50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose

Occasionally, I’ll take a photo that doesn’t work out quite right. By occasionally I mean every time I take my camera out. Mostly this is because I’m a fan of trying different settings in the camera and framing what I am photographing in different ways. I think one of the big bonuses of using a digital camera is the ability to throw away images later. I also always wait to throw images away. Instead of deleting photos while they are still in the camera, I download all my photos and make sure to take a look at them on the bigger screen. I’m talking about a photos like this one that I took this weekend:

ISO 500 50mm f/5.6 1/400

ISO 500 50mm f/5.6 1/400

What I was trying to do at the time was get a shot of the snowdrops in the foreground from a low angle but not lay down on the ground at the same time.  It didn’t work; the camera focused on the flowers that were just emerging in the background.  On the back of my camera it pretty much looked like the whole photo was out of focus.  On my bigger screen I found the shot more in focus than I had realized and more interesting.  I took this as an opportunity to create something a bit different than what I had originally intended when I shot the photo.  Here is what I came up with:

ISO 500 50mm f/5.6 1/400

ISO 500 50mm f/5.6 1/400

First I cropped the image.  Then I ignored conventional photography wisdom that insists that a photo be completely in focus. I used this photo to work with two filters that I like but find a bit tricky to get exactly right.  One is the iris filter in Photoshop and the other in the radial filter in Lightroom.  I started with the iris filter in Photoshop which allows you to drop a pin on the part of the image you would like to be in focus, You can make that pinpoint whatever size you would like it to be. Then you then use a dial to decide how blurred the rest of the photo will be.  In this case it was a bit of back and forth before I settled on the size of the part of the photo that would be in focus.

The radial filter in Lightroom I used to warm up the image as well as boost the clarity and vibrance.  The interesting thing about that filter is that you can either have the edits applied to the area inside the filter or outside.  It’s just a question of a checkmark that is inside the dialogue box.  I always try it both ways, just to see what I like.  Usually, as I did here, that box ends up with a check in it.

What do you think of the final version? Do you ever repurpose photos in this way?  Feel free to leave a comment below.



32 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose

  1. I like the final version. The difference is subtle but the green things jutting out of the ground certainly pop out from the background. It is amazing how many ways you can blur a photo, and so many types of blur too.

    Not a huge fan of deleting photos. Like you, I like to see how they look on the computer – and how they look on the computer can be very different. Sometimes, I feel an image also looks different depending on what computer or laptop you are using, and depends on whether or not your computer is calibrated correctly.


  2. Pingback: Repurpose: Floating Platform | What's (in) the picture?

  3. Hi Amy – I like how you sort of spotlighted the new growth in your edited image. I like the veins of the nearby leaves in the first image…. and yes, I do repurpose photos and have saved a handful of all blurs for maybe some background options – or who knows.
    But I have also found it is easier to delete photos about six months later – so if I take thirty photos – some are easy to discard – but the ones that are not – I find that waiting makes it a snap. This was the same way with my children’s school work. Sometimes all their assignments felt precious and like must keeps. But a few years later, I was able to toss many. (kinda similar)

    anyhow, your photos are both brilliant and make me feel the EMERGENCE of spring is upon us…..


  4. Thanks so much for the great photo and tips. I have been one of the “Throw-away” people for a while and now I am wondering what I may have missed. I recently had one, a Christmas pic of my daughter and her husband that came out blurry and I almost pitched it, but when I looked at it on the screen, was able to re-purpose it into a “fun” shot that came out cool. You have convinced me that I need to keep an open mind and not be too trigger-happy before seeing the big picture.


    • I started doing this several years ago and honestly there have only probably been a handful that I ended up saving as a result of using this method. That may not sound like a very impressive amount but to me it is. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I do appreciate it.


  5. actually I love the focus on the fresh growth just emerging from the ground 🙂
    I guess, the camera prolly focused on that cuz you were too close to the snowdrops in the foreground… you can set it to single AF point and select where to have the focus…
    I’m not familiar with the filters you used, so it was very interesting to read how you edited the photo 🙂
    I just love snowdrops, no sign of them yet here tho…


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