Sunday, December 5, 2010

Don’t Delete Your Photographs

Statue of Freedom-2
This post is a preview of several articles I plan to write in the near future.  The theme tying these posts together is that of technology rescuing what you may have thought was an unsalvageable photo.  First, let me be clear that it is always best to get the shot right at the moment of exposure.  Most of what you might do in post processing is either compensation for not nailing the shot, or application of your artistic vision for the photograph.  In the first case (compensation for a less than perfect shot) the result of post processing will likely be a compromise from what you had in mind when you first viewed the scene.  Therefore, it is always best to capture the best representation of what you intended when taking the photograph.
Statue of Freedom
Unfortunately, getting it perfect at the moment of exposure is not always possible.  Some of these shots may not be of great interest in retrospect, but others can be frustratingly great shots doomed by some flaw.  Think of the great shot you took…at precisely the decisive moment, and you did not get something right (motion, focus, exposure, etc.).  This is maddening and you have nothing but the story of the “one that got away.”
Statue of Freedom-1
Increasingly, the software magicians are making advances that offer the opportunity of recovering these fundamentally great shots that are flawed in some way.  In the coming days, I will talk about several of these tools that have advanced the possibility of saving those great shots we might have otherwise discarded.  For now, trust me and do not delete those great shots that are flawed in some way – some super-smart software engineer is working on the solution as we speak.
The photographs featured in this post are detail shots of the plaster model for the Statue of Freedom.  The bronze version of the statue sits atop the U.S. Capitol building, while the plaster version is on display in the Capitol Visitors Center’s Emancipation Hall.  For more information on the statue, visit the Architect of the Capitol.
Have fun, and don’t delete your photographs.

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