Three Image Re-Boots

The images above were captured during a photoshoot of Poppy that took place in Cheshire, April 2013. They are over two years old and were taken just a few months after me getting properly serious about photography. At the time, I think I applied some basic editing and uploaded them to Flickr and Facebook.

For the type of images I love creating, I consider my skills as an editor almost as important as my ability to operate a camera. As I’ve become a better photographer, I’ve been working to become a better editor. All my cameras are set to capture RAW images – a camera setting that gives me shots exactly as the camera sensor records them with no processing whatsoever. RAW images invariably look pretty flat and boring, so everyphotograph I take requires some degree of editing.

As my abilities and tastes change, I find myself reviewing some of my older work. For some images, I now see an entirely different outcome and it’s very tempting to go back and rework them. Skilful editing can unlock the potential of an image. Sometimes that potential is hidden and difficult to recognise. Two years ago, I looked at the first image above and discarded it as pretty unremarkable and devoid of interest. At the time, I lacked the ability to edit it properly, so consequently lacked the ability to recognise it as having any worth. Yesterday, I looked at it again, and this time it caught my eye. I’ve spent 45 minutes reworking this image, and now I love it! It’s left me wondering how many other half-decent photos I’ve thrown away. As a friend said, maybe revisiting old ideas is part of the creative journey.

All three images are re-edits using Photoshop techniques and actions I’m fond of in 2015.

Posted bySteve Butler

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

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