Saturday, June 16, 2012

Before and After.

I love looking at photos from our vacations.  Sometimes even the goofs will bring back a memory of that day, and even the second that I pushed the shutter to make the image.  Not all images are winners and deserving of posting and some are really good right out of the camera.  For this post, I'd like to talk about one that wasn't so good and what I did with it (other than deleting it).

Here's the before image, taken with my Sony NEX3.  I made this photo at the scenic viewpoint on Hwy 395, coming down from the Conway Summit, looking back to Mono Lake.  It's pretty clear that there are several things wrong with it.  The first and most obvious is how the horizon line is leaning so far to the left it looks like I must have been drunk when I took the shot.  There's also some vignetting in the corners (from my polarizing filter).

For some reason, I still liked the scene and wanted to try a couple of things to take it from blah to not bad.  I opened the image in Photoshop and corrected the horizon.  Then I cropped the image a bit to remove the vignetted corners.  And last but not least, I converted it to black and white.  Here's the after:

This version is much more dramatic.  I love the tones and textures in this image.  Black and white really seems to add some punch to an otherwise lousy snapshot.  With a little post processing in Photoshop, this image went from being on the brink of deletion to being sent out for printing!

The message I suppose would be to revisit your stockpile of photos, and after you are inspired by another image or you learn a new technique, don't be afraid to try it out.  Who knows, you may have a masterpiece sitting on your harddrive just waiting for you to discover it!

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