Something Old, Something New!

Here I go again!  This past weekend was both good and not so good.  I caught a nasty early summer cold.  That’s the not so good part of the weekend.  The good part is that I spent my time looking through my archives of old images, stored safely on my 2 TB network drive.

One of the folders I spent some time in contained all of the photos from my Canon 300D. This was my 1st DSLR.  With 6 megapixels and interchangeable lens capabilities, this camera really had it going on!  I spent many hours with this camera in the Eastern Sierra waiting for the sun to rise over places like Mono Lake and the ghost town of Bodie.

I like to view my photos using Adobe Bridge.  I can look at the thumbnails in each folder or full screen views of each image.  While I was looking through the year 2006, I opened a folder from an early morning photo session at Mono Lake.  This is the image that caught my eye:

This image is in RAW format.  Lucky for me, RAW is a very flexible format, and allows a lot of room for adjustment.  I decided to try a variation of HDR.  Since I didn’t have 3 original images taken at different exposures, I would use this image, and with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software I would create one image at an exposure of +1 and another at -1 from the original exposure.  All 3 images went into Photomatix to create the tonemapped version that would be brought into Photoshop.  Some final adjustment in Photoshop and this is what I ended up with:

The result is visually striking (I think)!  The sky is a wonderful dark blue and contrasts nicely with the white streaks of the clouds.  And the Tufa formations glow with warm early morning sunlight.  In my opinion even a variation on the HDR process took this image from ordinary (and kind of dull) to something much more interesting!

The purpose of this post is to show you that photos you may not have thought about for awhile may still be usable.  I find this to be especially true as I learn new techniques and start to experiment.  If you’ve looked through my previous posts you know that I’m a fan of HDR.  Sometimes I like to keep it real and other times I like to get really grungy.  And it seems that I have some hidden gems waiting to be rediscovered with some new editing techniques.

This was just a brief overview of how I adjusted a single image into 3, and then back into one. One image that has more color, contrast, and the glow of warm morning light.  I think in a future post I’ll go into more detail on how I make my adjustments and include screenshots.  Hope that’s of interest.  So until next time, Happy Shooting!

2 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New!”

  1. I really like the HDR image Steve! It brightened up the Tufa much more than I thought it would, and the color of the sky is an awesome blue.
    Very nice!

    1. Thanks Andy, you never know how the HDR effect will come if if you don’t give it a try! It doesn’t work on everything but when it does I think it can really make an image pop!

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