It is time to dust off those images you captured in the dawn of digital and reprocess them in the software from the decade of the teens.
This image, Stone and Spray was one of my very first bracketed sequences. I had heard (in May of 2005) that you could bracket exposures and capture shadows and highlights in Digital like you could in film. Without software to accomplish the reconstitution and no idea of how to do so, I captured the bracketed sequence anyway. I think I downloaded Photomatix later that year just to work on this set of images.
Fast forward 5 years and several major versions of all the software I was using and the ancient images are being revisited. Photomatix was in it’s infancy. It is now on Version 3 something. I was using Pixmantec RAW Shooter Essentials to process my initial RAW Files. Now I use Lightroom which is also nearing version 3. It is partly because of Lightroom’s Version 3’s 2010 release that I am writing this. The version above was reworked in the Lightroom3 public beta and the Photomatix Version 3.2 software. Old Image – New Tricks!
If you’ve played with the public beta of Lightroom 3, you will notice that the program has changed its rendering engine. Noise and Sharpness handling differ dramatically in the beta from previous versions. This means you can go back to some of your old images from high-ISO and other issues and reprocess them for a potentially better image.
As photographers we learn constantly. Shooting techniques improve. Our tools evolve constantly too. Our processing methods improve with time. Perhaps it is time now to dust off those old digital negatives and run some images through the process again. This time, use the advantages of improved software. Reapply techniques you’ve learned since the image was last developed. But most of all, see what you missed before.
Rikk Flohr © 2010