Help Me Adobe Wan Kenobi...Rescuing an image.
Recently, while looking through some older raw files I stumbled upon an image. It was an image of the Corpach shipwreck that I shot last year. It wasn't the shot I ended up keeping from that day, it was a test shot for another angle I had been trying but there was something about it that I liked. I could also see things that I didn't like. It was flat with very little colour definition. When I was shooting it I was using a polariser to try and enhance the colours of the boat but this in turn had stripped all of the beautiful reflected light from the pebble beach. The 2 stop soft ND grad I was using wasn't strong enough to soften down the brightness of the sky. The whole scene was very dramatic but none of that drama was present in this image. It was a typical test shot, ok but not fully worked out. All of this got me thinking, was there a good image hiding in here and could I rescue it? Could I edit it in such a way as to put back the drama that was missing? Challenge accepted!
First up, How I edit
Currently I edit all of my images in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. At some point I will no doubt crawl out from under my rock and switch to lightroom but I’ve been using camera raw for many many years and find it has everything I need to get results I’m happy with. While I have certain processes I apply to all my images, lens correction, sharpening etc, I favour treating each image individually and edit according to the narrative I was trying to capture when I shot it. Because of this I don't use any presets, not because I disagree with people using them I just personally find them too creatively limiting and I don't think they work well with the variety of images I shoot. This is especially true when it comes to an image like this one.
I captured this image of the Corpach shipwreck and Ben Nevis last September on a stormy and cold day with very changeable skies. While I liked the composition and general feel of the image I chose at the time not to go ahead and edit it for one main reason. After I shot this image I found a composition I much preferred and the resulting image was far stronger, better executed and required minimum editing. That’s not to say I’m afraid of editing. If an image requires a lot of work I will happily do whatever is necessary but I aim to to do most of the work in camera at the point of shooting. Those images are usually the ones I end up keeping but as an experiment I thought it would be cool to try working on an image that I would otherwise (and did) reject, just to see if I made the right choice. Btw, I'm editing this picture and screenshotting as I go at the same time as writing this post so I have no idea right now what the final image will look like, it may be total s**t : )