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:
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:
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.