2005 .... A warm mid-summer afternoon in northern Kentucky, lounging comfortably on friends' front porch, watching the world go by ... and watching dozens of hummingbirds buzzing at their feeders. I couldn't resist making my first attempt at capturing some of God's little miracles. I spent the whole rest of the day at it (which was probably not very sociable in my friends' eyes) and brought home hundreds of pictures, most of them not very good.
Using my first DSLR bought not long before, I was still unfamiliar with the high speed shutter function as well as the many many other features it had. Raised on mostly manual film cameras, this miniature computer with a lens (which is what a DSLR is essentially) took some getting used to. Part way through the session, unbeknownst to me at the time because I was too intent on my subjects, I had inadvertently thumbed the aperture dial and grossly underexposed the birds, silhouetting them against the blue sky. A waste of an awful lot of pictures, I thought when I saw them.
These early DSLR's didn't have a lot of the capabilities of today's cameras either. The high ISO needed to get proper exposure for the lightning fast shutter speed that a hummingbird requires produced seriously grainy images. Overall, I was quite disappointed and thought the session had been a bust.
I didn't delete them, though, something said not to. They languished on the hard drive for years. I came across them the other day and was intrigued by the silhouetted shapes. Photo post-processing tools are a lot better now than they used to be; what might be gained from trying them on these older images? Some noise reduction, a simple vignette, and I have this year's Christmas card!
Looking at an older image with a fresh perspective can give a picture a whole new life. This image was not was I shooting for that day, but it's perfect for the message and emotion I want to express now.
© 2012 Vicki DeGruy, all rights reserved.
Technical data: Canon 10D, ISO 1600, f/13, 1/1500th sec.
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