New uses for old photos

May 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Sometimes the most engaging images are not the ones you're about to take, but old ones for which you find new uses. In television, this is called "repurposing content." Here's an example:

The image to the left was shot on the Oregon Coast in July of 2003. (Yes, that's the way the coast often looks in summer.) I posted it a few years ago, got a few nice comments, and moved on. 

Nine years later, I stumbled across it in Lightroom 4 and decided more could be done with it. I first went into the develop module, updated the process to 2012, and applied camera calibration. The original was shot on the Canon G2 (remember that?), and there was, shall we say, a bit of keystoning. Even after I'd applied calibration, I had to do a few more adjustments to keep the trees from excessive convergence. 

Then the fun began. I took the image into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 and tried several presets. Neutral was blah, high contrast made it look as though a fire had just ravaged the forest, but high structure was just about right. It employs the green channel to turn the foliage and moss on the trees white — a perfect contrast to the dark trunks. 

I added a control point to provide a localized exposure adjustment to the foreground, saved the result, and posted it to Facebook. In a few hours, I had more likes and comments than on any image I've ever posted there. 

What's lying dormant (perhaps gathering moss) in your catalog? 


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