As photographers we are continually learning and evolving in terms of both technique and the ability to judge what makes a good photography and what doesn’t. Sometimes it pays to go back several years or more and revisit some of those images you originally rejected or passed over for whatever reason. You never know what hidden gems you over looked.
For example, the image on the right, “Touching the Sky”, was a shot I took while on vacation in Philadelphia back in 2009. At the time I did not think it was anything special but was adequate enough to not delete (not that I ever do, I am terrible at culling my images). But, my skills and eye for what is good and what isn’t has improved and I reconsider a lot of my past choices. This not only is true for images I passed over, but, images I thought were great and sometimes ask myself “What the &#*@ were you thinking, Sully?”.
In this case, I was looking for some architectural shots that I could enter in a competition and did not want to rehash images I have already used. Then I stumbled on this shot. At first glance it was a little drab and lifeless but I liked the perspective and it has a lot of detail. Given 10 years of experience I knew immediately what it could become if I just applied a little TLC. It took me about an hour or so to create what you see here. I think it turned out to be a great image after-all and and I am very happy with the way it turned out. I can’t wait to go back and search for more hidden treasures.
This does not just apply to images that you overlooked. Go back and look at images you made 5 years ago and say to yourself “Can I make this better?”. Be critical. Remember when HDR was the rage and every image had to have that comic book look to it? So go back and look, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you might stumble on.