Upcycle Your Photo-rejects

by Lucas Westcoat January. 10, 2017 1152 views


  1. reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original: "the opportunity to upcycle trash, or turn it into new products, was vast" · [more] "upcyled furniture"

Every summer, Seattle's Fremont neighborhood hosts a summer solstice parade. The event is famous for packing the parade route with highly creative homemade floats, nude bicyclists wearing only body paint and smiles, and spectators of all ages.

Not long after purchasing my first DSLR (Canon Rebel xti), I ended up moving to that part of town. When the day for the parade came around I decided to take my camera and go check it out. I snapped photos all afternoon. When I got back to my place and loaded the images on to my computer, I quickly noticed I had committed two major rookie mistakes;

1. I rarely peeked at the viewfinder to see how the photos were turning out.
2. I relied exclusively on that little viewfinder and not histogram, focal point, etc.

The result was a memory card full of photos that were pretty much unusable for a combination of reasons. Some were out of focus, poor white balance, accidental exposure compensation, etc. Rather than "select all" and "delete" I decided one day to try and create something loosely resembling fine art with one of my photo rejects.

Here's the result:

A Seattle Solstice Parade participant on a float

This got me thinking about other photo rejects I might be able to "upcycle."

A statue of President Washington in Boston, MA

Give it a shot and share your results!

To view more of my work, please check out my website www.elldubphoto.com

Join the conversation
There are 12 comments, add yours!
Kara Bana 8 months, 1 week ago

Now this is a fantastic use of editing.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Lucas Westcoat Replied to Kara Bana 8 months, 1 week ago

Thank you, Kara!

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Helen Hooker 8 months, 1 week ago

What a great idea - I'll remember this next time I think about deleting duff images!

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia 8 months, 1 week ago

Great advice! I've been doing the same with my photos, especially when I have days where I can't go out to shoot. This process has also helped me learn more on how to use my editing program. A win-win situation all around. Thanks for sharing.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Shahul Khalid 8 months, 1 week ago

Good advice.. thank you for inspiring

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Maura Elko 8 months, 1 week ago

It's definitely a cool idea. I've been doing similar when I'm bored and just want to play with old photos and try to make something artistic out of them...they can be salvaged!

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Eshyde 8 months, 1 week ago

Love this! You've inspired me to do this to help me get through my 365 this year. :-) Does that count, lol?

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Lucas Westcoat Replied to Eshyde 8 months, 1 week ago

Ha ha! I won't tell.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie 8 months, 1 week ago

This is a cool project. I hope some other PhotoBlog members give it a go.
Nice one, Lucas!

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Lucas Westcoat Replied to Ben Mckechnie 8 months, 1 week ago

Thanks, Ben. Me too!

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Lucas Westcoat 8 months, 1 week ago

I've added it to the Editor's choice tab for extra visibility.

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Lucas Westcoat Replied to Ben Mckechnie 8 months, 1 week ago

oh wow. Thanks, Ben!

8 months, 1 week ago Edited
Copyright @Photoblog.com