Taking great pics is what we’re all about, isn’t it?
Well, not quite, ’cause in this world of digital photography, a picture isn’t necessarily a great picture before it is taken to the cleaners. Meaning undergoing a sequence of post-processing….:-) So post-processing skills are part and parcel of what is required to deliver the great pics we crave.
But there is more than “just” processing pics. We need to “see” the potential of a picture. The easiest way to establish that is to go back in time to a shoot we did some time ago, and look at the pics we left unprocessed. The odds are, we will want to process some of these “discarded” shots, and, more often than not, we will find value in them. In my case, I seldom do this without increasing my yield of postable pictures by at least 10%. It feels like reprocessing waste from gold extraction, and getting yet more gold.
Is that it, then? Take the pic, process the A-list. Enjoy. Go back for a B-list. Process. Enjoy?
Nope, for there may be more gems in your pile IMHO. Cases when we have “a picture within a picture”. I am not talking here of cropping. Sometimes it takes including extreme cropping to get the best possible result, and, with cameras offering a resolution above 40Mp, extreme cropping can be extreme indeed. But that is still a one-image-per-shot yield. At best, 2 different presentations of pretty much the same image.
I am not talking about choosing between 2 valid presentations of the same shot, one more comprehensive, and one less so. Such are the examples I have have shown so far. While both images are enjoyable and defensible IMHO, I don’t really see 2 shots in any one of the twins.
What I have in mind is different: cases when one has a really good picture, but, lurking within it, there is another quite different picture, and also of value, as shown below.
Here is a case in point. A picture of a rosebud. Shot close to wide open. A dreamy quality (or lack of, depending on your taste). But here is what was inside. A very different picture altogether:
I call it “the kiss of the rose”.
Another example, this time an early-morning city shot. The full-size picture is valuable (to me at least), but the story-telling of the next one is quite different, yet valuable also. In the upper image, the story is about the river, in the lower one, about the city…
In typical fashion, Pascal’s comment to the cropped one was “it is the gull that makes the pic”, suggesting that more cropping might yield yet another, third image…:-). Which is almost a 100% crop… Though it always rankles me to admit it, Pascal was right. Please note, the gull isn’t really sharp because it was shot at 1/50s… sorry.
The same sort of twofer, from the same shoot…
And now for a “threefer”, in reverse order this time. Is there any reason for me to “let go” of one or two of the three just because it might not be the one-and-only-favorite? Nope, at least not in my book.
Liking more than one image from a given shot may be construed as a form of indecision. But I like to think not. Like Don Giovanni, in response to Leporello’s lament over his boss’ wooing of countless women, my answer is “e tutto amore!” I like them all.
All we need to do is refrain from thinking “next!” just because we have processed a shot to our liking. And ask ourselves “is that all, or might there be more?”