Digging Through Old Photos – Part 1

In my last couple of posts, I’ve been complaining about not being able to get out and take pictures… mostly due to the lack of light and the busy time of year. I figured it would be a good opportunity to start to go back through the thousands of pictures I’ve taken over the past several years with various point and shoot cameras and see if there’s anything worth revisiting. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on photographic composition and learning the elements that make interesting photos. When looking at my photos, I immediately noticed that all the pictures of people were centered on the person. There were lots of examples of  crooked images, lots of unbalance, and no subjects.

I picked out a couple images below from various trips and used some online editing software to manipulate each picture so it was more interesting from a composition perspective. All of these pictures were taken with a Nikon Coolpix.

This first picture is one of my favourites. This door was in the old town of Quebec City, where we stopped on our way to Saint John, New Brunswick for Christmas in 2009. The original photo had some ugly windows above the door, and the window shutters to the left were yellow, but I wanted to focus on the vibrant red door itself. I sharpened the image a bit to show more texture in the stone. The snow is blown out and I couldn’t think of anything to do about it, but I think it adds to the picture. I also darkened the edges a bit to draw the eye in to the centre.

This image wast taken just down the road from the one above in Quebec City. This one was great to work with as the original photo had lots of distractions in the foreground including cars and people. I decided to keep it symmetrical and play with the colours. I kept the sky blue and made the rest of the image sepia. I also darkened the edges a bit.

The picture above was taken on a drive outside Saint John, New Brunswick on the Bay of Fundy in December 2009. All I did to this image was crop and darken the edges. I think it follows the rule of thirds pretty well as the lighthouse (which I think was actually a childrens play house) is on the left third, and both the horizon with the water and the grass are on both of the horizontal thirds.

This picture was taken at the Stephansdom in the centre of Vienna, Austria in the fall of 2008. I basically darkened the edges and called this one done.

This picture is bad ass. Mainly because of the barb wire fence. I also lightened up the face of the building, tried to crop out as much of the road as I could without making it seem unbalanced, and darkened the edges. I also love how the orange leaves pop right out. This was taken in Bacharach, Germany in the fall of 2008.

This was a great spot high above the Rhine River in Germany. I did very little to this photo other than crop and darken the edges. I like the bright pink on the castle wall and the whole outline in front of the sky. The fall colours also are pretty cool.

This is a famous graffiti wall known as the John Lennon Wall in Prague, Czech Republic. The original image showed all of my wife, Stephanie and much more wall to the left. I cropped it to give the sense that she is staring directly at the peace sign and contemplating its meaning. I chose monochrome on the this to focus on the peace sign which I boosted the colour to give some of that hippy spirit to the image. I also blurred everything slightly except the graffiti to give it the illusion of depth.

This final image was taken at Prague Holesovice train station in the fall of 2008. I love this picture because of the feeling I got from actually being there. This was outside the city centre and really showed its communist past which you can see in the building in the back ground. I went with monochrome because it was a really grey day and reflected the mood perfectly. I added some grain and darkened the edges to give it an aged look and feel. I left the station sign blue because I personally liked the effect.

I didn’t spend much time picking out these photos to work with, so I’m positive there are many more in my collection that I could edit to look half decent. Please feel free to comment on the photos in this post as it’s my first real go at image editing.

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4 thoughts on “Digging Through Old Photos – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Digging Through Old Photos – Part 2 « Kevin's Blog & Photography Journal

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