Thursday, August 5th, 2010 9
Posted in: Refocus, SOOC

It being early in my photography journey, I haven’t done much manipulation or post-production on my photos. And by “much,” I mean any. I don’t know a lick about Photoshop, Lightroom, or iPhoto, with the exception of their names and that you can adjust stuff like saturation and I don’t know what all. I’m not sure how many or how much photographers use these programs to edit their images, but I am realizing that there are alot who seem to. I had no idea. Really. I pretty much thought the images I saw on photography blogs and in gallery exhibits were SOOC–straight out of the camera. But as I read lots of creative blogs and admire the photographs of these talented individuals, it’s dawning on me (from their comments sections or some of their posts) that very many of them engage in some post-production. Huh.

SOOC: On the road to Colorado

Since I invested in my photography and creative journey, and plunked down my duckets for my beautiful (albeit “beginner”) DSLR, I’ve been focusing and working on capturing the image I want right there and then. I’m currently in the beginning weeks of my Photography II course, and this is not only my instructor’s encouragement but the actual assignment each week–she insists that there is NO post-production, NO manipulation, and NO corrections done by the lab that processes the images (did you know that photo labs take the liberty of making “corrections” to your images–without even asking you?!?!). She also teaches nothing about composition–no rule of thirds, no leading lines, none of that. I think her intention is for us to really learn the fundamentals of photography, exploring the existing light, the aperture and shutter speed settings, the white balance (btw, auto white balance is pure evil). I also think her style of teaching and her lack of instruction on composition encourages each of us to find our own eye. And I like all of this. I feel like I’m really learning the principles and how to get the effect I want. Of course, I don’t always get the photo I’m hoping for or working toward. But I believe part of the process is making mistakes (even though they frustrate me) and trying to learn from them to edge closer to the image in my mind.

SOOC: Colorado sunset from the deck

So back to Photoshop and Lightroom and all the other photography editing programs…I don’t really know what I think. I want to learn everything I can about photography, and I definitely want to create the “best” images (at least to my eye) that I can. And there is a part of me that realizes that maybe post-production and editing would help me achieve that. It’s highly likely, otherwise, there wouldn’t be all these fancy programs available to help people tweak their photos to look better. But my gut instinct and my heart are wanting to really work on my craft SOOC. So for now, no post-production. No manipulation. No refocusing after the fact. For now.

9 Responses

  1. Jan says:

    First one reminds me of My Antonia. Stunning.

  2. Laura says:

    you’re doing GREAT work with the skills and tools you have now… and most importantly, you’re feeling inspired and working creatively! YAY MEGS!

  3. Being who I am, I can’t help but wonder why metaphors and life lessons are contained in these words. RAW image, raw experience?

  4. Mark says:

    Nice shots. I haven’t played with Photoshop much, but I use an online program called Picnik ( It will do a bunch for a cheap price. Plus, it interacts with Flickr, where I keep my photos.

  5. Sometimes I think that the most beautiful things come from mistakes or imperfections. Given that the “focus” (haha) of this blog is you learning to find the beauty of things through your new! camera lens, I 100% agree that you should continue posting SOOC pictures. They’re AWESOME just the way they are. : )

  6. Tanya says:

    I really enjoyed the way Barbara approached/taught photography. I think for a beginner it is good for you to experiment with the images you compose, without thinking too much about the rules of thirds, etc. (which I still really don’t know). Besides, the rules were meant to be broken!
    Maybe I’m a purist, but I think there is really something to be said/commended about an unedited photo. It takes a good eye to capture an image that’s framed well, with just the perfect light, etc. So please continue to post SOOC-they’re looking great:)

  7. Susannah says:

    i’m not a big fan of too much post production – i’m very old school. I mean, i’ve played with texture and actions, and even with my Polaroids i scan them and remove any dust on the image, but that’s about it.


  8. Jayne Bramley says:

    Ah yes, auto white balance is pure evil indeed!!!! It is such a shame that it took a trip to the East Coast for me to find a photo buddy in Lincoln…just as I am about to leave šŸ™

  9. Tawyna says:

    I can really relate to this. I’ve been into photography for decades, and when digital started becoming more and more popular I was holding onto my 35mm film with a death grip. Swore I would never go digital OR edit my photographs. Today I’m the proud owner of a Nikon D700 and Lightroom. I still stay very true to my “natural” instincts and do very very little post processing, but I have realized that digital records light very differently than film does. I still adore film above all šŸ™‚ And I still have my rebel. Just found my grandparents old polaroid camera too.

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