Originally published at www.jangill.com on December 4, 2017.
Are you looking to show something new but short on time to create?
Do you want to inject something fresh but you’re clean out of new images?
Have you got a base of work that you’ve rejected that’s huge in comparison to the list you consider acceptable for human consumption?
Are you ready to post a great article but no new images to share with it? Is your deadline looming?
It’s time to take another look at your Back Catalogue.
This morning I was looking for pictures to include in a post. I didn’t have exactly what I wanted in my “Print Ready” file so decided to look through some past photographs.
A series of Snowdrop images caught my attention. They had all failed to pass muster last year when they were taken, but today I spotted some potential.
There are some simple reasons for this change of heart.
Firstly, time lends perspective to your inner critic. I remember that I had a particular vision for the shot I wanted. I was very cold and affected by how I could position myself, so didn’t quite get what I wanted. I was being very critical and looking for perfection that is rarely attainable.
In retrospect there is merit in a couple of the shots I took.
Giving your work time is a regular trick for artists. Coming back to a piece you can often see more clearly where to make improvements. It is a practice I overlook with my photography but one I shall be working at from now on!
Secondly, I have improved my skill in spotting potential. As you progress with your photography you will more readily see value in a shot that may just need cropping or exposure changes to bring it to life. Critique images you see around you to help hone this skill. Examine closely images you really like and note what it is that attracts you. Use that knowledge to re-evaluate your own efforts.
Thirdly, I am using a better photo editor. Last year I was still using a basic one, now I have invested in Photoshop. I don’t make huge changes as I still aim to get the shot I want in camera straight off. But the doors a reasonable editor opens are amazing.
This is the original shot. It looks quite cluttered so that the focal point of the shot loses impact. It is also a little flat — there is not enough contrast. The only changes I needed to make were cropping, increasing exposure and boosting contrast.
What do you think?
So it’s over to you.
Get looking back through your back catalogue and see what gems you can uncover.
Try this every time you can’t get out with your camera and you will soon have some fresh content to share.
You will also find that your unused back catalogue is much more useful than you thought.
You’ll be hitting that deadline every time without resorting to generic or overused images.
If you found value in this article, please pay it forward and share as much as possible.