Because we had yet to be under any real threat of snow I hadn’t put the tire chains on the 1520 nor switched the bale spike out for the snow plow. We had 8″ of snow overnight on Wednesday and my day began before light on Thursday – putting tire chains on the 1520 and switching the bale spike out for the snow plow. The driveway, steps, and walkways were cleared within a few hours. Just two days ago I installed water heaters for the horses, sheep, and layers. It’s pretty clear that all of this activity points to the fact that up until very recently I’d been in denial … about Winter. I’ve been itching to use my new camera lens and so took to the slippery roads late in the afternoon. I drove past several colorful rolls of flexible pipe, thought these made for a reasonable subject, and stopped. My other reason for needing to get out with the camera was because I wanted to begin experimenting with RAW digital image files. I have always shot JPEG files and used them to create the images presented in this blog. For some time however I have know that many photographers, whose work I admire, shoot and process RAW files. A RAW file is just that … it contains the raw and unprocessed data collected by the image sensor of a digital camera. Other file formats, such as JPEG for example, are processed by the camera and this results in the loss of digital information. Although RAW files cannot be viewed and printed as may images stored in other formats, they can more effectively be processed by software such as Photoshop and GIMP. Given my reservations about what I consider to be heavy hands when it comes to image post-processing I have found it very useful to be able to make adjustments to image brightness and contrast, parameters which could have easily been made in the darkroom so central to the film-and-print age of photography. Since I am processing anyway, shooting and manipulating RAW files makes good sense. The image below was created from a RAW file and processed with a recent version of Adobe Lightroom 4.