Reprocessing Old Gems

Near to Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. Sony RX100, handheld, 1/100” at ISO80 and f/5.6. Click the image to zoom in a little.

Something that I’m always doing is going back to reprocess old photos. My wife thinks I’m mad and wasting my time but it’s amazing what you come across. Often it isn’t a photo that you’ve missed but one that you now understand how to better process.

I have hundreds or perhaps thousands of images that I know have potential, but that I couldn’t process well at the time. When I return to these, I find new opportunities. Sometimes it’s the result of learning new techniques, sometimes its because technology improves whilst at other times, it’s a new insight or flash of inspiration. In the case of this image, it’s a combination of all three.

I shot the image handheld using a Sony RX100 pocket camera. It’s a RAW file that I’ve cropped and converted before processing with the Nik Collection and then Photoshop. What you may not be able to see unless you are viewing the full-sized image is the figure of a man stood on the ridge in the distance. Here’s a closeup.

It makes you realise the sheer scale of the scene.

Other Bits and Pieces

In case you haven’t seen it, I’ve just published a view completing the processing for an image that I used in an earlier video. Following that video, a few people contacted me to say they didn’t understand why I thought the image was unfinished whilst others asked to see me complete the editing. Here’s the image after the editing.

I do rush the editing in the video, and you may not like the image, but that’s not the point. The point is to demonstrate some of the techniques I usually use to finish editing my images.

You can watch the video on my YouTube channel.

The final thing I want to mention is that my September Lenscraft Newsletter goes out this Saturday. You will be able to read it on the newsletter page of my website where you can also subscribe.

I hope you like the main image, video and have a great weekend.

6 thoughts on “Reprocessing Old Gems

  1. Hi Robin
    Yes, your wife is right: It is mad and a huge waste of time. On the other hand… I have perhaps 6TB of data, from 6MP camera to today’s cameras. At first I have had only a laser printer, not enough time (and a lot of other excuses). So, my culling after the shot was practically non-existent.
    Today, I am going all that stuff thorough and yes, it needs time. >But above all, it needs discipline. Sometimes, one forgets the goal and gets distracted by reminescenses, sometimes an idea pops up to try something…

    Regarding your videos and books on postprocessing: Until now my strategy was to stay with Photoshop to be able to lean it really well. I have abonnement with Adobe, but do not use Lightroom. But there are “things” Photoshop is not good enough at and I had to buy e.g. stitching software, some Topaz apps, specialized stacking software, HDR software. And, there are other Photoshop-similar packages, like Luminar and Affinity, but I am afraid the time necessary to learn them really well, so one can work with them nearly spontanaeously would be rather long, maybe even prohibitive so.
    You have to write books and do videos on various packages. I am shooting and processing for me only, like a real amateur. No obligation to a market. My goal is to make an image I (and my wife) like and print it.

    What would be your take – would you (in my position) stay with Photoshop or go with Affinity or Luminar?

    Should you find time and muse to answer, I would appreciate it very much.

    Best regards,

    As usual: I hope you understand my English 🙂

    1. That’s a hard question to answer Robert. If you know Photoshop then the switch to Affinity Photo becomes much easier as you can translate some of the techniques. Despite this, it still has a steep learning curve and is a complex piece of software. Also, if you were very skilled in Photoshop you may have difficulty finding an equivalent technique in Affinity Photo – it’s not always obvious. That said the quality of the results is excellent but do you really need to move.
      Other software like Luminar makes applying effects to photography much easier. Again, this depends on your current level of skill with Photoshop and what you want to achieve with the image. You could find Luminar is too simple and you can’t achieve the level of refinement you want. There’s only one correct answer to this which is to try out the software if you can using trial versions. It’s too personal.

      1. Hi Robin
        Thank you for your exhausting (in positive sense) answer. Somewhere inside I thought so. My PS skills are not very high, measured relatively to the goal – doing things subconsciously. I am afraid, that should I change to e.g. Affinity, the road would be very long again and therefore not worth it.
        What bothers me (so to speak) is, that different software-packages are good/better at different things, at least to my taste. E.g. yesterday I did something in HDR – PS’ colours were rather bland, Aurora‘s were as originals, but with some artefacts and NIK was ways different with unnatural colors, did not like it at all. Another example: A stack of images with trees with lot of leaves and a vineyard – PS was not usable with many glaring mistakes. Even one an the same line in the vineyard was partly sharp, partly completely not, surrounded with huge artefacts, leaves and many branches were „double“. Affinity managed.
        It seams to me, that there are different algorithms in use and no software company can say, that theirs are best for all functions. So we (or I) have to live with more than one software and experiment. It. osts money and time. That´s life I suppose.
        Many thanks again, stay healthy!
        Regards, Robert

      2. Yes, you hit the nail on the head. All the packages are different and some are better at some tasks than others. I own a lot and I have my favourites but they won’t suit everyone. The best advice is to use the trials to see what you like and don’t like.

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