Everything old is new again
Isn’t that the phrase? Or something like it?
Well, June is about over and over the past month I’ve been working on my “new years resolution” of doing some sort of “photo project per month”.
It’s probably not good to admit that this is the FIRST one, which may not be a bad thing after all the costs have been considered.
This first project consists of three photos I took back in 2003 with what I thought was my Canon Powershot but looking at the metadata of the files – it actually looks do be an Olympus C120 or D380. This is the first digital camera I purchased and if that’s correct well I’m not so torn up by the quality of the photos considering the source.
These originals were pretty basic pictures of some ice that had frozen on a rock outcropping behind my house where I was living at the time. I didn’t have Photoshop and Lightroom wasn’t even invented at the time yet. I only had some standard software either pre-installed on the computer or some that came with the camera. I also only had a printer that I had purchased from WalMart – some HP laser that I forget the make.
Printed and framed with just some cheap frames I found at Micheal’s craft store – consisted of two 5X7’s and one 8X10. Up until a few days ago, these were hanging on the wall in the StanevichPhoto mansion. A very significant wall – the bathroom wall.
So part of this project was going to be to clean up these photographs. I’ve learned a great deal – especially with Photoshop and Lightroom over the years. Plus some other add-ins like OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite. I just thought it would be a good idea to revisit something. Make it new again!
One thing easily noticed is the detail is sketchy in each of these photos. Anything larger than 8X10 it really shows the limitations of the camera. It also shows my abilities of a photographer at the time, but we won’t go into that.
I wanted to do two things with that – 1) I wanted to make the photos larger or appear larger & 2) bring out more detail in the images. As a “third”, but not really part of the original goal – more of something that came along as I was working on these, I realized I wanted to change the “mood” a bit. Not necessarily “warmer” or “cooler” so to speak but just something new.
To make the photo larger is a bit tricky for me – one I wasn’t sure how the best way to do this would be. These photos really do not have a lot of sharp detail. My thought was that I would use a large frame with a mat around the picture. This would thus keep the photos at the 8X10 size but simply make them appear larger. However bringing the photo to the 8X10 size I was going to use OnOne’s Perfect Resize to do so as I think it does a great job of enlarging – plus I have the plug-in why not use it.
Perfect Resize has a preset for 11X14, and that’s the size I was looking for, basically this preset uses some fancy computing and adds 300dpi to the photograph while enlarging it to the appropriate dimensions.
After doing that with each it was then the hard part to add some detail and sharpening back into the image. The only reason I thought of doing these photos as the first so called “project” was due to a trick I picked up from an excellent book by Jeff Schewe – The Digital Negative. In there he describes a trick of using Photoshop for “creative progressive sharpening”. Its a trick of using multiple progressions of the “unsharp mask” to build detail back into the image. It’s pretty drawn out, I’m not explaining it here but you can buy the book and see how it’s done. As Jeff explains it helps build sharpening into some images that may be lacking – I doubt he intended it to ever be used on images like these – but hey what the hell!
I had also decided I wasn’t going to use an actual “matte”, but instead do a white border with some camera information and the “StanevichPhoto” logo. When I see these style pics I tend to like so I thought I’d try it. I’m still a bit torn as to if I should add a logo to all pics or just some.
Anyway, here are how they turned out.. Yes these are smaller pictures in the blog here, but you should be able to view them at Flickr here or at 500px here. Once they arrive, I’ll place them in some frames that I purchased from Amazon.com. Total price wasn’t cheap.. but again, let’s see how it looks when it’s on the wall.