When you’re not happy with a photo…

If at first you don’t like it…

I expect that I am pretty much like most people, when it comes to photography:

  • Not every shot is perfect, and I can always find some flaw with it!
  • What I have in mind for a shot doesn’t always show up in my camera…
  • My best shot is the one that got away!

If this sounds familiar, this post is for you!

The date is July 6, 2007. My wife and I are in Nova Scotia, where she’s competing in an international agility trial with our Cardigan Welsh Corgis. I drop her off in the mornings, after which I go exploring with my FJ Cruiser for things to see, experience and photograph.  In the latter parts of the morning, I arrive in the little town of Digby and decide to stretch my legs and see what I can find.

At the end of Water Street, I see that the tide is out, so I clamber down to the beach and see the fog hanging over the bay.

Underwhelming Vista

Trust me, when I tell you that is was an awe inspiring view! I was happy that I caught the Bay of Fundy at low tide, as the dock shows the high water mark pretty well!  Was I impressed with my work? Not really… This image wound up being one among many taken in Nova Scotia, most of which were more exciting than this one.

This photo remained in the dustbin of my storage until almost 7 years after I took it.  In 2014, I was perusing some of my past photos, as I was reorganizing my storage, and I chanced upon this photo.  By that time, I had done quite a bit of work creating HDR images and really wished that I’d taken a set of exposures instead of a single shot when I looked at this file.

With 5 exposures or even 3, I knew that I could make something out of this scene.  But, what if…  HDRsoft’s Photomatix Pro has the ability to generate a 1-shot HDR image, which I really hadn’t attempted before.  On a lark, I decided to try it on this image.

Bay of Fundy

After the 1-shot processing, I used the tone mapping capabilities of Photomatix Pro to create the slightly more dramatic image that you see here.  Of course, looking at it now, I see many flaws with the processing, which makes me want to redo the process and create something even better.

If I can restrain myself from doing just that, I might get to some of my many travel photos from various years, as I’m at least 7 years behind schedule!

The moral of this story is to give your throwaway images another look and think what possibilities exist…

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

21 thoughts on “When you’re not happy with a photo…”

      1. As I shot events for quite a while, there are a lot of photos to store. One of the items on my to-do list is to go through 350K+ photos of dogs performing agility.

  1. I like your photo and the Bay of Fundy. I used myself Photomatix for shots taken in NS and NFL. Your retouched image looks nice and vibrant, but somehow I find the first one to be more interesting …

  2. Actually in the last years I used mainly Efex pro by NIK. That has the HDR from one photo capabilities which I like more than Photomatix and many other features including gray scale and b&w conversion with many options.

    1. I have looked at Nik, but like Photomatix Pro better for the level of control that it gives me. I have taught its capabilities to photographers and can get them proficient fairly quickly.

  3. What a difference a software ( or a little bit of post processing makes). However I find the original one more pleasing to the eyes.Fore me, the greenish yellow color on the wall is jarring.Of course I have not the seen the spot and that may be the real color.

  4. I often look at a photo and try to get what I first saw in the image. Sometimes it is easy and other times the photo just doesn’t work. I use Corel PaintShop Pro. I still haven’t used all of the functions. I do like to transform photos into “arty” especially converting to black and white

Leave a Reply to Leya Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.