Processing Yesterday’s Photos With Today’s Software


Mackay Marina © Dave Cracknell 2011

Tonight I was going to post another random picture from my photo collection. I opened Lightroom and randomly selected a year (in this case 2006), chose April and started sifting through the images I had. I came across a photo shoot I did for Dragon’s Abreast Mackay. At the time my wife’s best friend was in remission from breast cancer and this was part of her recovery program. That’s their boat bottom right, mine’s bottom left…….just kidding.

Anyway back to the photos. While looking through these images I came across a series of panoramic segments. These had not been processed into panoramics and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I remembered back then I had a desktop that would run away from me as soon as I got near it , let alone with anything to process. At the time I was using Lightroom to store my images and only do basic processing, and I was using Photoshop CS for any “real” editing but Photomerge (in Photoshop) simply sucked. So they never got processed as panoramics.

I’ve learnt a huge amount in 5 years regarding techniques in Photoshop and Lightroom. Both programs now talk seamlessly to each other. Photoshop CS5 has a much better Photomerge system now and plenty of other bells and whistles. Why not process a panoramic tonight. I had an hour to kill before a meeting. What have I got to lose besides the next hour?

In under 40 minutes, I had brought 9 unprocessed “segments” into Photomerge from my Lightroom Library. Photoshop merged the segments perfectly as expected. A little “Content Aware Fill” here and there, spot removal using the healing brush, a quick crop and the image is saved back to Lightroom. Once in Lightroom I applied my favourite settings with a single mouse click, a little tweak to some of those settings and the image is sent back to Photoshop for a custom border, text and logo and saved once again back into Lightroom as the finished product you see above. If I had tried that 5 years ago with my old computer and software, I think it would still be trying to do the merge.

What I’ve learnt here is that I have to revisit some older images, ones that have sat idle for a number of years and apply processing techniques I have now with today’s software. I eager to go back and find all my unprocessed panos and bring them into the “Blue Gecko Images” era. What other photographic gems are laying waiting to be “rediscovered”? I cant wait to find out.

Happy Shooting

PS: Equipment Used: Canon EOS 20D + Canon 24-70 f2.8L + a Manfrotto monopod with a 90 degree tilt head. Exposure for all images: 1/50th Sec, f11 @ 100ISO

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