Bear Creek Photography NC | Reprocessing Old Images

Reprocessing Old Images

March 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

MW0001MW0001Melissa Anne Cecil
09.30.02

A ray of light allows plant growth inside condemned Cranberry Iron Mine in the Summer 1996 near Boone, NC.
REPROCESSING OLD PHOTOS

Melissa Southern

 

Most of us have photos that we took years and years ago. It can be a lot of fun to go back through those photos. I can see an amazing amount of growth and development in my photography over the years. I have also stumbled across some gems that I missed back then. I have even enjoyed using the filters and software that I have today to reinvigorate some of my old favorites.

 

This is one of my all-time favorite photographs, taken years ago while I was in high school. I was lucky enough to attend Summer Ventures between my junior and senior years. I was in a geology program which meant that we spent a lot of time on the road traveling from the mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina to the beaches of North Carolina. We stopped for random rock formations and visited old coal and iron mines as well as some active open mines in search of fossils. We hiked up mountains and explored in caves. In short, we had a blast. It was a unique experience that I wish I could recreate some day.

 

This was taken in an abandoned iron mine which is now closed off as a bat sanctuary. It is a pillar style mine where they would blast holes but leave pillars of rock to support the roof. This is one of those pillars on the outside with a hole through it. Off to the right was the large opening we used to access the mine. 

 

This photo was originally taken with an old point-and-shoot 35mm camera. So, film. While in photography school, I scanned the negative so that I would have a digital version of the photo. I have tried to relocate the original negative, but it is hiding somewhere in the thousands of negatives I have. I will eventually find it, but not in time to write this!

 

Technology has changed (no kidding!) over the 21 years since I took this photo and over the 15 years since I originally scanned it. So, as it is still one of my favorites, I figure it deserves some reprocessing.

 

I tried it a couple of ways. Using Adobe Lightroom, I increased the Dehaze just a little, opened up the blacks and the shadows, and decreased the whites and highlights (just a bit). I also added a bit a Clarity and Vibrance and adjusted the Temperature a little. I like the results (middle below).

MW0001MW0001Melissa Anne Cecil
09.30.02

A ray of light allows plant growth inside condemned Cranberry Iron Mine in the Summer 1996 near Boone, NC.
MW0001-2MW0001-2Melissa Anne Cecil
09.30.02

A ray of light allows plant growth inside condemned Cranberry Iron Mine in the Summer 1996 near Boone, NC.
MW0001_HDRMW0001_HDRMelissa Anne Cecil
09.30.02

A ray of light allows plant growth inside condemned Cranberry Iron Mine in the Summer 1996 near Boone, NC.
Original Lightroom Adjustments Single Image HDR 

 

Then I decided to process the original photo again but differently. I sent the image to HDR Efex Pro 2 to see how it would look as a single image HDR. I scrolled through all of the preset options and selected the one I liked best. I made a couple of adjustments to the exposure and saved the result (right above).

 

I know that it was worth reprocessing this photograph. Next step, find the elusive negative and start over from that point. I know that the negative will have detail in the highlight areas that is not coming through in the old scan. So, this, like many photos, is a work-in-progress!

 


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