I've downloaded Adobe Lightroom in order to learn RAW image processing. I want to practise on some photos that covers basic subjects (Histograms, HDR etc).

Is there a good, free source of RAW images online to practise on?

  • 11
    Your camera? Isn't that why you want to practise on them in the first place? Jul 18 '12 at 22:58
  • 1
    I agree with Olin. Remember that raw isn't a common format: every camera has its own format, so you're best learning with the sort of raw files you're going to be using. Just fire a few off and start from there. Jul 19 '12 at 13:14
  • Consider taking some snaps yourself, then you have the advantage of knowing what the scene actually looks like.
    – Guffa
    Apr 3 '13 at 9:10
  • You can usually find them (different raw format) at each manufacturer's websites.
    – Max
    Jun 18 '14 at 14:35
  • Search for reviews of DSLRs as many reviews that show image samples will also link to original files direct from camera, which may include RAW files. IMO this is better than manufacturer-provided ones which are usually specifically chosen to show the camera in its best light. This is the best way to get RAW images from a camera that you don't own yet, if for example you want to evaluate its images prior to purchase. Obviously if you do own the camera you can take your own RAW images. Jun 19 '14 at 4:46

Check out Fro Knows Photo.

There is a weekly RAW file you can edit and you can post your result on the forums (they are at edit 81 at the time of writing). Jared (the guy behind the site) then selects a handfull RAW edits from the forum and comments on them in a youtube video. As a plus, Jared and/or Adam will give a full tutorial (again youtube video) on how they edited the RAW file themselves in Lightroom

Definitely good learning material on that site (although not always that well structured).

  • Seems to be exactly what I was looking for: Example RAW photo, different editing attempt by users, and a video guide that summarizes these attempts. Thanks!
    – Adam Matan
    Jul 18 '12 at 19:50
  • 3
    I use those RAWs to learn darktable, an amazing free LR alternative on linux (they have a live cd if you want to check it out and don't have linux installed). I try to mimic their edits in darktable.
    – Sven
    Jul 18 '12 at 20:05

Here you go:

Free Practice & Portfolio Building RAW Image Files For Retouchers

  • Thanks for the link. I think that these images are suitable for more advanced editing in Photoshop, not for basic LightRoom retouches.
    – Adam Matan
    Jul 17 '12 at 17:01
  • wow. who knew? good find.
    – AJ Finch
    Jul 18 '12 at 8:18

What kind of raw files are you looking for?

Basic shooting mistakes you can fix? - you can easily make those yourself, you said in a comment you have a 550D, so just shoot some random object with different exposure compensation values (like -3 to +3 in one stop increments), shoot a lot of sets of different subjects to get a feel of what works for what subject/situation.

Simple basic corrections? - set your camera to P mode, enable auto ISO, auto white balance and auto everything (but not the green auto mode because that will not produce raw files) and snap some pictures (preferably of people) this should give you plenty of pictures that are very close to technically correct but need some adjustment (and you don't care if they are badly composed).

Real world missed shots you can fix and good shoots you can turn into great pictures? - those are more difficult to shoot yourself, try to find a local event photographer that is willing to give you raw file to practice on (you probably need to become friends with the photographer and agree to any terms he/her has before you will get the files).

HDR, special effects, etc. - either find a local photographer who shoots the style you want to retouch or shoot them yourself

Alternatively, you can try to find a good lightroom course/workshop that provides source material to students


Many camera reviews will include RAW samples. DPReview used to do this all the time, but they seem to have fallen back to (mainly) JPG images. A little googling, though, turned up this link for the 5D-III, and I'm sure other camera samples would be equally easy to turn up.


There are a small number (11) of freely licensed raw files available at Commons Archive, a site that I started - it hosts raw files of photos found on Wikimedia Commons, which are often used on Wikipedia. Currently there are only a few users, but I'm going to upload more there in the future and hoping to get more contributions from others.


http://rawsamples.ch has 230 files from various camera manufactures. Please add to the collection if your camera isn't represented.

  • 1
    From what I can see, that site has one raw file for a bunch of cameras. But are they raw files that are useful for practicing post-processing?
    – MikeW
    Aug 12 '14 at 2:31

RETOUCHBOX offers 9 free RAW files for you to download and use for education usage (amongst other things), as well as having a huge range of premium raw files.


You can find a lot of potrtait/model RAWs at this ModelMayhem Forum section Challenges, Contests, and Samples.


Reddit has a weekly RAW editing competition. Someone provides a RAW file each week, a winner is chosen by the end of the week. It can be a great way to get interesting files to work with, and constructive criticism!

Check it out here: http://redditphotography.com/reddit/raw

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.