Last of from the back of the digital sofa

by Stefan Fletcher September. 01, 2013 2181 views

Why this “back of the digital sofa” series?

In Lightroom there are no lost coins dug up from the back of the sofa, but sometimes old external hard disks get replaced and the images in previous versions of LR are orphaned (the “file lost or missing” message was a constant irritation until LR5). I recovered these.

These images were also one of my earliest forays with a tilt-shift lens. I think I did rather well with the manual focus given my astigmatism, myopia inexperience.

The black and white edits 50+ months later are because I've been reading and trying to learn about B&W ever since I started. I don't know whether my photography has improved (I'm sure it has in strictly technical terms), but my understanding of it certainly has.

Are photographs like pottery? Once moulded, formed and fired, that's it? I'm going to give you a very categoric answer:

Yes, no and maybe.

Yes - the intent and understanding at the time should be preserved and cannot be recaptured, any more than the light at the time can be reproduced. (It always intrigues me that people request exif data; they can't possibly reproduce the conditions…)

No - artists overpaint and rework things all the time. No creative work - forgive this conceit - ever springs fully formed from the artist's forehead. Why should photography be different? Is it just because it's wrongly assumed to be instantaneous?

And maybe: well, I don't really know, but I certainly understand more (or at least more about how little I really do understand). I would certainly have composed these differently today.

Food for thought…

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There are 8 comments , add yours!
Vivienne Albiston 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh , I`m staggered by the verticals and the negative shapes which seem so much stronger in b/w.

6 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sara G 6 years, 1 month ago

I'll just say I like the third one.

6 years, 1 month ago Edited
David Swatton 6 years, 1 month ago

I think I'm more in the "yes" and less in the "no" camp as I regularly go back to old pictures to see what I can make of them differently from my first attempt... one of the delights of RAW and, to me, one of the things that makes the digital process more reminiscent of the darkroom process when I used to print and re-print images with different crops, dodges, burns etc.

6 years, 1 month ago Edited
John Sidaway 6 years, 1 month ago

Stunning black & white definition.

6 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 6 years, 1 month ago

So interesting to see these three. Strangely the right hand pillar sliver looks fine in the colour version.
I like your crop, but now there is a strange darkness in the sky in the negative space on the right.
Thanks for sharing these three together.

6 years, 1 month ago Edited
Antonio Gil 6 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for your thoughts on photography and for the great B&W treatment.

6 years, 1 month ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 6 years, 1 month ago

I have just one tiny niggle. I find the lightness of the sliver pillar on the right a distraction. I understand why compositionally you cannot crop it out, so I wonder if you have considered darkening it a little, somehow?

6 years, 1 month ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 6 years, 1 month ago

I am not usually a lover of B&W BUT this capture does it for me, the B&W aspect brings out every feature in this shot................

6 years, 1 month ago Edited