Salvaging Bad Photographs

Sometimes no matter what I do, I just don’t end up with the shot that I saw in my mind when I was taking the picture. Today, I was standing on the side of the road trying to get a quick photo of an old barn.

There was an icy cold wind, the natural light was just about gone, and I was too cold and cranky to spend the time getting the shot.

Original Bad Shot

Salvaging Bad Photographs
Of course, I was more than disappointed with the result above, but that doesn’t mean I automatically delete these types of pictures.

If the quality of the image is good enough, I am very likely to open Corel’s Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and experiment. More often than not, I end up salvaging bad photographs into something useable.

Lighten and Clarify the Bad Shot

Lighten and Clarify
This is the exact same photograph as above, but I decided to lighten and over clarify the image to give it a more dramatic effect. You may also noticed that I have cropped and straightened the photo.

Lighten, clarify, and sepia toning added to salvage this bad photograph

Lighten, Clarify, and Sepia Toning
Again, this is still the exact same picture as above, but I added sepia toning to the final image for an almost spooky effect, ending up with a photograph that I truly like.


When All Else Fails . . .
When all else fails, I just go back to shooting photographs of my daughter and I know everything will turn out just fine!

J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and Scenic Photographer
Copyright © 2008 J. Cricket Walker of Online Photography Magazine All Rights Reserved

  1. Ruth Thiessen
    Ruth Thiessen01-01-2008

    Wow Cricket that sure makes a difference.

    No wonder the photos of your daughter always turn out fine. She is very pretty.


  2. J. Cricket Walker
    J. Cricket Walker01-01-2008

    She is a blast to photograph. She is not afraid of the camera. 🙂

  3. Alex

    Great tips! Your daughter is lovely! Very photogenic!

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