Do you ever go back to your old images and edit them again? I don’t have this habit, but after this video from Brian Matiash, this might change. Brian takes us through the new and improved editing process of one of his old photos, and it’s a great demonstration of why we should revisit our old work from time to time and give it a makeover.
First of all, the tools we use for editing are changing and getting more advanced, giving us plenty of new opportunities. Editing in Lightroom and Photoshop today is fairly different from what it was ten years ago. There are plenty of new tools within these programs, and there are other editing apps that photographers are embracing, too. So, go through your old images and take advantage of the new tools and apps at your disposal. You’ll love the result, but you’ll also enjoy the process.
Another essential thing to mention is that you have grown and learned a lot over the years. Your aesthetic has changed, you’ve developed your style, and your old photos might make you cringe now. I mean, we all had our attempts at bad HDR, selective coloring, and crappy digital frames. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but you should apply your new knowledge, recognizable style, and improved aesthetic to your older images. It will give them a new life, and even if they’re not totally bad – it will still make them better.
There’s also something Brian doesn’t mention, but I’ll leave it here: retaking your old images. You can analyze the old photos you love and determine what could be improved. Is it composition? Lighting? Posing? Props? Whatever comes to mind, write it down, and try retaking the photo with all knowledge you’ve gained over the years and possibly even the new gear you’ve bought. It’s another great exercise to recap your work so far and see where you were and where you’re at now.
All in all, I think I’ll go through some of my old photos now and see what I can do. For starters, maybe ditch the digital frames I was so obsessed with when I was just starting out. :)
[Why editing your older photos will make you a better photographer | Brian Matiash]
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