African Grey Parrot, Low light photography, Post Processed

Canon 5d Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L @F2.8 1/60th 55mm ISO 12,800


This weeks feature photograph is significant simply because it shows you can make a nice piece of art to hang on your wall out of scrap.  Before you delete those images because they're out of focus, not ideally exposed, or maybe you don't like the framing, let them sit an ample amount of time and give some thought to their value.

I've had a lot of people tell me "digital is free", that they can take as many images as they want and throw away most of them and it won't cost them a thing.  True to a certain extent, but not 100% accurate either.  Professionals amortize their cameras like any other piece of professional equipment and many add on a "frame" charge for each frame they shoot.  This charge is used to in one form or the other receive compensation for the equipment cost associated with a certain job.  Other photographers add on a charge for gear they'll need to rent to get the job done and in effect a 'frame' charge is essentially the same thing.

Cameras also have a finite lifespan.  They can't shoot a million images without need of repair.  Modern professional DSLR's have shutters rated at 100,000-300,000 shutter actuations.  For some professionals this will last them their entire career, for others such as sports and wildlife photographers just a year or two.  The reason I'm bringing all this up is because digital really isn't free and you really should endeavor to get as much value per shutter actuation as possible.  You can help do this by not culling your images without a great deal of thought.

I'm constantly reworking images with new raw processing software from 10+ years ago.  Why?  Because new software can do things software 10+ years ago could not.  Now, using those same images, I'm getting new value and better images with the most current software.  Many images I thought about culling but saved anyway have made perfectly good images when processed with the newest software.  The ability to recover highlights, focus algorithms are fixing motion and shake blur, and the ease with which we  can alter exposure in only specific parts of the frame (localized editing) are all very helpful in salvaging value out of work I did a decade ago.

Other software such as I processed this feature photograph with apply filters for a specific effect or look.  I've been test driving a few such programs for several months now and a review is forthcoming.  You can turn your images into cartoons, sketches, and all sorts of other looks with the click of a mouse.  Through these filters your previously culled images might take on a new value.

This feature photograph wasn't well focused, it was shot at a very high ISO (12,800), poorly exposed, and even then it was only a small part of the frame.  Now, I can print this any size I want and this new look is very appealing to me.  It might not be your cup of tea but that's why these software packages come with multiple filters which are infinitely adjustable.  Think twice before deleting those marginal images!