Fiery winter sunset photo over marsh

Archive Oversight

Fiery winter sunset photo over marsh
Archive Oversight — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | 7 Bracketed Exposures

Join me if you will as we travel back through our internet time machine to revisit January 20, 2014. A rather cold day if I recall. Tonight I broke off from my normal photo workflow to take a stab at reprocessing an old shot from the early days of this website. It’s something I’ve never done before—up until now I have not looked back when it comes to my photography. And while I clearly remember my enthusiasm about this Dock Road photo back in the day, it has become clear to me over time that my processing game has improved. Eager to tone down the bombastic HDR I had thought I’d go ahead and apply my current techniques to make a better, more realistic image. Instead I found something even better.

Somehow I found this photo, which not only is stronger compositionally than its counterpart, it also has better colors igniting the sky. I mean just look at those purples. Before I even went about reprocessing the photo I went through all my online archives to see if I had posted this shot. I assumed it had to be online someplace. I even had this marked with five stars in Lightroom, something I rarely do. Yet everywhere I looked this shot didn’t show up. Inexplicably I missed it. Now, I had originally processed this photo using my old bad habits and that was sitting in Lightroom. Reborn I ran it through my current workflow to render this new found firestorm. What a pleasant find.

There are a few lessons to unpack here: 1) With enough practice you’re going to improve over time making it worth revisiting some old favorites you’ve already made; and 2) Sometimes, when we’re caught up in the moment of going through a day’s photographs we may overlook something. Don’t be afraid to retread and old crossing to see what treasures may be hiding in plain sight. One thing’s for sure, this has me wondering what other photographs I’ve “missed” over the years? Worthwhile shots left to sit around collecting digital dust bunnies in my Lightroom catalog. Of course sifting through tens of thousands of photographs isn’t exactly an afternoon’s work.

Something I am now chewing on is whether to revisit some old shots occasionally on this website. Perhaps start up a redux series? It wouldn’t be too often, but there are some images I’d like to take another crack at. Not to mention it can show how my work has evolved over the years. Besides, in looking through old folders I may uncover a few more gems that never saw the light of day.

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