A second revision of an old favourite, re-processed from the same digital negative.
With the first version, I processed the sky separately and combined the two parts using a layer mask, in doing so softening the ridge slightly.
This time round a better understanding of raw processing meant that I instead worked with exposure controls, HSL sliders, and graduated filters to bring out a more pleasing sky without needing layers. Along with better colours, contrast, and removal of unnecessary distractions, it really reinforces the benefit of returning to past work with new tools, skills and experience.
It should be clear that I don't see photography as being restricted to producing only pure photo-realistic images, but that doesn't mean completely doing away with realism either. Even with a traditional landscape, a romanticised memory can be worth more than the dreary "reality" of the moment captured by the camera's sensor.
This often brings up the question of how far to go, and at what point does too far instead turn into not far enough.
In 2007 I went on a trip to Yorkshire, and took a photo of the River Wharfe, near Grassington.
It was ok, but I've not really been entirely happy with the image, and I decided to have a go at re-processing from the same digital negative. Advances in software alone can often make this a worthwhile activity, but in this case my own improved processing skills along with a more refined ability to determine what isn't right about an image also came into play.
It may not be an image that'll win any awards, but I'm satisfied with the degree of improvement I was able to make, and more importantly that I didn't simply settle for being just a bit better than before - fixing the crop and exposure took it a long way - but for each revision I looked at it and kept asking myself "Am I happy with this? How could it be improved?" and made quite a few tweaks before I could say there's nothing more to add, nothing more to take away.
The Needles is a rock formation on the western tip of the Isle of White. As a tourist attraction it's a busy place at peak times - but not so much on a late November evening.
This image came from three bracketed ±2 shots at f/8, combined using Luminance HDR before being taken into Paint Shop Pro X for some quick cloning.