One Exposure, Many Pictures

Because I /am/ trying to keep to my resolution to post to this blog once a day for a while, you get a last-minute post. But since I am tired after tonight’s “Brews and Views” photographer meetup, you get just a short one.

One of the joys of digital photography (or scanned negatives) is that you can toy with your shots after they’re taken. I’m not talking just about Photoshop work here, but about finding other pictures hidden in your original shot. Sometimes when I cannot get out and shoot for some reason or another, I go through my Aperture library and find old shots to revisit.

Often times I find that experience has let me see my old shots in a different way, and can see additional pictures I previously did not. Sometimes simple changes, sometimes more complex.As a somewhat simple example, here’s a shot I took nearly a year ago in Vancouver, BC. This car sitting outside a house on the edge of False Creek struck me as a poignant composition… one I’m still pleased with.

Car by Night

But as much as I used to love the soft orange glow of night shots, lately I’ve found that vibrant color can bring out a lot more personality in an image. So a little while ago, I took that same original shot and re-balanced the colors, then sharpened the image, producing this rather more striking shot:

Car by Night (Reprocess)

As a more dramatic example, at the gathering tonight, I took a shot of a candle-flame through a Coca-Cola glass on one of the tables. A nice enough shot, in its way, with the warm yellow light.

Coca Cola 1

Still, this isn’t a particularly striking shot, either. Nothing terribly unique. But this is a relatively high-resolution image, so I have a lot of data to play with.

The “Coca-Cola” logo is fairly distinctive… even just half of it is readily recognizable. A bit of cropping, and we have only half of the glass, with half of the logo. This provides a more visually striking (and unbalanced) image. And we can then turn the image black and white to highlight the interesting textures made by the candlelight through the glass.

Coca Cola 2

Now we have a more visually unique image. Is it better? That’s a matter of opinion; I do like the warm color of the original. But it’s still a distinctively different image from the original. And that’s just two pictures out of that one shot. There’s probably at least one more to be had.

And if you find yourself stuck inside due to weather or illness — or otherwise unable to take new photographs — sometimes revisiting some old shots can still allow you a bit of creative exercise. And hey, sometimes you even get a few unexpected shots out of things.


~ by Rachel on February 26, 2009.

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