“Get it right in camera” Pffft!!… I still forget to remove the lens cap!
The first time I photographed a portrait, I rattled off 337 shots to land a single good one, with each subsequent dull shoot I was becoming increasingly frustrated, wondering why my images didn’t look as professional as everyone else’s. And finally, after my umpteenth attempt, started to wonder if it was just me.
It couldn’t be the camera
I didn’t hold back when it came to purchasing a really good DSLR. All the photographers around me were publishing amazing shots. It couldn’t be the lens because it was the same 50mm everyone else was using! Was it just me?
“Get it right in camera” was the blanket response to my reluctant cries for help in the common online photography hang outs. Pffffft! What does that even mean!?
When I find myself with about 0.5 seconds to have a scratch, compose the shot, think about my ISO, adjust my focal length, aperture and fine tune my shutter speed to compensate for my highly caffeinated hand shakes. (All before directing the subject, managing their cries, comfort and tolerance levels and dealing with the sweats from my now overwhelmed chaotic state). Pressing the allusive ‘get it right in camera’ button always seems to slip my mind…
Maybe I am just human and it’s perfectly normal to require a large glass of wine whilst reviewing my less than perfect images after a day shooting?
The result of many, many shoots like this?
THOUSANDS of hours editing images in Lightroom and Photoshop recovering, re-touching and editing images. I remember starting off and just staring at Lightroom, thinking, ‘I don’t know how to do anything! I like my photo, I just want it to look even better!’. And the tone curve! That damn thing had me in a curve of my own for ages until I mastered the little sucker!
Had I got it right in camera would I have saved myself time? Absolutely!
Would I have avoided feeling overwhelmed by all the options, possibilities and lack of structure? YES!!
But you know what.. Were it not for my massive mistakes, over/under exposed shots, unbalanced compositions and photos that should have been destined for the ‘Recycle Bin’ (but instead made it to print!) … I wouldn’t know the ins and outs of Photoshop & Lightroom like I do today! In a strange way, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I think I just heard the photography purists shudder in their seats…
I freely admit to not always being good enough to ‘get it right in camera’ to my, at times unachievable, high standards. For these moments, why not embrace the creation, the editing, playing with your images and creating something truly unique?
The feature image of this post was a classically terrible image that was destined for the digital abyss. Instead, it was recovered, nurtured, loved and polished and now hangs on a very proud mothers wall.
Let me ask you a favour. Email me the #1 thing that’s keeping you from editing beautiful images in Lightroom and Photoshop.
If something’s stopping you, I want to know what it is and if I can help.
PS. I’d also love to know… When was the last time you left the lens cap on? 🙂