Over the years I have taken photographs that have great potential, but were lacking in post-processing. When I first started taking pictures with a dSLR camera, I only had the software that came with the camera, no Lightroom or Photoshop. I was very limited in the post-processing I could do. After I got Lightroom, I put a lot more effort into learning how to, and actually putting effort into post-processing.
A month or so ago, some of my photos were critiqued by Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski and Erik Valind on The Grid. They said technique and composition were pretty solid, post-processing was not bad, but keep working at it. I try to get out at least once a week to take photos, but when I'm short on time or energy, I've been going through old catalogs and finding photos that maybe didn't get to their full potential back in the day.
It's interesting to look back at these photos and see where my short-comings were and where I have grown. And where I still haven't grown.
Here is an eclectic collection of photos that recently got new life.
Last week I visited Lake Metroparks Lake Erie Bluffs park. I was treated to the most beautiful sunset I have seen on Lake Erie. The weather was not the most pleasant - it was windy, rained, and hailed. At one point the waves crashed over my feet. In another incident, my camera fell over and fortunately was unharmed.
I took several photos of the sunset which I cleaned up in post-processing. I also processed a few "artistic" images. Two of the photos utilize long-exposure panning. The other uses Lightroom plug-ins to oversaturate.
Today was the annual sprint triathlon in Fairport Harbor, organized by the Lake Metroparks. It was a beautiful day for the race - sunshine, 70 degrees, and slight breeze. Over 400 people participated in the race. I gave up racing a few years back, but several of my friends still compete, so I go to support and take pictures.
This year I tried some techniques that I have not used previously. Before things got busy I took a few shots of the staging areas using my wide-angle lens. For the race, I switched to my telephoto lens. I wanted to give it a try. The telephoto would allow me to get back far enough and provide some interesting depth of field.
For processing I wanted to get away from my standards. I used Matt Kloskowski's desaturated sports photos presets for Lightroom. I photographed several of my friends while they were racing, but the photos of my friend and neighbor, Brent, turned out the best.
I did learn a few things from looking at my photos. I don't spend enough time or make the effort to find the best angle for a shot. For example, the third picture of the kayaks with the pennants should have been turned slightly to get the sun positioned better between the flags. The tight shot of the kayak is not one I would normally publish, but for learning purposes, I could have shot a more interesting part of the kayak. And in the running and cycling pictures, I didn't have the best angle, which caused some feet to be cut off or distracting objects in the shot. Overall I'm happy with my first attempt, but it takes a lot of practice to get through all the little details.
In the previous post I had a shot from a new location on the beach. I liked the overall composition but was unhappy with a few of the details. Here is a shot from a simliar location, but with more attention to detail. This shot will look very different in a couple weeks when the trees have all their leaves.
Another night watching the sunset on the beach. I went there intending to get some shots of a nice sunset (which turned out to be OK, but not as good as I hoped). I did go a little earlier than usual to see what I could find for other subjects. I processed the two pictures below and skipped all the sunset photos.