Friday, 5 September 2014

To Bin Or Not To Bin

It's been quite a while since I last posted a blog entry and, although that's a fail on my part, it is perhaps appropriate given the subject of this post; that is, the rediscovery of long forgotten images and how they can be given a new lease of life.

I recently had cause to go through my back catalogue of files and came across the image below. This was a photograph I took in 2007 and had never bothered doing anything with, feeling it lacked any real interest; but, having a little bit of time on my hands, I did a quick edit to produce the image you can see here:

Both the software I use and my own editing abilities have improved over the years and I feel that I am able to make a lot more of a photograph than I could back in 2007. It remains, however, little more than a record of the scene - an interesting subject photographed in the middle of an overcast summer's day. With so many grey tones in the picture, it did strike me that this might make a suitable subject for black and white and, with a little help from Sliver Efex Pro, I came up with this:

By removing what little colour there was, I am left with a moodier scene which is much more representative of how I think I probably felt on the day.

So the moral of this story is that you should never throw photographs away as you never know when they might come in useful. Or is it? If I never deleted anything, I would have run out of disk space a long time ago, my catalogue would be huge and filled with rubbish and I would have constant reminders of just how rubbish my photography can be at times. So I do delete. There are (far too) many images which never see the light of day because they are irredeemable; either because of rookie mistakes (not sure I can really get away with calling myself a rookie - 'stupid mistakes' might be more apt) or because an experiment simply failed. The trick, I guess is to recognise images which might just be useful in the future and not delete them just because, at that moment, they disappoint. In this instance I did at least have a picture which had an interesting subject and a reasonably good composition. All it needed was seven years of software and skill enhancement.