Gerry van der Walt - Wild Eye - Lightroom

But I Can Fix It In Lightroom

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Yeah maybe, but that’s not the point.

This is a statement I have been hearing a lot recently and I think it points to one of two things.

Either, and I think this is more than likely the case, people are not completely comfortable with their photographic knowledge and skills in the field and would rather spend time in Lightroom, where you have lots of time to figure things out through trial and error without missing the shot, than backing themselves in the field by trying different settings and techniques.

The other is just pure laziness.

People get lazy in the field and instead of thinking about their settings and how each technical aspect will affect their images from a creative point of view they dial in safe settings because… they can fix it in Lightroom.

Lightroom wasn’t designed to fix your images.

Lightroom was designed to process your images.

Big difference.

Fixing an image means that it is broken and you are now relying on Lightroom’s considerable power to unscramble the mess you made in the field.   Yes, it’s probably possible but is that really the way you want to approach your photography?  Always fixing things?

Processing an image means you are taking the RAW data you captured in the field and, like in the old days of film, developing the vision to ultimately match the scene you saw and felt out in the field.  The more you get right in the field, in camera, the easier your processing will be.

Relying on Lightroom to fix your images means you are focusing more on what’s gonna happen after you create the image.  Does this not mean you are more of a computer operator than a photographer?

That said, and this is why it is important to understand the technical side of photography and Lightroom, sometimes you can shoot FOR Lightroom.  Sometimes you might be faced with a very high dynamic range scene where the camera just cannot capture the entire ranger of tones and you can create a RAW file with the specific intent of processing it in Lightroom.

In this example you would consider whether to favour the highlights or darks in the scene, expose the images to maximise the tonal values in the frame based on that decision and then create a RAW file which then gets processed Lightroom.

This is very different from shooting in a safe zone, or just recklessly, and fixing whatever is wrong with your exposure in Lightroom.

Gerry van der Walt - Wild Eye - Lightroom

Pay attention to what you do in the field and how you shoot.

If necessary brush up on the basics, ask questions and shoot with other people.

Learn.

Be honest with yourself and make sure that you completely understand the technical side of photography.

Many people hide behind their photographic insecurities.  Don’t.

Then, when you have created a solid, workable RAW file process it to best show the vision you had when you created the images.

And don’t be lazy.

Back yourself and give yourself and your photography the respect it deserves.

The process is more fun and your result will be better.

Happy shooting!

Until next time.

Gerry

About the Author

Gerry van der Walt

I am a private and specialist photographic safari guide, public speaker, co founder of Wild Eye and wildlife photographer. Visit my website at www.gerryvanderwalt.com or follow my journey on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope.  I look forward to changing the way you see the world! Have you checked out The Wildlife Photography Podcast?

Comments 2

  1. Andy H.

    I couldn’t agree more. Most workshops and education nights at camera clubs focus on how to do more with Lightroom, PhotoShop or whatever.

    Coming from film for 40 years you didn’t have the luxury of “fixing” it later. Especially with commercially processed color film. Getting it right in camera is a lost art. With today’s powerful cameras the care that goes into taking an image is gone by allowing the electronics to do all the work (assuming it is done correctly).

    I always recommend new camera owners to find an “old” book on photography and learn the fundamentals that seem forgotten today. Many times I point them to the Ansel Adams series as it is pretty easy to find in most libraries…still.

    Andy

  2. Les Booth

    Yes. There are two important reasons for learning the fundamentals of ‘film photography’ in a digital age.
    1) You learn to be a better photographer.
    2) You learn to appreciate the amazing benefits provided – now – in the digital age.

    If you don’t have (1) you won’t get (2) and you will NEVER be a truly responsive photographer. Because, one day – you will need to shoot a photo, to near finished level, in-the-camera, with no option for post-production. THAT is the point at which a photographer is either dismantled or developed.

    Another very good post Gerry. Kudos. Keep ’em coming!! – BTR

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