SOOC Saturday

If you’re not a photo geek, you’re probably wondering what SOOC means. SOOC is short for “Straight out of Camera,” the idea being that no post-processing was applied to an image after it came off the camera’s memory card. Depending who you talk to, a SOOC image is more “pure” and somehow “better” than an image that was heavily manipulated in Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop (or whatever—pick your poison).

The Instagram crowd would call this #nofilter and get all high and mighty about how awesome their “unmanipulated” shot was.


#nofilter


Bullshit.

For the most part, photography is art. Art is subject to the whims of the artist, and there is no right or wrong. Before the shutter “button” is pressed, at least four creative choices are made by all photographers:

  • Film choice (beit analog or digital) has a direct impact on the tonality, grain, and colour representation of the resultant image
  • Aperture controls how much of the image is in focus (depth of field) or dictates how fast or slow the shutter will be
  • Shutter speed determines whether motion is frozen or not
  • Metering determines how the image is exposed and can set a mood by deliberately over- or under-exposing the overall image, for example

Combine those four points with myriad of other settings available on a modern camera, and it’s easy to see how a TON of processing and manipulation happens before that image is committed to film or digital memory.

Every so often, I set out to make a bunch of images that work for me SOOC. Not because I believe in the purity SOOC images (I don’t) but because I want to challenge myself to capture and share my vision with the least amount of effort possible.

That’s right: I’m lazy.

So here are a bunch of images I took yesterday on a sunny walkabout that are SOOC, apart from some straightening or cropping. I may be lazy, but not so lazy to show the world how cockeyed I am.


The Royal Canadian Navy Memorial


The Canadian War Museum


A stroll up Rochester St.


Chinatown

All images in this series were captured during the course of a 2 hour walkabout in Ottawa using a Fujifilm X-Pro3 and my underused and underrated XF27mmF2.8 lens.

Most of the images were made using my own cleverly titled “FILM (GRAINY)” in-camera recipe:

Film SimClassic Negative
Highlights-1
Shadows-1
Grain EffectWeak/Large
Color Chrome EffectStrong
Color Chrome FX BlueStrong
WBDaylight
Dynamic RangeDR400
Color+1
Sharpness-2
Noise Reduction-4
Clarity0

3 Comments

  1. Great images and great text. I like and agree with you that unmanipulated images are “pure”.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Dom.

      Maybe you didn’t see the part where I called “purity” bullshit 🤣. I so don’t believe in purity when it comes to photography. There is always processing or manipulation happening to a photographic image. Always. I just prefer the processing to be *my* choice, and not the camera’s. And if I tell my camera to process things a certain way before I press the shutter button… it’s still manipulated.

      But I am all for getting the best results out of the least effort… AKA laziness. 😉

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      1. Just to make sure, what I meant is I agree with you that this purity thing is bullshit. We make choices and we influence the image by these choices. In my mind, purity is similar to perfection. There is no such thing as perfection.

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