Getting It Right In the Camera

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MC Contributor and Street Photography Ninja Giulio Sciorio (SmallCameraBigPicture.com and DiscoverMirrorless.com) is back after finishing off 2012 with a bang!  Today, the G-man talks about the importance of “getting it right in the camera.”

Giulio writes…

Getting It Right In Camera Is Easy

Talk to any photographer long enough and the topic of getting the image “right in the camera” will come up.

To many shooters, getting it right in the camera can seem like a pretty challenging task, but it doesn’t have to be.

To me, ”getting it right in the camera” means that when I capture an image, I get my exposure, focus, color and composition right for my workflow, so that when I take a shot I’m about 95% finished with the image and will only make some minor tweaks before delivering the final image to my client. Typically, when I shoot a job, I shoot RAW + JPEG.  I’ll give the JPEGs to the client and keep the RAW images for any post production work that might be needed when the client makes their pick.

 

Why is it so important to get it right in the camera?

When I’m out with my wife, I want to spend as much time with her as possible.  So I have no desire to do big, elaborate setups and heavy post production work. For me, this is where “getting it right in the camera” becomes so important, and here’s why:

  1. When I get the shot right in the camera I have more time with my wife.
  2. I don’t have to spend endless hours messing with images in post, and often times I don’t even need to back-up my shots because…
  3. I’ll shoot wirelessly from my camera and send the images to my mobile device, which backs-up my captures to dropbox automagically  :-P
  4. Every time I get the shot right in camera, I become a better photographer and am able to work faster.
  5. Less post means I have more time get out and shoot more and enjoy life.

How does one “get it right” in the camera?

Every photographer is different, but if you focus on what your picture should look like before you take it, then that’s half the battle.  Since my schedule is jammed pack seven days a week,  I like to adhere to some procedures that have become second nature and have helped me to shoot quickly and accurately.

Here’s what I do:

  • Again – I think about what I want to shoot before I shoot it. I’ll visualize the image in my head in as much detail as possible, and while the final image might not look exactly how I pictured it in my mind, most of the time it’s really close (and sometimes I surprise even myself).  Make a game out of this and challenge yourself to get your images as close as possible to what they look like in your mind’s eye.  The more you do it, the easier it’ll get.
  • Once I have the picture 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 capture a successful shot makes the act of shooting more fulfilling since I now have a pretty good idea of how to put those pieces together to create my final image.
  • Slow down!  :-D It’s not always easy to do when you’re in a hectic setting, but sometimes, the best thing to do is to just relax, take a breath and know that you’re going to get the shot. Since I already know what the image is going to look like, the tools I need and the process, the last thing I want to do is mess things up by rushing.
Following this procedure took a lot of effort at first, but now it’s second nature. Sometimes, I can move very fast when I’m shooting, but that’s only because I know what I’m going to shoot and how I’m going to shoot before I actually take the picture. Using a hybrid camera like the Panasonic Lumix G5 (that’s the camera I’m using in the video above) makes the shoot even faster since it allows me to see what the image will look like before I shoot it (thanks to the real time application of creative filters, white balance and other settings that I can see live on the touch screen).

Getting it right in the camera can be easy. All you need to do is slow down and look at the image in your mind before you actually snap the shot.   Just follow the steps above and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.  (Read Article on DiscoverMirrorless.com)

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