Back in 2017, we told you about a site called WeSaturate that allowed you to download free raw photos for editing practice. Unfortunately, that service has since shut down; thankfully, someone else has stepped in to fill the void.
Signature Edits is a website and YouTube channel dedicated to teaching readers/viewers about photo editing, selling presets, and teaching photography branding. But their most recent project is a little different. Inspired by WeSaturate, which shut down earlier this year, they’ve created a free resource for beginners who need RAW files for photo editing practice.
“Starting out in photography, it was really hard to learn to edit when I didn’t have a professional camera yet,” SignatureEdits founder Ryan tells PetaPixel. “Because [WeSaturate] was such a valuable resource for me when I needed it, I wanted to create something to help other photographers the way it helped me.”
Ryan describes the result as “kind of like Unsplash, but with RAW files.” A gallery on the Signature Edits website where you can download (or donate) RAW files that are 100% free to use, without restrictions, for commercial and non-commercial purposes alike.
That might rub some people the wrong way, of course, but it also makes it a valuable resource for newbies who want to practice their editing; over time, and with some optimization, it could also become a great place to test how various RAW files from different camera brands respond to heavy retouching.
“I’m no coder, so it’s nothing fancy. Just a simple gallery of RAW files that you can easily scroll through and download what you like,” explains Ryan. “My goal is to help photographers. If you’re a retoucher looking to build a portfolio, you have access to high quality images. If you’re an aspiring photographer without a camera, you can learn how to edit photos without a camera. If you just free photos for other creative projects, that’s cool too.”
You can check out the site at this link, where most of the files (at least so far) are Canon CR2 images, though we did find some Panasonic, Sony, and Adobe DNG files in there as well.
If you want to learn more about the image license involved (there is none, credit is optional but appreciated), download some practice files, or share some of your own throw-away files to help out the community, head over to the Signature Edits website.
Image credits: Header photo by Joseph Pearson, CC0