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Horse in Owens Valley


After (click on photo to see larger):

I've been going through my SmugMug site and organizing old photos, meaning I'm pretty much sitting here at the computer trying not to vomit.

Wow -- some photos I took a couple of years ago that I originally liked actually look like crap!

 Of course, these were taken back in the days of yore, by which I mean 2010 -- the first year I had a digital DSLR. I didn't know jack about processing. And it shows.

The evidence. The top photo was my first pass at processing it back in 2010 in Photoshop. "Processed" may actually be a generous word to describe the dust spots and general dullness that make the image a train wreck, albeit a train wreck with potential. Trust me, I'm not blaming Photoshop. I blame me. 

The bottom photo is the result of me taking an entire 10 minutes this evening to clean up the original jpeg from 2010 in Lightroom 4. I bumped up the exposure, added some clarity, eliminated some dust spots and flies on the horse and then used a couple of onOne presets to warm the image, among a few other adjustments. 

And now it's good enough to put on the wall at home. The composition isn't perfect -- it's probably a little too tight. But it manages to be interesting and it's always better to be interesting rather than boring. 

The lesson for you, dear reader of this blog: Go back and take a look at some of your older photos from time to time with a critical eye. If you're a beginner or intermediate photographer, chances are that you are a lot better at everything now than you were back then -- and you may have a few nice photos that can be substantially improved with a little wiser processing. 

Check out more of my work on my newly-redesigned SmugMug site (I blame SmugMug for any bugs). Follow me on Twitter


This photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved. 

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