Looking back, what have we learnt…?

A rather ominous and prophetic sounding title perhaps? – but actually it’s not. This is not a doom laden blog commenting on the current state of the world etc. It’s actually more to do with the fact that I revisited some old work; nearly 5 years old to be a bit more specific.

Now this is not something I normally do and I believe I’m not alone in this. Once a project is done, it’s done. Very rarely does reworking photos yield a better result than it did at the time. Perhaps because I don’t leave it long enough; who knows…

But today, faced with no new work to produce, I revisited a project from August 2015. Basically, a photo essay of some friends (and a couple of random strangers, who were cool about being photographed) climbing at Burbage North and I made some slightly surprising discoveries. – not least of which, I’m still friends with these guys! 🤣🤣🤣

The first was the selection. In the original project there were 195 finished shots with ratings of 1 or 2 stars. Back then, I processed anything with 2 stars (I’d already binned the 0 star and reject images). I decided I wanted to pick the best 20.

In doing so, I found that what I considered to be the best shots in 2015 where not the same as those that I liked now. So clearly the way I view and determine the aesthetics of an image has changed. I looked the composition; particularly the crop, what were the important elements, what were the distracting elements, how could I focus attention on the subject to tell the story etc. 5 years ago it was all about processing as many images as possible. I also remembered how I actually shot the images. That too would be different today. – more time spent thinking about what’s in front of me than machine gunning, taking the shot with a mind on how the end result might be etc.

Secondly, in considering these elements partly dictated how I processed the image, Again, 5 years ago it was simply a case of processing the RAW files through what was then DXO Optics Pro and pushing & pulling every slider this way and that until the image looked good (or at least my interpretation of “good” at the time), taking it into Photoshop and messing with it even more. Today I’d consider that as “how to ruin a good image”, and I’ve got hard drives full of such images to prove it.

This time around, I stopped, studied the image and decided what I wanted to affect, what I wanted to correct, emphasise and enhance etc. Another big consideration was colour or black & white. Sometimes black & white is simply more powerful to tell the story. And the big lesson of the 5 years when it comes to post processing: less is more…

Today, the only processing software I tend to use is Capture One Pro, and Photoshop when I need to; which is becoming increasingly rare. And maybe DXO FilmPack for a bit of fun! The look of film is sometimes hard to beat.

So what follows are the 20 images, good or bad? – Don’t know, but a lesson learnt all the same…

Click on an image to view etc.

Until next time…

Published by pgtim

A UK amateur photographer.

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