To toss, or not to toss… that is the question.

After a day of shooting, when you sit down and review your images, do you save everything or delete all but the best? The keepers and clunkers (out of focus shots, snow whites*,  misfires, etc.) stand out.  But it’s the mediocre shots that form the majority, the ho-hums, so-so’s, the “WTF was I thinking??” shots that beg to be dumped.

Do they wind up in the trash? Not always. Except back when external hard drives were not so expansive and plenty expensive. Hell. my finger was glued to the Delete key.

“When in doubt, throw it out” was my motto.

Today I’m not so quick to deep-six a shot. A portion of it might be useful in a montage. Or maybe if Gaussianated (a mathematical marinade on the menu in Photoshop) it has potential as a background. So I let them all live a few months before calling in the SWAT team.

In this case, the original had loser written all over it. 100% Dullsville. But I saw something worth hanging on to.

When I finally opened the photo for editing, I knew what had to be done. It required the Clone Stamp, Dodge and Burn tools, exposure adjustments, and partial conversion to black and white (via an excellent plug-in from Nik called Silver Efex Pro). It took about an hour to complete. Here’s a link showing the transformation in four stages.

I hope you can see now why I like this image so much, its metamorphosis.

The original, of course, is gone for good.



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