Jan 28, 2013
Old Photos Revisited and Revived Public Post
Jul 27, 2013 10:13:37 PM

BNSF 8087 in Seattle, taken in 2007 and edited successfully in 2013

Partly out of concern over the age of my backup hard drive, I’ve been reviewing my digital photo archives going back to 1999.

The good ones I am uploading to Flickr – either for private storage or public display – to make sure that I have the pictures in the future. The final step will be to get photo prints of the best ones, so at the least I have paper copies. I will be getting another backup drive, but the IT Guy in me knows that this equipment only lasts so long. It’s best that I’m doing this with a mix of non-technical workarounds like photo prints.

Currently I’m in the 2007 folder.

In the process I have come across a lot of pictures that I like and edited back then, but now disappoint me due to color, composition or cropping. Thankfully one of my archiving steps at the time was to never edit the original, knowing that someday I would either better skills or better tools to improve the photos beyond what I was doing then.

The one above is a good example.

I took it along Western Avenue just north of Downtown Seattle; I like the composition mostly, with the foot bridge in the background and the blue sky, but my 2007 edits just never looked right even then. Because of that I never published it. As I looked again at the picture tonight, I could see a few changes I could make now that would make the picture “pop.” It all came from a combination of photo tool improvements and the experience I’ve gained over the last six years.

And after editing the 2007 photo with my 2013 eye, I could understand why George Lucas spent years tweeking Star Wars as technology improved.

The process of editing this picture included three different photo editors – each one providing a different specialty. The first editor was Windows Live Photo Gallery, which I used to increase the drama in the clouds and lighten up the nose of the locomotive. Second I opened the file in Photoshop Elements, where I sharpened the image with a “High Pass Filter” and then added some grain – which increases the visible clarity. After that I added some warm colors to the image with Picasa and then cropped it to a 5x3 rectangle – which helps emphasize the length of the train. The final picture is a tad other-worldly in its details but even so I like the final result.

Even if it’s six years late :)

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