment.  If you could do x number of things better than Nikon, Canon, HP, Sony, and a thousand other mfr's, does it make sense to go do all those things?  For one, you wouldn't have the time in your lifetime.  I made the comment for good reason - those routines could be greatly improved, if the mfr's cared at all, which they do very little.  Ever read Dilbert?  Do you have any doubt about the corporate myopia Scott illustrates there?  I already make my corporate contribution many times over, and I have good cause to diss them, even if you idolize them so much.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2008, 09:01:30 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
And your pictures were never as good as they could be. The different a bit of dodging or burning can make is often the difference between an OK shot and a great shot.

As has already been said, read the operting intructions.
Besides unless you shoot under very limited circumstances or do very repititive studio/catalogue  work different imges will require different tweaking. And as you seem happy with OKish images, then why not leave everything on automatic?

The beauty of Software like Lightroom, ACR etc is that you can adjust a lot images at once, rename a lot of images at once...etc. But the usual difference between good and great work is the time and effort spent on creating the image, whether it's waiting for the right moment, spending ages lighting the shot, years of study and practice, finishing it off in the darkroom/lightroom....etc
Well, I don't think I missed anything important in my 40 years of editing.  And which of the 100,000 photos I didn't improve should I be worried about?  I do something very different than most people here - when I do a client job (not often), it gets archived and likely never seen again, by me anyway.  But the stuff I do for myself is different.  I keep a working pool of about 3,000 images, which I carry everywhere I go, and use for illustration, education, etc.  From time to time I add to the pool, and delete the lesser stuff from it.  I have run into very few photographers out in public who can pull out a sample of their work and show it off, since I suppose they have better things to do.  But I see what I do not only as snapping photos, or editing them at home, but carrying them around and creating influence that's fairly unique from what I can see.  So being concerned about a dodge-and-burn or a perfectionist edit on x number of images, just doesn't compute.  Maybe some day we'll run into each other at the zoo, the farmer's market, or one of my other favorite places to go, and I'll show you a few processed photos.  But I wonder what you'll be able to show me.
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jjj
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« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2008, 10:09:27 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
That's just a useless comment.  If you could do x number of things better than Nikon, Canon, HP, Sony, and a thousand other mfr's, does it make sense to go do all those things?  For one, you wouldn't have the time in your lifetime.  I made the comment for good reason - those routines could be greatly improved, if the mfr's cared at all, which they do very little.  Ever read Dilbert?  Do you have any doubt about the corporate myopia Scott illustrates there?  I already make my corporate contribution many times over, and I have good cause to diss them, even if you idolize them so much.
For someone who claims to know so much you make a lot of foolish assumptions. I certainly do not idolise Canon/Nikon etc, they irritate me a lot of the time if truth be told. though I do respect Jim Jannard and his clean sheet approach to camera/video gear.
My comment wasn't useless, you made grand claims about your ability to fix one thing, not thousands of things, I am curious as to why you haven't done what claim is so easy and why Canikony haven't recognised your amazing talents? And why they employ such stupid and less talented people, instead of you?
So what other amazing feats have you being busy doing, rather than improve the output of the world's leading companies?
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« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2008, 10:42:21 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
Well, I don't think I missed anything important in my 40 years of editing.  And which of the 100,000 photos I didn't improve should I be worried about?
Should we be impressed by the amount of images taken or something?

Quote
I do something very different than most people here - when I do a client job (not often), it gets archived and likely never seen again, by me anyway.
Wow that is truely radical!!  I'm in awe!

Quote
But the stuff I do for myself is different.  I keep a working pool of about 3,000 images, which I carry everywhere I go, and use for illustration, education, etc.  From time to time I add to the pool, and delete the lesser stuff from it.  I have run into very few photographers out in public who can pull out a sample of their work and show it off, since I suppose they have better things to do.
...like bury their photography in secret nuclear bunkers in case people see it and employ them?

 
Quote
But I see what I do not only as snapping photos, or editing them at home, but carrying them around and creating influence that's fairly unique from what I can see. So being concerned about a dodge-and-burn or a perfectionist edit on x number of images, just doesn't compute.
Showing people your photos that you cannot be bothered to spend time improving is unique?!     Somehow I doubt it. maybe the influence you are creating is people thinking - "I can do better than that! Where's my RAW processor?"    Besides when does making your images look their best, preclude one from showing others your work? What odd logic.  Michael, our host spends a lot of time doing all the things you disdain and a lot more, yet manages to show his images to people online, in books, magazines and at his gallery in Toronto. And I think he also has a great deal of genuine influence to boot.

   
Quote
Maybe some day we'll run into each other at the zoo, the farmer's market, or one of my other favorite places to go, and I'll show you a few processed photos.  But I wonder what you'll be able to show me.
Well as I always have a selection of my work on me, I can show you some very nice photos.  
My next phone is being chosen with the ability to display images from my portfolio as it's main priority, which means I can carry less stuff with me and my business card is a mini folio in itself, so when ever people ask what sort of photography I do, I can simply show them. So any more silly assumptions?

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dalethorn
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« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2008, 06:56:44 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
Should we be impressed by the amount of images taken or something?

 Wow that is truely radical!!  I'm in awe!

...like bury their photography in secret nuclear bunkers in case people see it and employ them?

 Showing people your photos that you cannot be bothered to spend time improving is unique?!     Somehow I doubt it. maybe the influence you are creating is people thinking - "I can do better than that! Where's my RAW processor?"    Besides when does making your images look their best, preclude one from showing others your work? What odd logic.  Michael, our host spends a lot of time doing all the things you disdain and a lot more, yet manages to show his images to people online, in books, magazines and at his gallery in Toronto. And I think he also has a great deal of genuine influence to boot.

    Well as I always have a selection of my work on me, I can show you some very nice photos.  
My next phone is being chosen with the ability to display images from my portfolio as it's main priority, which means I can carry less stuff with me and my business card is a mini folio in itself, so when ever people ask what sort of photography I do, I can simply show them. So any more silly assumptions?
It's good you posted this tripe, er, rant. I think it speaks well of you.
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