In preparing my recent presentation for the Out of Chicago Live conference, I was digging through my archives for examples to use, and found some interesting images I had overlooked. In some cases I had put them aside, too busy to process them at the time, and then just forgot about them. In other cases I think my perceptions had changed. And sometimes I could see the potential to process an image differently, using new tools and new skills.
One of those tools is the Dehaze slider in Lightroom. It’s not that new (2015), but didn’t exist when I initially processed some images, and can sometimes make a big difference – especially with fog. I’m a big fan of fog for forest scenes, and these days I’m often using Dehaze selectively with the Adjustment Brush to cut through fog in one part of an image, or thicken fog in another area to hide or deemphasize something. (Just to be clear, you can’t create fog where none existed; there has to be some fog to begin with. But you can make some tenuous fog look a little more substantial. I show how to do all this in my latest Lightroom course, Landscapes in Lightroom: Advanced Techniques.)
I’ve included a selection of these “overlooked” photographs here. They were all made in autumn, which I’m sure isn’t a coincidence. That’s usually a busy time of year for me, so it’s easy to see how I could put some photographs aside and then never get back to them.
It’s always fun to unearth overlooked treasures like this. It’s like finding a $20 bill in the pocket of those pants you haven’t worn in six months. Actually, for a diehard photographer like me, rediscovering an overlooked photograph is even better than finding a $20 bill! I’ll soon forget about the money, but I might enjoy looking at the photograph for years.
So when you have a little spare time, I highly recommend going back through some of your older work. Your tastes have probably changed, and it’s likely that your processing skills have evolved, so you’ll see those images with new eyes. And who knows – maybe you’ll discover some hidden gems.
— Michael Frye
Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author or principal photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to Yosemite, Yosemite Meditations, Yosemite Meditations for Women, Yosemite Meditations for Adventurers, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters. He has also written three eBooks: Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom, Exposure for Outdoor Photography, and Landscapes in Lightroom: The Essential Step-by-Step Guide. Michael has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.