Stuck in the Archives

I have a lot of (too many?) images in my Lightroom Catalog. I like to look through them sometimes. It brings back memories of people and places I haven’t seen for a while. It’s easy to lose track of time doing this. And if I run across a promising image that I’ve never processed or published before, I can end up spending even more time “stuck in the archives”.

This one’s from a trip to Death Valley National Park with three good friends in October, 2015. I made the photo on Zabriskie Point in the late afternoon while waiting for sunset.

There’s a bit of water / mud in the riverbed, left over from a rain storm several days earlier. And there’s a group of hikers on a ridge on the right hand side. If you’re viewing this on the web, you’ll be able to see the header image, which is a small crop showing the hikers.

Late afternoon at Zabriskie PointLate afternoon at Zabriskie Point (75mm, f/8 @ 1/80s, ISO 100).

When I went through my photos after the trip, I passed over this one. The sun’s position just out of the frame on the top made the light very harsh. The RAW image was washed out, the riverbed was over exposed, and the terrain was a bit underexposed. There were also a few ugly lens flare spots through the middle of the frame. I can see why I didn’t bother with it back then.

Anyway, I decided to try and process it and spent some time applying various quantities of modern software magic to it. I like the result and I think it was worth getting stuck in the archives for this photo. I’m really glad I saved the file!

You can click on the image to see a much higher res version on Flickr. Here’s a link to an album of Death Valley photos: And here’s a link to posts on the blog about Death Valley:

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Stay positive, be kind, take care of yourselves and each other. And if you can, finish making your photos!

©2022, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

8 thoughts on “Stuck in the Archives

  1. Gosh, that is beautiful!
    I love going back to my archive and discovering an old image that I had passed over years before.
    Since we have moved, I have less time to go on photo trips but my archives keep me busy! I always have something to work on which is wonderful. Photography keeps giving and giving. It just keeps me high when working on my photos . Am feeling blessed!
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Dorothy, and I agree with everything you said.

      Many people don’t seem to enjoy processing their images, but I think if you do, it’s a big advantage in today’s photography world. And it adds long term enjoyment to the hobby.

  2. I am on a site for an introductory photography class and I am beginning to have a love/hate relationship with post processing. I have nothing against technology but beginners become so enthralled with the tech that their photos are so overprocessed…in my opinion. Looking at your photos, Ed, I am struck by something really important that beginners miss. The artistry is in the shot itself. (Not in “fixing” it later in processing.) Your eye is fabulous. The processing is gravy! (Also, my husband was looking over my shoulder and wanted to know if you shot the black and white in actual infrared or if it was something you processed to look like infrared?) If I never shot another photograph I would still enjoy seeing yours!

    1. Thank you Stephanie for posting such a nice comment.

      For me, post processing is an integral part of photography and I consider myself lucky to enjoy it. I agree with you that the “artistry is in the shot itself” but many times the artistry won’t be visible without a little help from processing. My feeling is that limiting myself to only what the camera produces would also limit the things I can convey with my images. Even with film, the chemicals used and the enlarger settings, paper, exposure, dodging / burning are all forms of processing.

      I hope you end up enjoying your class. Photography can be a rewarding pursuit.

      I’m not sure which black and white photo you’re referring to. I’ve used several infrared modified cameras over the years, but I also regularly convert photos to black and white. If you’re interested, this blog post has more info on my IR “journey”:

      Thanks again,

  3. Spending time in our archives is akin to thumbing through the worn pages of old photo albums. With the important exception that in our digital world, we can adjust the images.

    You took a superb landscape photograph and worked with it and now have a different perspective of what you saw during your actual visit. Ansel Adams said: “Visualization is the single most important factor in photography”.

    I feel certain that if Ansel Adams had today’s post-processing technology available, his visualization would extend to all the tools we are so fortunate to possess.

    Personally, I often think that a sunset photo would look better with a darker sky. A polarizer may help some, but I know the software tools will help achieve what I want.

    My relationship with photography has evolved into wanting to share what I experience with others. The process includes so much more than pressing the shutter release!

    Thank you, Ed, for reinforcing my philosophy by sharing your ideas, techniques and, most of all, your outstanding results!

    Have a great new week! Stay cool.

    1. Thanks Wally. Your thoughtful comments always add to the discussion and are much appreciated.

      It seems we do have some philosophy in common. I too admire Ansel Adams and like to share what I experience with others. It’s a good feeling when someone gets something out of what I share.

      Anyway, thanks again! You stay cool and have a great week too.

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