What's In a Number? IMG 1000, 2000, 3000, and more
I received a wonderful email the other day. A lady had seen the photo below. She told me her father had helped to build the Mt. Storm Power Station, working 4 years in the mountains of West Virginia. In addition, she had spent a summer there with her father in 1965 right before the plant started operations. It's always great to hear a background story to a photo.This photo is an HDR, and when I revisited the photo myself something new surprised me.
The first bracketed shot was IMG_0001
This photo represents the exact moment my shutter count started over. It's not the first time it has happened, and hopefully it won't be the last.
Making Something Out of Nothing: Before and After
Even though I never published any of these photos before, I decided to post-process them as best I could to see what I could get out. These images were selected by number, so I don't have the freedom to pick a different image because a particular shot isn't very good. Below are two copies of each image, a straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC) version and a post-processed version.
IMG_0001 - August 31, 2012 9:51 PM
Default RAW file:
And here's the results after processing the RAW file:
Like I mentioned above, the original image was the first of a bracketed series, so it was purposefully dark. But what can be done? I boosted the exposure, brought down the highlights, cropped a bit, and tweaked the white balance a little cooler. The problem, not surprisingly, is that an image this dark had a TON of noise in it when I brought it up. So a quick run through noise reduction and it was fairly clean. I'm actually quite surprised how much could be brought to life out of such a dark photo.
IMG_1000 - Oct 27, 2012 sometime around 10:45am
Unfortunately I had previously deleted this image but I still had #1001 (taken right after it). So I know where I was but I don't know exactly what IMG_1000 was. If I deleted it, I guess it must have been pretty bad :)
IMG_2000 (#1) - Feb 19, 2012 8:49 AM
I had two 2000 images this year. Here's the first one, again, SOOC in RAW
IMG_2000 (#2) - Nov 10, 2012 5:53 PM
The second 2000 image I took was toward the end of the year. Here's the RAW file:
This image was originally taken while trying to put together an HDR panorama of the Thomas Johnson Bridge in Solomons, MD. Unfortunately it was on the brighter end of the bracket, but still plenty to work with. Here's the results:
This one didn't require a lot of work. Reduction in exposure, a simulated graduated neutral density (GND) filter, slight vignette, and a small boost in presence.
IMG_3000 - Mar 21, 2012 7:49 AM
Taken during the peak of cherry blossom bloom along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. This was one of a few trips I took to see the blossoms in 2012. Here's the RAW image:
Again, this is an image that never saw the Internet until now. But what to do? It's not the most interesting photo, but I remember taking it because I liked the empty benches and curved path through and under the trees. It was also a bit overcast. Here's the post-processing results:
IMG_4000 - April 21, 2012 4:08 PM
The color was a touch off, so that was my first issue to tackle. Dropped down some of the highlights a touch and cropped it to a portrait shot to get in close on the action. Here's the results:
This turned out to be a really fun and rewarding way to revisit what I did in 2012. I'm thinking about going back and doing the same thing for other years and I'd encourage you to do the same. You never know what you'll find behind a nice, round number.
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