4 reasons why you should go back through your old shots.
There are so many reasons to look through your old photos, it can be rewarding, enjoyable and productive!
Like most people, or probably more so than most people, I have found myself with an enormous amount of spare time over the past few months, and one thing that I have used this time for is sitting down and really taking the time to look through my old shots, shots I had taken that day, the week before or even years ago.
I think it is so important to look back through previous photos as it can be extremely rewarding, enjoyable and productive. I have had so much fun looking back through my old shots, so I thought I would share with you my top four reasons why I think you should look back through your old shots.
A stoat from the Canadian Rockies
1. You can re-discover photos you forgot you had
Going on a holiday or going travelling can result in you taking hundreds if not thousands of images, so it is no surprise that some of these photos slip from your memory. Looking back through old images can result in you finding photos you had completely forgotten about.
I have re-discovered lots and lots of photos that I am slowly getting through and I am very excited to start sharing them with everyone, but for now here are a couple that I forgot I had. This zebra shot that was taken on my Panasonic bridge camera about seven years ago; initially the composition appears a little bizarre (I knew very little about wildlife photography back then so I try to not be too harsh on myself), but with a little work, I saw an opportunity and it paid off pretty well!
From my first real adventure
I remember the night that I took this next photo fondly; it wasn’t long after arriving in Botswana and I had the pleasure of spending golden hour with my favourite animal. It isn’t any real surprise that my memory of this specific photo is a little blurry as I am sure adrenaline was rushing through my veins as I was only a few metres away from these magnificent creatures. Looking back through my shots from this special night, led me to this shot of a female on a fresh buffalo kill.
2. You can look at photos with fresh eyes
It is always nice to look back at old photos with a fresh pair of eyes as it allows you to look at how your editing style may have changed. There may be little things that you hadn’t noticed before but now you do and a slight tweak can make a massive difference.
Take for example the lion shot below. For years, I have been wanting a portrait shot of a male lion, to turn black and white and potentially get it printed (it should be in the post now!) but I had only (or so I thought) portraits of male lions in captivity. I was scrolling back through my old photos from Botswana and I came across this shot, and coming at it with fresh eyes and with new techniques that help to minimise the loss of quality from a fairly heavy crop, I was able to turn this it into this…
Coming back to look at your photos with fresh eyes can give you inspiration on how to change the edit of a shot, including colours and composition. Initially I had edited a shot of these two elephants jousting like this….
A questionable edit...
But coming back to it now, I think it is far too dark, it looks like I put a vignette on it, which now looks too harsh, and with heavy shadows on the sky and the elephant’s face, it loses all connection with the subject. I have got more and more into the fine art style of wildlife photography and really enjoy editing my photos into this style. With this particular shot I really wanted to bring out the shadows and the whites, not only to create a fine art style vibe with the heavy contrast, but to also add connection.
A much cleaner edit
The first time I looked at this shot I didn’t think much of it, another adrenaline fuelled snap which was far from my best leopard shot, or so I thought. But by coming at it with fresh eyes, I could see potential that I hadn’t before, by changing the rotation, crop, bringing up the shadows and brightness I discovered a great shot.
It wasn't screaming out initially
...and then it did
3. You can practise your editing skills
Looking through your old shots can give you limitless supplies for practising your editing skills, homing in on your editing style and I guess just having fun with it. I suppose this has come more due to lockdown and the spare time I now have, but I love to experiment with my shots, knowing that I probably won’t post them anywhere (apart from here), but just playing with the power of Lightroom and seeing where I can take a single photo.
4. You can reminisce!
Arguably not really a point, but who doesn’t love a good look through old photos?!
Despite the amount of fun it can bring, it is actually such a useful and rewarding experience, it really helps you to see how far your photography has come, something it can be hard to measure.
Thanks for reading,