Last Night

This shot was of course not taken "Last Night" as the title would suggest. In fact, it was taken in the summer of 2019, on my cell phone and edited with an app on my phone called Snapseed.

It's funny how you can forget about photographs not long after you take them, even if they are pretty good. Because I didn't shoot this image with a fancy camera and import it into my Lightroom catalog for proper editing and backup, I completely forgot about it.

It was only after going to a friend's house the other night that I was reminded of this shot. Walking into their living room I saw an image framed on the wall. At first glance, I thought it was a painting by Andrew Wyeth, but not one that I recognized. Then I realized that the art work was a photo, not a painting, but it had the same expression as a Wyeth painting, the same feeling. I was drawn to it in the same way I'm drawn to most of his work.

I really liked it and walked right over to get a better look; only to realize that I knew this image, it was my photo. The photo above.

I had completely forgotten about this photo and about her really liking it, so much so, she asked for a print.

Now I don't think my work is in the same league as Andrew Wyeth and I'm not writing this to suggest that it is, but rather to point out that seeing your own work with fresh eyes can make you appreciate it more than you did even at the time you made it.

As photographers in the digital age with new(er) technology always right around the corner, it's easy to get caught up in things like dynamic range, megapixel counts, and MTF charts. The tech side of things seems to often outweigh the art side. We forget why we got into this in the first place; the same way I forgot taking this photo.

The process I used to make this image didn't fit my normal workflow. It didn't fit what most photographers would consider good. It wasn't until I saw it for what it was hanging on a wall, void of context, to really appreciate the image.

Ever since I saw it on their wall, I kept thinking about it. The more I thought about it, the more I thought "I would buy that". I wondered, what did I even do with it? Where was it? I knew how and roughly when I shot it, but I hadn't seen it since I posted it on Instagram and promptly forgot about it. (A far too common effect of Instagram and the social media landscape).

I began looking for the image in Lightroom and coming up with nothing. I searched my phone and it wasn't there. It was taken after all with an older phone that I had since replaced. Luckily, I save or try to save most of what is on my phones to my dropbox account. I couldn't locate the image I had made the print from, but I was able to find the original and reprocess it to try and replicate it as close as I could. The result is the image in this post.

The original was a Jpeg, so there wasn't much that could be done to the image in terms of editing. And the result of my initial editing wasn't to create an epic image, it was to create the feeling and the mood of the scene when I shot it. I know this because I remember editing it on my phone while sitting on a bench, eating ice cream with my kids, still viewing the sunset. I don't think I've ever made a more honest image.

I've made this image available as a print in my shop: here and will pay more attention in the future for similar opportunities.


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