Finding Worthwhile Images in Your Past Catalog

One of the trickier things about photography is that our various skills and taste may develop at different rates, leaving images with a lot of potential that are held back by one specific issue. If you experienced this when you were still learning, now might be the time to take a look at your catalog and consider reviving old images.

Coming to you from Brian Matiash, this video follows him as he re-edits an almost decade-old image that had potential but a bad first edit. I think a lot of us have shots in our catalog that we messed up in the editing process for one reason or another that could still become great photos with a now more experienced eye. For example, when I was first starting out, my landscapes were generally composed pretty well, but I was fairly terrible at controlling the color in them and generally overdid it, making them gaudy and over the top. It's a great exercise, especially if you're sitting around on a rainy weekend with nothing to shoot and looking to create something, and it's also why I recommend keeping old images just in case. You never know what you might make down the line. 

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Brian Matiash's picture

Thanks so much for sharing my video, Alex! I hope everyone enjoys the Photo Redux series.

Jarrod McMatt's picture

I was trying to do this yesterday. I am working on split toning in LR and have some older so-so landscapes I would like to play with. When I went to my hard drives to transfer back into LR, it said I could not as it is already in the catalog. Problem is, I cannot find them IN my catalog. Tips? Tricks? I would prefer to just transfer the RAW file back into LR for editing but that is apparently not an option.

Brian Matiash's picture

You could use a text filter in LR to search for the filename (if you know it). If the file is in there, that should bring it into view.

Thomas Nicholas's picture

Since I've been reading articles on the site I've learned a lot and applied it to old photos that I thought couldn't be made much better in post. How wrong I was.

Brian Matiash's picture

I had a lot of hesitation before starting this Photo Redux video series. I wasn't sure if it would resonate with viewers. To quote you, Thomas, "How wrong I was." It has been really rewarding and somewhat cathartic to put some of my most heinous work out there and approach it with fresh eyes and new tools.

And the bittersweet truth is that I've got no shortage of old, heinous photos to source new episodes from. :)