Raw To The Core

I’m really grateful to The X-Pro 1.

This Camera forced me to go back to basics.

I started my journey with the X100 T.

I loved that Camera.

It had everything, everything except a long battery life. The batteries suck big time and I almost gave up Fuji all together and went back to Nikon.

In spite of the poor batteries, that little camera was beautiful. The JPEG File were mso gorgeous straight out of camera. I saw no real reason to get bogged down in front of a computer wasting time editing images.

If only life was that simple.

I have had my X-Pro 1 for almost 2 years and this Camera forced me to do the one thing I resisted; sit at a computer and master the art of editing Raw Files.

Editing Raw Files is a craft of the highest calibre. Quite frankly, it must be mastered as part of the photographic workflow.

There is no way round it - all of the functionality that the Cameras have today in terms of producing impeccable JPEGs, Wi-Fi Technology for instant sharing and all the bells and whistles that come fully loaded has made me lazy.

My X100T came fully loaded - I saw no reason to sit at a computer for longer than I needed to.

Would you believe the X-Pro 1 presented me with a humbling experience. I had no choice, if I wanted to experience how good these Raf Filles were as they are called, I would have to edit them to the best of my ability.

And so I did.

Would you believe, the editing skills I had two years ago were crap, how do I know? I look at the images from two years ago and I can see I had not mastered Lightroom to a competent standard.

This lockdown has presented me with an opportunity to read, practice and master Lightroom and Photoshop.

I will be honest and say I still don’t enjoy sitting at a computer for too long. However, the Files from the X-Pro 1 are worth it.

This Camera is my everyday, walk around, always with me Camera of choice. I pair it with the XF18mm F2 and it delivers beautifully rendered images.

When it came to mastering Lightroom, I turned to Scott Kelby and his Books. Particularly his Lightroom 7 Point System.

This Book presented me with exactly what I need. Hands on Training with Raw Files to download and practice on.

The results are stunning and I have internalised this very practical 7 Point Workflow into my photographic discipline.

I feel I can relax now simply because my confidence has grown just a little bit and I feel comfortable with the photographic process.

Find a camera you enjoy using.

Discover which Lens suits your eyes and the way you see.

Go out and create images that you find interesting. During this process you’ll discover what makes your heartbeat – you will discover the images that inspire you and the moments that pull you.

Shoot Raw no exception.

Edit your Raw Files and create JPEG’s to share.

This process will unlock further possibilities in terms of what you can do with your images. It’s taken me nine years to get to this point.

I’m happy and I feel like my journey is just beginning.

I’m also feeling that I’m treating my photography and the images I create with a little more dignity and respect. I know this to be true because when I was shooting film as boy, the Raw Negatives were all I had as evidence until I had them printed.

In my opinion, once you’ve created a digital photograph it doesn’t really come alive until you’ve printed it. The digital process has almost made printing unnecessary. However, I come from a generation that once held a photograph in the palm of my hand and to me it’s a thing of joy and beauty. And the photograph is tacit proof that I created something of value.

Thanks for reading, to be continued.

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