#beinspiredby: Straight Out of Camera

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

I’m sure you’ve heard it before.  Photographers saying that they do not process their images and that they do everything in camera.

Sure, that’s all fine and will but with digital photography, and especially if you shoot in RAW you need to process – not manipulate – your files from a data only file to a usable JPEG file format for sharing, loading to the web and printing.  This would include small adjustments to contrast, saturation and sharpness as well as a few subtle local adjustments if necessary.  Remember we are talking wildlife and nature photography so for now let’s agree that the goal is to present a natural looking final image in which the viewer cannot see what adjustments you have made.

That being said, post processing is not supposed to consist of damage control where you try and fix all the mistakes you made in camera so the sentiment of getting as much right in camera definitely carries weight and is something we need to strive for.  Yes, I most certainly believe that there is a time when we can and should shoot for processing but that’s a topic for another time.

So, this week I am going to ask you to #beinspiredby and to share your unprocessed images with us.

Yes, your images straight out of camera.  No processing apart from, if you shoot in RAW, a straight up conversion to JPEG.

No cropping, no changes to contrast or saturation.

No sharpening.


Just the file you captured while you were out in the field.

But wait, there’s more.

Once you have posted the unprocessed file to the Wild Eye Facebook page – you can find the details at the bottom of this post – I want you to process your image as you usually would and email this file to me.  Next week, when we choose our favourite 5 images, I will then include the unprocessed file you shared on Facebook as well as the final, processed version you emailed to me.

I think it is an awesome learning exercise to not only see what is possible but also how different people process their images.  I will then do a Lightroom video and ask some of the guys in the Wild Eye office to do a live process of the images they will be sharing throughout the weekend.

#beinspiredby:  Straight Out of Camera

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife Photography

All three those images are straight out of Lightroom.

No processing whatsoever except resizing for web and export to JPEG.

Here’s How It Works

Sharing your images this week is the same as it always has been but there’s just the extra step of emailing me your final processed image.  Here’s what you do:

  • Look through your images and select an images that you like straight out of camera. 
  • DO NOT process your image but simply resize them for the web.  That’s it!
  • Go to the Wild Eye Facebook page
  • Post your image there using this heading: #beinspiredby:  Straight Out of Camera
  • In the description tell us where the image was taken and feel free to include any other information about the image.
  • Then – and this is the new part – process the image like you normally would in either colour of monochrome.
  • Send only the final processed JPEG file to photography@wild-eye.co.za – don’t upload this one to Facebook!
  • Check the Facebook page throughout the weekend to see some of the other images that people are uploading.
  • Next Monday I will then choose 5 of my favourite images and share them on the blog along with the final processed versions.
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Reckon this is going to be interesting and gonna be awesome to compare the images people post over the weekend with the final products.

So, just to recap:

  • Upload unprocessed file to Facebook.
  • If you shoot in RAW you are only allowed to export the image to a JPEG but nothing else.
  • Once you’ve uploaded your unprocessed file to Facebook proceed to process your images as you wish.
  • Email only the final, processed file to me.
  • Have a great weekend all the time checking the Facebook page.
  • Check in on Monday when I will post the two version of our favourite images.
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If you have any questions on this please leave a comment and I’ll assist from there.

What we do in camera is most definitely the start of the photographic process and it is imperative that you know what you are doing.  Your settings, framing and approach to your subject will all play a part in you capturing that moment.  The vision you then had when you clicked the shutter should continue when you fire up your favourite processing software.  You should not think of it as post-processing as it really is, and should, all be a part of the same creative photographic process.

And there you have it.

Something slightly different for this week which is quite exciting and I look forward to seeing what we come up with.

Happy sharing and make sure to check back next week.

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt 

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