Was recently at a small photo workshop.  One of the attendees made the statement “I get it right in the camera.”   Not a big deal but later stated he always shot on auto and was a little argumentive when told he really needed to learn the exposure triangle and practice on manual. Made me realize this person was a beginner and probably would not grow in his photography skills if he kept those opinions.  

You really need to learn the exposure triangle and start shooting on manual. After mastering then go to aperture or shutter mode at times to save time.  I personally have no use for auto, program, or scene modes on a camera. Learning a photo editing program would not hurt either.

No camera is perfect immaterial of what model and how much you paid for it.  In most cases the image could benefit from some tweaking. Cameras see much different than our eyes.  They take in a whole scene at once using just one aperture,  We see a scene in many sections that is pieced together like a puzzle in our brain, with aperture changing constantly as our eyes dart around the scene.  We have a very narrow point of focus-hold two fingers up and while looking at one you will notice the one next to it is blurry.  Now, place a finger just slightly behind or in front of the finger you are looking at and then notice it is also out of focus.  We have a small area of focus and a shallow depth of field, Notice when at the beach the subject stands out well and the sky behind them is blue.  You snap a pic and suddenly the sky is blown out white-the camera is just not capable of changing aperture within the same scene,  Whereas, we look at the model and then switch our focus to the sky and aperture changes immediately.  Our brain then combines the pieces and we see a well tonal value scene.  Our eyes take in a scene and the brain changes it to what it should actually look like to us.  Color balance is a good example.  The camera records the varying colors of light whereas our brain will present it to us without the color shifting or maybe just slightly noticeable to us.  We all have seen indoor pictures at night where the lamps caused the scene to be orange, but when we saw it our brain had changed the light to neutral.  Looks like our brain has powerful editing software built in.  The different way the camera sees can also be beneficial to us by allowing us to change a scene to be more dramatic, colorful, and artistic.

You see only a very few pictures that could not benefit from a little photo editing tweaking and if you ever do it is usually a outdoor shot taken in good light and not much sky as cameras are manufactured and tweaked to take good pictures in that environment and as a side note most of them will still have that snapshot look.  Jerry Ghionis, one of the worlds best wedding photographers is noted for taking shots with minimal artificial lighting and producing great shots straight out of camera.  Know what he does with these great shots after the shoot? He sends them out to a photo editing service for final adjustments.

We should strive to get it as close to right as the camera will produce but to strive to always “I get it right in the camera” is an unattainable goal unless you are willing to settle for whatever the camera produces.

Yes, photo editing software is needed and beneficial.  If they look good coming out of camera then how would they look if you learned some editing skills-even better.