Since I started caring about “professional level” photography I`ve been reading the Ken Rockwell website. It`s a very controversial piece of website and his opinions, for my delight, frequently enrage the photographic community. I like his style because he`s not afraid to speak out something he believes, even if it goes against all the common knowledge.
Back in 2008 I read something in his site against post processing and against the use of RAW format. It`s a somewhat deeply-held belief that amateurs use the JPEG format and the so-called “pros” use RAW. Without expanding into the particularities of each, RAW retains A LOT more information than the JPEG (in my camera, the RAW file is six times larger than the JPEG) and makes it possible to adjust the picture off camera with softwares like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. From the middle of an opening in the void, comes Ken with a crazy (but somewhat exceptional) assertion: how about you “pros” learn how to shoot so you don`t actually NEED any software adjustments to your pictures?
I remember reading that inside my office while working and laughing loudly while thinking about the next round of flame wars in the internet photography forums. Then it struck me: he is damn right! If one really learns how to use its camera, shoot the subject from the right angle and position, little or no tweak will be necessary. I`m sure the masters of Photoshop will bluntly disagree with me. Too sad I`m discussing photography and not image editing, and yes, I make a very clear distinction among photography and image editing.
With this kind of though I started my path through photography. Six years later I`m what one can call lazy photographer. I want my shots perfect (in the sense of “the way I had them in my mind of better”) straight out of my camera. While I love to shoot, I have to confess: couldn`t care less about channel mixers, layers and so on. The plot twist? I shoot raw, edit and convert it in the camera.
The Eos 60D (and probably all cameras from it`s generation on) have the capability to edit RAW (so you can adjust +1/-1 stop on exposure, light balance, correct lens fallout and distortion) and then convert it to JPEG in camera. To lots of orthodox photographers this is the useless tool ever created by Canon. To me? It`s what I needed from software editing.
While I still think a great photographer with good capabilities on software editing is going to achieve greater results than the one without its computer abilities, I`ve became lazy, and my laziness made me learn a hell lot and improved my capability to take the right picture right on the first click.