It’s now 2014, and I’ve wanted to go back in time to see what kind of photos I produced. What I found was interesting, at least to me.
Here’s an image (made in 2004) from my Olympus C-4000Z, a higher end point & shoot camera that I purchased in 2003.
The image above is original with the exception of resizing.
I think the reason I made this image was because of the unique stormy clouds over the ocean. It was very dramatic! Unfortunately this photo doesn’t really capture what I saw and felt at that time. It’s kind of, blah.
In an effort to “enhance” the photo, and try and bring out some of the tone, detail, and drama that I saw, I used a program that I can’t remember. Back then, I was pleased with the results, even if they were a little overdone.
The image above was enhanced with a program I don’t remember.
I don’t usually “pixel peep”, but in this case I did. I wanted to see in detail, what I was producing and sharing back in 2004. What I found was a lot of noise and some chromatic aberration (color fringing). Luckily, virtually no one looks at photos that way.
By the way, “pixel peeping” isn’t what I would describe as something good. It’s usually meant in an uncomplimentary manner. Pixel Peepers have been described as those more interested in test charts and viewing images in extreme detail, rather than actually engaging in the art of photography. Basically, they can’t see the forest for the trees.
Just for fun, I decide to revisit this photo, but using some of the post processing techniques I’ve learned along the way. In 2003, there was no RAW file option available (at least for cameras in my price range). Everything was either jpeg or tiff. And with the limited amount of storage space available on memory cards, I stayed with jpeg. And working with jpegs is very limiting compared to RAW files.
Here’s the end result (using photoshop). One of the things I tried to do was keep the over warm color saturation to a minimum. The other adjustment I made was to enhance the contrast without increasing noise.
The image above was enhanced from the original using Photoshop.
I think my “re-do” brings out the drama of the scene, but keeps it much more real. Instead of an unnatural warm tone, this version has a more believable blue tone, giving the feeling of a cool, cloudy, and stormy winter storm.
What was the point in doing this little experiment? I think some of it was just nostalgia. Another reason would be to see if I’ve grown in my pursuit of photography. The answer to that question would be yes, maybe. I think I have a better grasp of the fundamentals than I did 10 years ago. I’d also like to think that I’ve improved my eye regarding composition. And 10 years is a lot of time to improve post processing techniques, although it seems to be a never ending learning process. In the end, I think I still have a lot to learn.
If you’re like me, you’ve stock piled quite a few photos over the years. It may be fun to open them back up and take a look with a different set of eyes than you used to create them. And maybe you’ll find that you’ve grown quite a bit in your own pursuit of photography.
Until next time – Happy New Year, and Happy Shooting!