The importance of getting it right in the camera

I have been in India the last several weeks on non-photography business. When I did get out to take photos, I was yet again shown the importance of spending more time when taking the image to save much more post-processing time later. Here are a pair of images (you can click on them to see a larger version):

The one on the left is the one I took. I was so focused on the woman’s face that I missed the very distracting motorcycle parked behind her. And, I had the camera set at a higher aperture to give reasonable depth-of-field, making the problem worse. The second image is what I wish I had taken. I’m not completely happy with my post-processing of the motorcycle out, so before I would really use the image, I’d need to re-do it. Overall, the result is spending much more time than it would have taken to stop, think about the picture I wanted to capture, and then getting it right in the camera. To get it right would have taken maybe five minutes. To post-process reasonably well will require an hour or few. Multiply this by several such photos, and these photos are a real time sink to make any use of.

So, the lesson is a repeat of what has been said several times before by several other photographers: Create an image, do not take a picture. The difference is the difference between a snapshot and a good photograph.