Are you a purist with photographs who refuses to use photo-editing software? Are you turned off by all the pre-set post-production filters people use—to do things like add a vintage look, tilt-shift effect, or an HDR-induced cartoon appearance? Well, I get it. Sometimes pure is pure gold. And there’s satisfaction in knowing you and you alone worked all the magic upfront, no computer assistance required, thank you very much.
Well, here’s a thought for even the most filter-revolting photographers among you. If you have a really blah photograph, something you’re going to trash anyway, that image presents the perfect guinea pig for going hog-wild with the filters. You really might be surprised at what interesting things you can create from photos that would otherwise end up in the garbage.
See this haunting little photograph? That’s not a little peasant child from a faraway land. The photograph wasn’t dug out of a dusty shoebox. Nor was it discovered in some pile of yellowing snapshots of immigrant ancestors. No, it was taken in a sparse, overly bright basement with fluorescent lighting. The colors were really washed out, the image wasn’t sharp, and the whole thing had a sickly green cast. It was a crummy, boring photo, destined for the garbage. But after it was treated to a few simple filters, in less than five minutes, it became this eye-catching image.
Are you going to win an award for a crummy image you’ve run through some quick filters? Probably not. Could you end with something you kind of love? Entirely possible: