Wind-blown grassesWind-blown grassesDry grass blowing in the wind near Canberra.

It's worth looking back on your images

July 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Last Saturday, I went out for a dawn shoot with my friend Rod Burgess.

We weren't quite sure where we were going, but were looking for a spot with the rolling hills typical of parts of the ACT - bathed with dawn's golden light.

We stopped at a spot, and got out our gear.
Sunrise over the paddocks near Canberra.
Canberra sunrise - looking towards the Murrumbidgee River.

I recently heard a photographer describe landscape as being like sports shooting - and it's certainly true that at dawn and dusk, the light changes so fast that one can't relax for a moment. The light's changing, meaning that exposure changes and so do opportunities.  You've gotta keep ducking and weaving!!

I'd chosen not to use any filters was was relying on the D800's raw files and Lightroom to get the details I wanted.

I was also deliberately "exposing to the right". (I remain to be convinced on the advantages of that strategy - but that's another issue.)

During the shoot, looking at the 3" display on my Nikon, the shots had looked pretty ordinary.

Anyway, I got home and loaded the images into Lightroom - and was pleasantly surprised.
There were a few that made me feel it had been worth getting out of bed at 05:45 on a Saturday morning when there was frost on the ground! The shot here is a case in point. Nice range of colours, textures. Yeah, I was happy with that.

I put this and several other shots up on Smugmug, and relaxed.

Later that day, after tic tacking with Rod, I went back into Lightroom - and was surprised to find this:

Canberra sky at sunrise.
Canberra sky at sunrise.
That's typical of the great clouds we often get in Canberra - usually when far from a camera, I might add. I was glad I was able to capture it - and more pleased that I'd gone back to look again.

Mind you, this process of revision works both ways. I had this on my Smugmug site for quite a while:

No, I don't know what I was thinking, either!

And this was posted for two or three days. Yes, it's a photograph of a platypus - but it doesn't make it worthy of inflicting on visitors to my web site.

I take slight comfort from the fact that some very well known, and very good photographers post duds too. I guess the advantage of the web is that when such a blunder is realised, we can make it go away.

So ... the lesson is to look again at your shots, hours or days later. You'll probably have more pleasant surprises than nasty shocks.

Keep shooting.



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