This is a recent “rework” of one of my favorite images.  The original is immediately below this one and you can scroll up/down to view them both as I discuss the new image.  I’m a big fan of using newer software to effect improvements on images from years past.  Newer software often offers significant improvements, often making an image previously unsuitable or unusable very satisfying.  In this case I always liked the image despite its flaws.  Still, I always wished I could wipe away the flaws and make the image more satisfying if not better.

Canon 1ds Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L  @F8  1/250th  32mm  ISO 100

 

 

This is a recent “rework” of one of my favorite images.  The original is immediately below this one and you can scroll up/down to view them both as I discuss the new image.  I’m a big fan of using newer software to effect improvements on images from years past.  Newer software often offers significant improvements, often making an image previously unsuitable or unusable very satisfying.  In this case I always liked the image despite its flaws.  Still, I always wished I could wipe away the flaws and make the image more satisfying if not better.

 

First, there is a huge difference between the old ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) and Lightroom 2003 raw engine and the newest 2010 raw engine.  You can achieve much greater detail with less noise.  Look at the two skies.  Notice how in the new rendition the clouds stand out with greater detail and the highlights previously blown out are now saved?  Thank you 2010 raw engine!

 

Also, look close up the river and you’ll see some wake.  That’s a jet ski.  You can’t see it well on a web size image, but on a 24x30 print you sure can.  I removed the jet ski and it’s plume with CS5 Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill.  Look in the lower left corner.  See the brown top of the hat of the person kneeling next to me?   CS5 Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill helped me turn it into nice green leaves. 

 

 

Is this normal behavior for an artist?  I don’t know, I only know it’s very normal for me.  Often when I tell a client I’d like a few more days to “process” their images it’s not because they’re not done.  Its because I’ve not felt the satisfaction I want and given more time, more staring, and a few corrections.. I’ll come up with a better finished image.  At least to me.  I’m not sure if the client notices or not.  But then I do this sort of work for me first, and the client second.  I consider myself fortunate to be able to set such priorities.  I’ll see you in a few years when we revisit this same image and I’ll let you know then if it’s withstood the test of time, or if perhaps software advances have made more improvements possible. ;o)

Canon 1ds Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L  @F8  1/250th  32mm  ISO 100

 

 

Finally I cooled it off (not so orange) a bit, and burned in the green water plants on this side of the river going along with the flow of natural light.  It helps the image achieve a more 3D like look.  And again, while you can’t see it here on the 24x30 inch print you’d certainly see a great improvement in noise reduction thanks to the 2010 engine.  But is the image better?

 

In the areas I mentioned I think it is, but I’m not sure if changing those small things which have bothered me for years, threw off the balance of the image in a negative way?  I won’t know until I look at it for a few more years.  Art is like this.  Often I’ll make a print and tape it to the wall and stare at it for a week or so on/off as I do other things to see if anything jumps out at me.  More often I’ll bring it up on the 50” HDTV monitor for the same reason.  

 

Is this normal behavior for an artist?  I don’t know, I only know it’s very normal for me.  Often when I tell a client I’d like a few more days to “process” their images it’s not because they’re not done.  Its because I’ve not felt the satisfaction I want and given more time, more staring, and a few corrections.. I’ll come up with a better finished image.  At least to me.  I’m not sure if the client notices or not.  But then I do this sort of work for me first, and the client second.  I consider myself fortunate to be able to set such priorities.  I’ll see you in a few years when we revisit this same image and I’ll let you know then if it’s withstood the test of time, or if perhaps software advances have made more improvements possible. ;o)