Embracing a lack of quality control

Most of us photographer are control freaks. I've mentioned that before and yes it's still true. I tend to want to have lots of control over the things that I can and let the rest go where it may. I shot on chromes for so long that I could shoot just about everything as a jpg and not really worry that the image won't work. When you shoot a chrome what you get in the camera is what you get in the image. If you are used to that then you don't even think about adjusting the image after you've shot it so you get it right the first time. Given that I don't need the control that shooting RAW gives me but sometimes it's a blessing especially when I want to be able to take advantage of all the tools that post processing gives us. So as a result I shoot everything in RAW – it's part of my workflow and to a degree part of my shooting style. I pay more attention to the moment, the graphics and to a lesser extent exposure. The rest I'll worry/play with later.

But isn't that holding on to control too? Doesn't that keep me a "control freak" by letting me have all that control in post? In the old days the film that was in the camera when I hit the shutter button determined the bulk of how the image would look. Using Kodachrome  or Velvia  would give your image a totally different look and once your image was on that film you are stuck. With RAW you can give the image whatever level of contrast or saturation or tonality that you want at any time.  So I thought the other day "Maybe I should let some images go where they will like in the film days just to mix things up". Hmmm …..

I have an app for the camera in my G1 phone that processes the images into a Polaroid-ish one. Complete with funky colors and border for the authentic look. Now THAT is a lack of control. So I'm playing around with it for kicks. Crap lens, no exposure control, no color control, no decisive moment capacity,  blah-blah-blah. Perfect!


I mean, I would never do this on assignment (well if you want to pay me to shoot your campaign on my phone I guess I could be enticed …) but as an ongoing exercise in creatively letting go it should be interesting.

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