Wednesday, April 09, 2014


Click to Enlarge
You all know what the acronym SOOC represents, don't you? For those who might not be aware or are unsure, it stands for "Straight Out of the Camera."

If you've been reading this blog for while now or you're a reader of my eBooks, you have probably realized I don't do much post-processing on my photos. Often enough, except for removing a few blemishes or stray hairs, very slight luminosity or color adjustments, and resizing for the web, many of the photos I post here, or those I've utilized in my ebooks, or still others I've posted on photo forums are, for all intents and purposes, SOOC.

There are a few reasons for my SOOC or near-SOOC posting habits and none of them have to do with ego, bragging rights, or being some sort of photo elitist or an overly Old School photographer.  Here's some of those reasons:

1) I'm a big proponent of getting things right in the camera. When I say "things," I mean nearly everything, especially exposure, color balance, even framing and composition. As a result of many of my clients' preferences, I mostly shoot large fine JPGs. Doing so makes getting it right in the camera even more important. In fact, it makes it paramount.

2) I'm not a very good Photoshop guy. Not really. Yeah, I can perform all the basics and perform them quite well but, when it comes to more advanced techniques, I'm not "The Guy."  One reason for that is my clients all have art departments, re-touchers, or graphic artists who work them so, doing the post-work on my photos isn't part of my job. Instead, those are the people who process my photos, i.e., the photos they (my clients) select for use for various applications. (e.g., packaging art work, "slicks" and posters, advertising, magazine use, other print or web applications.) Since those people, the post-production people, have my clients' ears long after I've snapped the photos, it's most definitely in my best interests, continuing employment wise,  to get things right in the camera.

3) While I admire a fair amount of digitally enhanced or modified images, especially some of the composite work I see, over-processing photos, make that over-processing the people in those photos, often makes me cringe as a photographer.

I highly recommend all photographers strive for SOOC worthy photos. That doesn't mean I'm recommending against post-processing, I'm not. But much of what you do when post-processing your pics should be about making already good photos even better, and not about "saving" photos that don't qualify or pass muster for SOOC viewing. When you get it right in the camera, everything you might do in post becomes simpler and easier to accomplish.

The image at the top is, I think, a pretty good example of getting things right in the camera. It's SOOC except for a 50% resize applied to it. That's it. Nothing else. All I did was simply made it half as large as  it was coming out of my camera. If you want a better look, click it to enlarge it.

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