Friday, January 18, 2008

Same Steps, Different Result

I thought I'd compare the results of the two editing sessions, the original and the recreated for documentation that I outlined in my workflow in the last blog entry.

On the left is the recent result when I recreated all the steps to illustrate my workflow. Even though to the best of my recollection I duplicated the steps, the results are quite different. I suggest you click on the image above to get the bigger version in its own window. Note the highlight in the upper apple and the greater contrast and peppier highlights in the bottom apple.

The differences simply reflect the best I could do at the time. Changes might reflect more experience with the image, being braver in taking things a bit further, or possibly just a change in mood - one day I wanted to emphasize subtlety, the next a bolder more dramatic image with glowing highlights.

This is reminiscent of my days in the wet darkroom where for technical reasons like developer exhaustion and temperature changes, reproducing an image was nigh impossible, you simply had to make the best image possible on the day.

I see this as a good thing. If you are asked to make a print of an older image, it could well be worth your while to start over. You might just end up with a significantly better image, you will almost certainly end with a different image which will be interesting even if not fundamentally better.

The only warning I would give you is that if someone has seen the original print, even if you are convinced the new is better, you run the risk that they will be disappointed with it. You might need to ask which they prefer. Still, I don't suppose that Ansel made that offer as his printing styles changed quite dramatically over the years.


Mike Mundy said...

"I suggest you click on the image above to get the bigger version in its own window." That's cool. How is that done in Blogger?

George Barr said...


it's automatic - simply part of blogger. If you upload a bigger image (in my case max. 1000 pixels wide), blogger accepts the image but reduces it's size for actual placement in the blog.


Mike Mundy said...

Thanks! As they like to say, a little "OT."

I'm going to give it a try.