That is the question…? Not really. For me Lightroom and Photoshop are the end of any shooting session. Even the best of photos need a little adjustment and that’s why I always shoot raw. Here’s one example when both auto balance, metering and exposure were challenged:
I love shooting at low light. The night for me is a scene by itself. So post-processing is important so I can develop the photo I’m trying to make. Even with the best camera and tripod it’s not possible to grab a perfect shot just by pressing the shutter. You will need to work it out.
I like knowing that I can tune white balance if I don’t get it right on camera. It’s not that I don’t think about it or sometimes adjust it while shooting but the reality is that I almost never use my gray card and the auto white balance is almost always on. There are some cases when metering and white balance will fail me completely but in most cases the deviation is little and there is an easy fix for it in the post-process.
Few other things that I really need is opening the shadows, tune the contrast and apply some minor sharpening and noise reduction. Those steps finish up a shot for me – I don’t think the image is ready on its own coming out raw straight from the camera. I know that many purists will object and point out that this is how photography is supposed to be. That’s how it was in the old days. Well – that’s not true. In the old days you had the dark room. That was your Photoshop and now it’s all different in the digital age yet some practices follow up on the same path. We still finish our images in post-process. We don’t just develop them all in the same way so it makes little sense to just copy them from the memory card and post them online or print them.