Revisiting Old Photos

Recently, in an effort to practice and hopefully improve my editing, I've been looking back through old photos and trying some new things. It's proved to be a worthwhile exercise and has paid off already with the first two photos in this blog making it into my portfolio. I think it's easy to write off images as sub-par but sometimes certain shots require more work to get them to where you want them to be. That extra work can really be worth it.

I was never very sure about this close up of Barns Ness Lighthouse. I like that the stars look like rain but something about it never felt quite right. I think I would have liked it more if the exposure had been longer, as that would have created longer star trails. Nonetheless, I still think it's a decent image, I never used it because I tend to pick one shot of a subject and post it. That's one of the benefits of having a blog now, I can post multiple shots that are similar, which is not something you would normally do with a portfolio.

I've always loved that grainy, textured feel of film but never really knew how to mimic it with digital. Fortunately I'm getting better at doing so. This silhouette of Adam with his camera is just one of many photos I've practiced that look on.

The next two were my first real attempt at doing long exposure car trails. These were taken near Haddington. My favourite one made it into my portfolio but I had a few other useable ones from that night. The first was a little later on and a longer exposure, and as a result has more light, so it feels more like a very early morning shot, whereas the second one faces in the opposite direction and is a more accurate version of how things actually looked. I don't love either of them but they are decent, I think.


I'm still undecided about this next one. It's Bass Rock taken from a beautiful secret beach my friend Craig and I found randomly one day. This wasn't in any way useable to begin with but I think I like it now. I could never decide if the slight haze in the sky made the image better or worse. I added a little edge blur to try draw the eyes to the rocks leading to the focal point which is, of course, Bass Rock itself.


Many of the images I take fall into this weird middle ground. There's some photos I look at and I know that it has something. Similarly there's photos I look at and I know that they are terrible. The rest fall into the aforementioned middle ground where I have no idea if they are any good. The picture below, and indeed most of the ones in this blog post, are in that category.


I like this one of Adam. A slight flare was added to give it a summery feel. This is another one that I may end up using.


I tried editing this one a million different ways and could never settle on a look I liked. Furthermore I didn't know if it was interesting enough, I mean it's a gate. I do like the clouds though, and I liked the crooked position of the lock. I eventually settled on this look for it, which I like, but is the image any good? I have no idea.


I've probably rambled enough for one post, but the point I wanted to make was that you should revisit old photos because there's a good chance that something that didn't make sense to you at the time, makes sense to you now.