observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

What’s New can be Old Again

Huh? You’re probably thinking I have that old cliche turned around. You’re right, I do.

peaches behind the scenes

For those using film and not digital, the darkroom is where the final processing occurs for photographic prints. Ansel Adams is known to have worked magic in the darkroom ‘finishing’ his masterpieces. Now that so many of us are using digital, a darkroom still exists — it’s the digital darkroom. I’m no master in the digital darkroom though I’ve been spending time in that digital darkroom practicing, experimenting, and even stretching the limits now and again. Today’s image is a result of some of that practice.

The image above, as it came straight out of the camera (SOOC), was nice enough but I thought it had potential for altering it somewhat to give it a more vintage feel. Using my Lightroom 2 software, I created a negative applying specific levels of processing. I’ve found it so much fun to experiment and play around in this way. Recently I also created my very first high-key image which can be done either in the camera or in the processing. I took an already somewhat overexposed image of a horse, increasing the exposure in the digital darkroom, made a few other minor adjustments, and ended up with a more artistic version that you can view at my photoblog. I was really pleased with the results.

dsc_9736This image of a bloom on my Easter cactus has been through the digital darkroom. Using Lightroom I was able to make it appear like it was created with Velvia film. Velvia film is known for having brighter colours and deeper saturation, among its other attributes. While in that darkroom I could have just as easily made this black and white, sepia, or many other options for final processing. Remember the beautiful close up of that clematis and the pink peony I offered for desktop wallpaper? The colours were more brilliant and crisp but I reduced that brilliance, purposely desaturating both images to give them more of a faded old-time feel. All done in my digital darkroom.

Then again, I could run a photo through that digital darkroom, leaving it as it came straight out of the camera, but add one small touch: a bit of vignetting (that darkening of the edges) like with this box of cupcakes. The only difference between the film version of processing and the digital version is that one is done with chemicals and one is done with the computer. I hope you’ve enjoyed walking through my digital darkroom.

In what ways do you like to experiment or play around with any of your creative pursuits (gardening, photography, painting, crafting, sewing, woodworking, or …)?


“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” ~ Edward De Bono

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