3: Getting it Right in the Camera

This is the statement that may send me to an early grave: “Don’t worry about it now; I’ll fix it in Photoshop later.” I hear new photographers say this all the time. Digital photography has created an environment where many photographers feel they just need to get the shot and will worry about color, balance, exposure, and cropping later.

When I was in photography school almost twenty-five years ago, we didn’t have Adobe Photoshop. There was only “getting it right in the camera” or making the perfect negative. I had to choose the correct film, know how to use a light meter, know how to use the manual settings on my camera, and know how to process film (black and white, as well as color). I also had to know how to print in the dark room. I have to say I am so glad I grew up with film and learned proper techniques for getting it right in the camera.

Don’t get me wrong, technology is amazing and we photographers now have the ability to correct mistakes; however, isn’t it better to avoid mistakes and reduce your time spent in front of the computer? If I can encourage you to pretend you can’t “fix” your images later, you will learn so much and save yourself quite a bit of postproduction time sitting at your computer.

So how do you get it right in the camera? In this chapter I cover many of the basics from program modes, metering, aperture, shutter ...

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