Soooo, this acronym is thrown about a lot. SOOC means Straight Out Of Camera. There is a segment of photographers out there that feel if it is not sooc that you are somehow cheating. Everyone has an opinion on this. Here is mine… it’s art.
In the past even people like Ansel Adams made changes in the dark room. He was dodging and burning for all his worth bringing his vision to life. I read a quote from another photographer that “you manipulate a photograph before you even take the photograph. You do this by what you choose to show and hide in a photograph.” Every choice you make will affect the end result.
I understand where the sooc crowd is coming from. However, ultimately it is art. Personally, I don’t do a lot of post processing. I shoot raw so I will adjust the color profile, the blacks, whites, contrast, and maybe highlights, and shadows. I will occasionally do a special effect, like adjusting the curves to give me a flat matte finish. I may send some photos to Luminar for final finishing.
I will occasionally take bracketed images and use Lightroom to merge them into an HDR. Personally, I prefer to do this to help with images that just need a slightly larger dynamic range. I am not a fan of that cartoon like HDR look. It is not for me but I don’t think my personal choices should dictate what others want to do with their photos.
For example, a photographer I follow was saying how much they dislike selective color, but would do it if the client requested it. I love selective color in moderation. I don’t have a problem with people cutting out a sky and replacing it with a more interesting one in most situations.
There are some places I do have a problem with these effects. Contents that stipulate no or little post processing, journalism, stating that your image wasn’t manipulated when it was. The things that leap out to me are the case of a photographer who photoshopped a plane into his image for a contest and that moon shot that a photographer claims was not post processed.
I guess two things about this whole topic really bother me. The first thing is people misrepresenting their work as something it is not. If you dropped in a new sky and looks awesome, own it, be proud that you did a good job. The second thing is people judging others based on their own prejudices. I can look at an obviously photoshopped or hdr photo and say to myself “That is nice but not something I enjoy”. I guess I don’t understand the need to feel superior about your personal choices. Anyways, off my soapbox, what do you think?
Clay is happily married in Maryland where he lives with his wonderful wife and twin boys. His daughter lives with her mother in Idaho. His hobbies include photography, martial arts, music, and technology.