A Day on the Bay [pinit]
I shot these scene at Portofino Bay about two and a half years ago. Some of those images I really loved, and then there was this one. I just never loved the way I processed the image, and I was also a bit unhappy with the ghosting of some boats in the water. It was a breezy day and those skiffs were flying all over the water. I've since decided to accept a bit of ghosting in some images, so that doesn't bother me quite so much. That left the issue of processing to revisit.
Some folks swear they never go back and re-process old images. I think that's fine if it suits them. For my own needs, I like tweaking with things. Even to the point of tweaking images that I found quite satisfying. That's partly because I've improved a bit here and there and learned new techniques. It's also because the software keeps getting better. This HDR image came from Photoshop CS6's HDR Pro – something I used to hate.
What I like about HDR Pro now, perhaps even love, is the ability to create a 32-bit TIFF file from my bracketed exposures. Photoshop has does a great job with alignment and ghost control. Once I have the TIFF, I can treat this as a single file. There's no need for tonemapping or masking in parts of the bracketed exposures to compensate for some dingy areas in a Radiance file. Instead, I can launch Adobe Camera RAW and tweak the image with a few sliders to get wonderful results from all of the depth in the 32-bit TIFF.
After that, then I can decide if I want to add a bit more processing in Photoshop using some plugins. For this image, I used Nik's Color Efex Pro to add some Pro Contrast, Classical Soft Focus and Darken/Lighten Center. The next thing you know, it's A Day on the Bay.
If you're on the fence about re-visiting some of your old photos, I say to go for it. What do you have to lose?