I'm not cheating

December 02, 2015  •  Leave a Comment


After the harvestAfter the harvest


I am always fascinated by those who proclaim a photograph is "straight out of the camera" (SOOC) as if it were some badge of honor. I shoot RAW files, unprocessed data as captured by the camera and not converted to a processed, sometimes over processed, JPEG where the camera's built-in program determines the level of sharpening, contrast, hue, etc.

Many times these folks talk about maintaining the integrity of a scene and that post processing is "cheating". When I see this I read it as, "I have no clue how to use Photoshop, and it is hard". These, in my mind, are the same people who would use Photomat to develop their film instead of doing so in their own darkroom because, it is cheating or too hard to learn.

Back in my film days, I used a variety of filters to achieve the starting looking, especially in black and white photography. I still have my colored filters (red, orange, blue, yellow). I still have my soft focus filters, star filters, Sepia tone, Tobacco colored etc, for special effects. I don't have my darkroom equipment any longer but would love to get some basic darkroom to play with my older cameras, especially my TLR (Twin Lens Reflex).

I shoot 90% of my photography in manual, setting aperture, shutter speed, ISO. I use a light meter in many situations to get a more accurate light reading. I use manual mode with flash units. As such I feel, albeit slightly, offended that others imply that because I choose to decide on my own, with my own eyes what a scene should look like because I use Photoshop and Lightroom to process my own digital film.

If you want to shoot JPEG's processed by the camera's built-in program written by some software person who likely can't tell an aperture from a shutter, that is fine by me just don't kick my can and tell me it's "cheating" because I choose to do it my own way, use my own vision, and create my own final photograph.


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