Brian's Photo Blog — Article 592
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Salvaging a Photo You Would Normally Reject
Monday 19 September 2016   —   Category: Processing
While on my North Portland Vancouver, Albina and Mississippi Avenues walk in March 2016, I passed the historic (built 1890) Gothic Revival Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on the corner of North Williams Avenue and NE Stan­ton Street in the Eliot Neighborhood of Portland, Oregon.

Unfortunately, the picture I took of this beautiful church building had some ma­jor problem. The morning sun was be­hind the church, so the front was shroud­ed in shadows. In addition, ugly utility cables passed right in front of the build­ing. Seeing it in person wasn’t too bad, but the resulting photo was quite dis­ap­point­ing. It would be easy to consider this picture a failure, and toss it in the reject pile. But I felt that with some work, it had a lot of potential.

My primary tool for photo editing is Adobe Lightroom. When trying to sal­vage an image with exposure or color prob­lems, usually the first thing I do is convert it to black and white. This gives me a lot more latitude for making fairly extreme adjustments. You just can’t go that far with a color image.

As you can see by comparing the before and after versions, I also made some per­spective corrections. Once I was sat­is­fied with my adjustments, I opened the edited version in Photoshop. After a bit of pain­staking work, I was able to re­move all of the utility cables using the Spot Healing Brush and Clone Stamp tools.

Once I was finished, I was amazed at the transformation and very pleased with the results. And to think I almost rejected this photo! The half-hour of work I put into it was definitely worth it! Be sure to check out a larger ver­sion of the final image. Somehow it has a dramatic feel — perhaps it’s the clouds.

Before you toss one of your problematic photos, why don’t you take a shot at salvaging it? You may be surprised by what you can accomplish!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 592
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 592
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