I have recently started going through all my digital images for a new presentation which I am preparing about my approach to photography. The idea is to show my progression over the years and highlight any improvement I might have achieved. I do hope there has been some and that I have not been going backwards all this time.
The review mostly revealed the shots which I had liked when I took them, but there were one or two surprises. There were some images of the fishermen’s’ huts at Hastings from around ten years ago which had not yielded anything worthwhile. Putting them through Silver Efex Pro 2 finally realised the monochrome results I had originally envisaged but which I had not been able to obtain with the software I was using at the time. The biggest surprise, though, was a shot taken in the Lake District looking from Blea Tarn towards the Langdale Pikes in 2005. The light was gorgeous and I cannot think why I had overlooked it.
Possibly contemporary applications were the culprit here again, as it predated the introduction of Lightroom by a couple of years. The original was taken in Raw and, as often happens, looked flat and ordinary without any post capture processing. Most probably I simply had not recognised its potential. In order to get the best out of it I had to apply some local as well as global adjustments and back then I know my nascent Photoshop skills would not have been up to that. It also needed cropping as there was much in the original which did not add anything and was more of a distraction. The shot is below shown overlaid over the unprocessed image to give an idea of what changes I made, which were all done using Lightroom and the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw.
The final shot can be seen below and also in the Landscape gallery on my main website – http://www.mikefarley.net/v/photos/25862hwb/17384894604
The lesson to be learned that it is worthwhile revisiting older work as advances in the applications we use mean that it is easily possible to get more out Raw files than could be achieved even just a few years ago. It is a pity that I did not not frame the shot more tightly as I was using a Canon 300D which had just 6 megapixels. The crop has reduced these and will limit the size of the eventual print.