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on Jan 26, 2012 in Digital Darkroom

Yesterday’s Ying, Today’s Yang

One of the ways I try to push my photography forward is to look at previous images. I routinely do this when I’m about to head out for a shoot. Be it wildlife, landscapes, people, aviation, I find ways I can improve by looking at images I’ve already taken. Just gotta push constantly, I don’t know any other way. Right now, I’m getting my presentations for the next two months prepped and created so I’m looking at my files for teaching images. Looking for images that are before and afters, showing the ying and the yang as it were. It never fails that when I do that, I see a couple of images that didn’t catch my imagination at the time but do now. Ever do that, ever wonder why?

I know for myself, this typically happens simply because of emotions. There are always images that represent for me that moment of shooting which, after the emotional high calms down, other images with subtle impact can be seen. One issue I have is a shoot so much all the time, I don’t afford myself the luxury of time to always go back and look for those images. That’s why I always look forward to and allow extra time when looking for teaching images. I always find those images missed before.

These are just three of the images I came across yesterday pulling images for presentations that fit this category. While what you see is what I saw in the viewfinder when I went click, they didn’t have the finishing polish yet. Looking at “older” images, I tend to look at them with my current digital darkroom finishing eyes. That makes a huge difference because more and better ways to pull out subtle detail (lots of subtle detail adds up to being drama) is becoming available to us like this:

Along with that, Nik’s Color Efex 4 has vast improvements which I like. These three images were all finished using CEP4’s Detail Enhancer & Pro Contrast. Those two filters brought out the subtle detail I was looking for to make them pop. One of the best things about photography is the knowledge that tomorrow, we will be better photographers. The trick is to recognize those little things that do make us better and to keep working on learning from yesterday. Well, I’ve gotta get back to pulling images for new lessons to teach…

In the Bag
Nik Color Efex Pro 4