I want to public domain my RAW photo files

When I shoot pictures, like I did this week at the LIFT conference, my camera makes two copies: one in the RAW format and one in JPEG. Now, the ones that get uploaded to my Flickr account are the JPEGs. But lately I’ve been playing with my RAW files and seeing just how much better those are for doing post processing. It’s amazing how much tonal range you have access to there. Things that look too dark often can be “saved.” Or you can change the color. Or sharpen the images. In a way that’s far far higher quality and has far far more capabilities than if you try to mess with the JPEG images.

So, I’m wondering how to share with you my RAW files?

Why can’t I share them now? Well, for one, Flickr doesn’t allow uploading of RAW files. For two, these suckers are BIG. One RAW file is about 15 MB. For three, most software can’t display them (and RAW files aren’t always compatible between manufacturers either).

But I’m looking for a way to cheaply share my RAW files with you, because if I really want to say that I’ve put my work into the public domain I’ve got to give you access to my source files.

One idea is to use a P-2-P file sharing service like Wuala, which was one of the winners of the LIFT Venture Night competition. But I’m wondering if there’s another service out there that’d work better.

In case you missed my earlier post, all of my photos on Flickr are in the public domain. You may use them without crediting me or compensating me in any way for my work. That’s a gift to the Web from me and Fast Company magazine. Tomorrow I’ll be at CERN and I’ll make a bunch of high-quality images there that I’ll get up as part of my LIFT collection.

119 thoughts on “I want to public domain my RAW photo files

  1. i am new in this field but i think u can open your own website(sorry if u have one)and u can keep the jpeg files for show in there and upload torrents of raw files of your weekly or montly shots.

  2. i am new in this field but i think u can open your own website(sorry if u have one)and u can keep the jpeg files for show in there and upload torrents of raw files of your weekly or montly shots.

  3. Torrent would be great for files of that size, and it would be nice to see a prominent techie putting it to legitimate use. Then we can all point to Linux ISOs and Scoble’s RAW files when we write to our congressional representatives about file sharing…

  4. Torrent would be great for files of that size, and it would be nice to see a prominent techie putting it to legitimate use. Then we can all point to Linux ISOs and Scoble’s RAW files when we write to our congressional representatives about file sharing…

  5. Scoble: I don’t know if this is good enough for you, but there is a great photo sharing site called Ipernity (yes, they’re in direct competition with Flickr) that is, as I said, primarily for photos, but that actually lets you upload any kind of files. If it’s a file that is recognized by Ipernity (photos, audio, video) it will show it (or let you play it in the case of video and audio), but if it’s not it just shows a file icon and lets anyone (or the ones you choose in the privacy settings) download the file very easily.

    After reading this post I tried to upload one of my RAW photos, and it worked, except it wasn’t recognized as a photo, so you only see a file icon, not the image itself. That’s why I said that I don’t know if it’s good enough. You can still add a title and description, though, and you can set your default license to any Creative Commons license, or even, as you would, to “Free use (copyright surrendered, no license)”. One solution to the problem that Ipernity doesn’t show a preview of the RAW photos could be to set your camera to save both a RAW and a jpeg version of all your photos, and then upload both so that the next file always is the RAW-version of the photo you’re currently watching.

    Ipernity offers unlimited bandwidth to it’s pro users (at least in theory, I havn’t actually tested this), with a cap on 90 MB for each file, which should be more than enough for any RAW photo (in contrast to Flickrs cap on 10 MB, I’ve heard). One person who recently went from Flickr to Ipernity has written a great comparison of the two on Ipernitys own blog service (which is part of a normal account).

    My photo stream at Ipernity is littered with screen shots and snapshots, but if you, or anyone, is interested in seeing some of my more “professional” photos, I’ve collected them in this album.

    Well, I don’t know if it’s what you’re looking for, but I just wanted to let you know about the possibility. Also, if a internet celebrity like you started using Ipernity that would be fantastic for this really small European startup (the team just recently increased to four people), competing on the same area as the Goliath Flickr.. :) (Note: I’m not working for Ipernity, just a big fan!)

  6. Scoble: I don’t know if this is good enough for you, but there is a great photo sharing site called Ipernity (yes, they’re in direct competition with Flickr) that is, as I said, primarily for photos, but that actually lets you upload any kind of files. If it’s a file that is recognized by Ipernity (photos, audio, video) it will show it (or let you play it in the case of video and audio), but if it’s not it just shows a file icon and lets anyone (or the ones you choose in the privacy settings) download the file very easily.

    After reading this post I tried to upload one of my RAW photos, and it worked, except it wasn’t recognized as a photo, so you only see a file icon, not the image itself. That’s why I said that I don’t know if it’s good enough. You can still add a title and description, though, and you can set your default license to any Creative Commons license, or even, as you would, to “Free use (copyright surrendered, no license)”. One solution to the problem that Ipernity doesn’t show a preview of the RAW photos could be to set your camera to save both a RAW and a jpeg version of all your photos, and then upload both so that the next file always is the RAW-version of the photo you’re currently watching.

    Ipernity offers unlimited bandwidth to it’s pro users (at least in theory, I havn’t actually tested this), with a cap on 90 MB for each file, which should be more than enough for any RAW photo (in contrast to Flickrs cap on 10 MB, I’ve heard). One person who recently went from Flickr to Ipernity has written a great comparison of the two on Ipernitys own blog service (which is part of a normal account).

    My photo stream at Ipernity is littered with screen shots and snapshots, but if you, or anyone, is interested in seeing some of my more “professional” photos, I’ve collected them in this album.

    Well, I don’t know if it’s what you’re looking for, but I just wanted to let you know about the possibility. Also, if a internet celebrity like you started using Ipernity that would be fantastic for this really small European startup (the team just recently increased to four people), competing on the same area as the Goliath Flickr.. :) (Note: I’m not working for Ipernity, just a big fan!)

  7. I want to open my work up to those who need source material to make something else…

    The market for that, counted on one hand.

  8. I want to open my work up to those who need source material to make something else…

    The market for that, counted on one hand.

  9. Greg: great, I see you only want to share your printed photography, or the ones you’ve selected on Flickr. Me too. But I’m coming at it with a difference. I want to open my work up to those who need source material to make something else. I also want to give you access to my “digital negatives” so you can improve on my choices. It’s not for everyone, I understand.

  10. Greg: great, I see you only want to share your printed photography, or the ones you’ve selected on Flickr. Me too. But I’m coming at it with a difference. I want to open my work up to those who need source material to make something else. I also want to give you access to my “digital negatives” so you can improve on my choices. It’s not for everyone, I understand.

  11. I too take my photography very seriously but I would never share my RAW files.
    I take the photos because i have something about them in my mind. The end result that i want to achieve is usually hidden in the raw data but only I know where it is and what i want to do with the photo.

    Yes giving out raw data gives more power for editing but what is is that you’re really giving there? It’s not the moment when you press your camera shutter that makes you a photographer. It’s the end result that matters, the polished diamond and not the raw gravel. Giving out your photos is a good idea but they should be the ones that you’re proud of and not the ones that you would still work on until you’d print them yourself.

  12. I too take my photography very seriously but I would never share my RAW files.
    I take the photos because i have something about them in my mind. The end result that i want to achieve is usually hidden in the raw data but only I know where it is and what i want to do with the photo.

    Yes giving out raw data gives more power for editing but what is is that you’re really giving there? It’s not the moment when you press your camera shutter that makes you a photographer. It’s the end result that matters, the polished diamond and not the raw gravel. Giving out your photos is a good idea but they should be the ones that you’re proud of and not the ones that you would still work on until you’d print them yourself.

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