Revisit Your Photos

While culling images last week, I began to see potential in some of my images that I had discounted but not deleted. So I started looking at these images with a new eye.

I encourage you to do this exercise – go back over your mages by year or subject, depending on how you organize your catalog. Flag photos that strike you as having potential with reprocessing. Put all the ‘potential’ images in a collection or folder, reset any edits you may have made back to the beginning, and start over with the editing process.

There may be many images you don’t even remember taking, and some you remember but had already discredited. No matter how many years later you are looking at these images, you have learned new processing techniques and skills, as well as new software or plug-ins. In addition, your understanding of composition will have grown, and your own aesthetic preferences will have evolved.

So take the time to give some of those old photos a second chance, and I promise you will find a few hidden gems!

The first image below is a long-exposure star trail taken at Tuzigoot National Monument in Arizona. While teaching a workshop there, I set the image up and let it run while I was helping the participants. Later, I downloaded it and didn’t think much of it, so I set it aside. After taking a longer look at the image, I realized that, with the right post-processing, it had potential. I went to work, and the second image is what resulted.


Whether you crop differently, convert to black and white, enhance the colors or clouds, or try different presets in Lightroom or another program, give it a try if you see some potential in an otherwise forgotten image.

Beth Ruggiero-York is an instructor of long exposure and night photography for Bryan Peterson School of Photography. She teaches workshops for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.  You can see more of her work at

Beth Teaches: 

Long Exposure Photography


“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”

Barbara Geiger
Understanding Color

“Thank you so very much for this course! It’s allowed me to take the blinders off and present my images for what I want them to be without being a slave to the “reality” of the camera. I would also add that in conjunction with your printing course, this has been the most useful course I’ve ever taken. Your notes are more than comprehensive and your comments and critiques are direct, clear, and always directed to the improvement of the art.”

After the click

” I want to thank you for this class and for your patience and availability to answer all of my questions. I have learned very much through this class. I have used LR in the past, but mostly for editing images. I now have a better grasp in the organization of my images, an even better understanding of editing images, and an understanding of the value of presets. I still have a lot to learn, but this has put me on the road to be able to improve my photography. Again, thank you! ”

Dale Yates
Lightroom Quickstart

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