Talk to any photographer long enough and the topic of getting the image right in camera will come up. What does it mean to get it right in camera and how do you do it? Getting the image right in camera can seem challenging but it does not have to be. First let me define what I mean by “getting it right in camera”.
To me, the term “getting it right in camera” means that when I capture the image I’m getting my exposure, focus, color and composition right for my workflow. So when I shoot a job, I shoot RAW + JPEG giving the JPEGS to the client and keeping the RAWs for any post work that might be needed when the client makes their pick.
Since my workflow is pretty straightforward when I shoot jobs, I’m about 95% finished with the image and will do just some minor color and contrast tweaks to the shot before I deliver the images (via Dropbox) to my client.
When I’m out with my wife, I want to spend as much time with her as possible so there’s no desire for big setups and heavy post. For me this is where “getting it right in camera” works its magic and here’s why:
- When I get the shot right in camera I have more time with my wife
- Later at home I don’t have to mess with post and often times I don’t even need to back-up my shots because…
- I’ll shoot wirelessly from my camera to my mobile device which backs-up my captures to dropbox automagically
- Every time I get the shot right in camera I become a better photographer and am able to work faster.
- Less post means I have more time to shoot more and enjoy life.
How does one “get it right” in camera?
First thing you need to do is think about what you want to get out of your photography. As I mentioned above when I’m shooting for fun my time and enjoyment are priorities. What I want to get out of photography is going to be different then you and that’s ok. Art is something different for everyone and there is no right answer but you do need to think about what you want to get out of the art. This approach is non-technical and more emotion based but knowing what you want to get out of photography will help you create for years (and many cameras) to come.
My schedule is jammed pack seven days a week but I do adhere to some procedures that have become second nature and help me shoot quickly and accurately. Here’s what I do:
- Think about what I want to shoot before I shoot it. I want to visualize the image in my head in as much detail as possible and while the final image might not be exactly what I think it will be many times it’s close and sometimes I surprise myself.
- Now that I have an idea in my head I think about what it will take to make the image – light, subject matter, location, camera, lens, camera settings, post, etc. These are all pieces to the image making puzzle. Knowing what pieces I need to have a successful shot makes the act of shooting more fulfilling since I now have a pretty good idea if I’m going to be able to do it and how.
- Slow down! just relax and know that I’m going to get the shot. I already know what the image is going to look like, the tools I need and the process so I don’t mess it up by rushing.
Getting it right in camera is easy. Just follow the tips, slow down a bit and think what you want to accomplish with the photo and you’ll get the hang of it.