Old picture, New skills

As my processing skills improve, I sometimes revisit old photos to see if I can improve them. Not trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear with this – a bad picture is a bad picture and processing won’t save it. Instead I’m looking at shots that I think could benefit from new software or new skills with old software.

Ode to sorrow

Take that shot up there. It’s nice, but it’s bugged me since I took it. Mostly because I should have been less of a lazy photographer and used a tripod to do a long exposure. It’s the textured water in the foreground that throws off the image for me. It doesn’t mesh with the soft fogginess of the rest of the photo. So recently I revisited it with Photoshop and I think it’s a big improvement –

Ode to sorrow II

To me it’s more in balance and harmony with the smoother water. I used a gaussian blur tool which I didn’t have access to before I started with Photoshop this year. I also thought that the warm white balance was not in keeping with the forbidding aspects of the photo so I changed it. Does it work? What do you think?

Here’s one that I’ve processed many times since taking it in 2011 –

It was shot at the bottom of the Flume Gorge in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I spotted it and decided to wade down into the deep snow to try and shoot it. I couldn’t see where I was placing my feet and had to feel for the boulders and rocks that make up the stream bed. Since I didn’t have a system lens long enough, I used my old legacy Olympus 65-200mm f/4 zoom. Not sure how zoomed, but quite a ways as I recall. Manual focus and aperture at probably f/8. I took several shots and all of them had a blue cast right out of the camera. It needs it. With a warmer white balance it’s pretty bland and even manages to lose drama in B&W.

But until recently, I couldn’t do a darn thing about the little sticks in the snow.

And I used a couple of luminosity masks to throw a curve into the lights and the darks. Then I did a little local contrast with a high-pass filter – basically clarity. Now it pops even more. It feels a little dark to me, so I may revisit is again.

Check out the improvement here –

Yes, I changed the crop, but the biggest change is sharpness – I ran this through Topaz Sharpen AI and wow, it really made a difference.

All of these got revisited so I could participate in our Weekly Challenges on NPN. It’s always fun and interesting to see what others post and how we all individually riff on the theme. Head on over and take a look and if you like what you see, sign up and join in!

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