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Stealing Light

As you probably can tell, this image is not recent.

Stealing Light

It was taken in 2005 with my then new Nikon D70. It was also a JPEG. I was too new to the world of photography and didn’t know anything about shooting RAW and the power of post-processing.

It was one of those cold morning when I could not sleep and decided to drive my car, myself and my camera down to the shore to wait for the sunrise.

In hindsight, it was a pretty stupid thing to do. You see, my city has always been famous for not been a very safe place to walk around by yourself with a very expensive camera in the wee hours of the morning.

Thankfully nothing happened.

I love the way the tree branches seem to pull the light from the clouds and hence the name.

I have been playing lately with a bunch of applications: Topaz Studio 2, Luminar 3 with Libraries and my new favorite Capture One.

As such, I have been exploring old images like this one to see if the new applications can rescue photos from the depths of my archives.

Also, the idea is to learn new things and shorten the learning curve. Massage the old grey cells like Hercule Poirot used to say.

These apps have not disappointed. Even old images (the Nikon D70 had 6.1 Megapixels) seem to come to life with a little TLC.

This is one of the reasons why I almost never delete any photo. The world of photography has changed immensely and the applications we use to edit photos are becoming more and more intelligent.

When Kodak introduced their first camera, the world of photography changed for the hundreds of photographers that were using techniques like wet collodion and glass plates.

There is a big push for what is called computational photography, where technologies like machine learning can help us and the general public to make better pictures.

We now see a similar shift in the world of digital photography and it can only get better…

Gotta get back, back to the past...

"Gotta get Back, back to the past..."—Samurai Jack

Technology this days advances at what seems to be the speed of light. Ten years ago we didn't have 3/4 of the things we have today. 20 years ago, none of them existed (if their present form, that is.)

We are presented with new and fascinating things that make our everyday lives easier and more pleasant.

My wife is often complaining to me when I buy new gadgets: "Why do you need that? You didn't have that when you were young...".

My answer is always: "Because it didn't exist back then!!".

One of the things that seem to be advancing at a faster pace than anything else is Image Editing Software.

Ten years ago, the market was pretty much dominated by the top dog: Adobe Photoshop.

Nowadays, there are applications on our mobile phones that rival (and in certain ways surpass) what we can do with other desktop image editors.

This is especially relevant because of the immense library of photos that lay dormant on our hard drives.

The best way to learn a new application is to take it through its paces. What better way to do that, than to take our old photos that we thought were lost? We all have images in our libraries that probably have one star or are flagged as rejected. Maybe is an image that we thought was good, but not good enough?

We can take those photos and put them through the new algorithms that are present today in programs like MacPhun's Luminar or Topaz Studio.

Back to the Past

The technology on those and other applications has been designed to take advantage of new and better processors. That, together with faster computers and algorithms make editions that we never thought were possible 10 years ago.

Take the image that is shown here. It was taken in August 2013, just four years ago, using a Nikon D300s (my main camera at that time).

The photo was one of a large series of flower photos. It was taken while I was testing a new lens (The Nikon Nifty 50mm) and it was one of the discarded photos.

I was watching some videos on YouTube about processing photos using Topaz Studio and was inspired to try some of the filters included with the professional package.

A quick run through Topaz Studio, with a couple of quick presets and this image developed.

A much, much better rendition of a discarded photo and one that was worth sharing. Probably a better photo than the one that was chosen.

We might be underestimating some hidden jewels in our archives!

See what Develops

We never know what we might develop using a new software.

This is just a simple example, with not a lot of editing, but it serves to illustrate that we have in our hands a much better technology that can rescue lost of forgotten images.

Our tastes on what is good also change with time as we hone our skills, so maybe what we like now is totally different that what we liked back then.

What do you think? Have you gone back to edit old images with new applications? Have you been able to rescue some photos?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Back to the past

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