It’s always good to revisit old edits, as a way to measure my success or failure in past efforts. The image in today’s post came from my looking through old Archives of what LTTL.com used to look like.
Though it was a JPG originally, I didn’t see much point in editing it. Still, feeling poorly today caused me to 2nd guess that decision. Oddly, the shot was originally made in black & white, which is a pity. I probably took it like that because of the poor lighting conditions and the ISO was way up at 3200. Surprisingly not too blurry even for handheld 1/20s.
The original was essentially unedited except for the decision to shoot in B&W. I also have a color version that had very similar settings, but the file size was 50% bigger. So I will edit that as a B&W for comparison shortly. The 2nd edit had chromatic aberration removed, a little transformation, and a profile was chosen in LR (B&W03).
So I posted this on FB yesterday with the same question. I’ve already received a ton of responses. Almost every single answer favors the left image, here are the reasons:
Additional votes came from Romi Quinn, Susan Lim and Tom Manning (thanks, guys!)
A lot of backstory in that image: 101 is the setting for a lot of pro-/anti-china protests under the previous mayor, who for unknown reasons used to tolerate the pro-china lobby. The protest is a silent respectful one that doesn’t harrangue people in support of FalungGong.
I took it as a gesture to street photography: the man who is tidying up at the end of the day mimicked unintentionally the gesture of the girl in the poster. That’s why I did the original crop to focus on that more. But somehow the lights at Christmas add to the atmosphere.
There wasn’t time to reframe the image or change any of the settings. Take it or miss it situation!
So it seems the left one wins this debate resoundingly! If you’d like to pile into the debate, join us on Photowalkers! That leaves me to present the full edit…comments on FB!
It’s always good to revisit old edits, as a way to measure my success or failure in past efforts. So here is one image from Amsterdam of the Canals. Not an outstanding image by any means, it was taken on my old Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30. As you can see from the first image, it’s somewhat overexposed at 1/200s with f2.8. I could easily have gone with a narrower f-stop but I didn’t. Perhaps I was shooting on automatic mode.
So it’s not a great photo to work with. The sky is definitely overblown and lacks any blue that the water captures nicely. Isn’t that always the story in Taiwan, too?
Edit 1 highlights the tools I played with: exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites & black clipping, then a touch of vibrance and a dash of saturation. Nothing very bold. Perhaps the boldest move was the crop. I probably just edited slightly after clicking Auto mode.
Edit 2 was much more aggressive: I dropped the exposureby 1/3 as well as contrast. Then I clipped much more than before, whites & black clipping. I left vibrance and saturation alone, then added a touch of noise reduction, smoothness and color.
It’s never going to be a great picture, and will not probably be worth spending too much time to edit the overexposed sky in PS, the bushes at the bottom right. But I like that I can bring out the reflections in the water a little more than before.
The next in the revisited series. This one is from much further back and was actually posted on my old blog way back in 2007. I posted this shot. The crop edges were a thing then, I do apologize!
“I thought I’d just include this picture of the Tamsui river. I love the rolling clouds counterpointed against the brighter sky. And I didn’t photoshop this picture at all.”
I enjoy revisiting old images to see what I can make of them with my new insights. This one turned out to be more interesting because I was able to play with the Paintbrush tool and add a little orange to the sky to reflect the late time of day.
The first and most obvious change from the image was the straightening. I can’t think why I didn’t see that before. Then, of course, I cropped the image to hide more of the shoreline. I’m still debating whether to crop more on the left.
I also adjusted the clipping, added a filter then made some minor adjustments before adding brushing all over and updating the toning hue and continuing to brush with a dab of orange. While it probably wasn’t as orange as the sky was, we often see orange sunsets later in the day that can be quite dramatic. It’s not unrealistic.
Gallery: Original, Lightroom, 2018 Edition
1/160 sec @ f2.8 on ISO100 shot on a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX30 in 2007. 1st Export at 250Kb showed a softer focus, some bleeding and some pixelation. The image was sensibly exposed but saved in JPG format, so some data has been lost. I present the full edit here. Enjoy!
The next in the revisited series. A topical photograph that was critiqued way back in 2015. I don’t remember the critique comments, except that it seemed lacking in focus, photographers were puzzled why I took it, I think! I realize that this photograph’s composition can’t be redone, but I think some cropping can improve it.
So that was the original image. I was intrigued originally by how people were interested in disasters, so my subject was actually not the disaster but the bystanders. Some were chatting, watching, playing, and feeling hungry. On subsequent thoughts, I realized that I should have stayed a little longer and taken more photographs of the scene. Anyways.
The ship had run aground during bad weather in March 2016. Taipei Times reported the story several times. First here. The disaster caused pollution, a helicopter accident with several unfortunately killed, and affected fishing grounds around the area. The image was taken in early June, when the weather was much better, and after salvage operations had already begun. The process took about 5 months, according to the Taipei Times.
The most obvious changes to the image include a lot of cropping external elements to tighten the story. I’m happier that the result focuses a little more on the original intent of capturing life against a disaster: one normal one abnormal! Throughout the workflow, the only notable changes were a more aggressive reduction in exposure of almost 1 stop, more aggressive shadow reduction, and playing with hues to get the image brighter.
Gallery: Original, Lightroom, 2018 Edition
1/125 sec @ f9 on ISO100 shot on a Fujifilm SL-260 in 2016. 1st Export at 250Kb showed issues with blown out clouds, 2nd export (above) showed unnecessary purple in the clouds. The image was slightly overexposed and saved in JPG format, so some data has been lost. I present the updated edit here.
I really have to thank Kenny Paul for teaching me about white balance. I’d come across the concept but didn’t know how to really work it… so my experiments had failed initially. Thanks, I owe you a tinny!