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Alex Eaton

[ Stillnotes ] 17 — Re-edits and Film Edits

Published over 1 year ago • 1 min read

17 » Re-edits and Film Edits

The image above is one of my favorites from Big Sur during my PCH road trip last week. But since I was publishing a Rambler every night with photos and writing I had to be quick on my edits, relying on finding some presets I liked and quick tweaks. Sitting with this photo afterwards I can't shake the feeling of over-saturation and coloring, a little too in-the-face. Although, it does pretty accurately show what it was like there. The reds and oranges, the glow of the setting sun, the piercing bright teal water, it was all real. But it still feels a bit much, so this week I did a little re-editing to see if I could get it to a better place.

I did some subtle desaturation, brightened up the image overall while keeping the shadows deep as to avoid the HDR feeling, and changed the color-tone in the highlights from a baby blue to a deep orange to fit the warm sunset feeling. There was a bit too much blue-green in the first one. It still feels... I dunno. Sharp? Saturated? It's a crazy deep image, you can zoom all around the RAW file to the cliffs in the back, and it really did feel insane. But while I love the photo there's something to it that just feels almost too precise. I like this version better, and will keep experimenting. Maybe its just an image I can't tone down.

I also explored editing some film scans from Washington. This scene from Maple Pass in particular.

And the edit:

You can see I fixed the reddish oranges in the ground and shadows to neutralize it. Since the sun had set on this area the overly warm color don't really fit. There may still be too much blue in the background, some desaturation may work well there. I also punched up the yellows to make the larches stand out. I spent a lot of time at this scene working a couple different compositions, and its one of those that's given me fits in the edit afterwards. Editing is so important and so damn finicky.

Open to your thoughts on both!

'til next week. —Al

Alex Eaton

Writer, photographer

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