My wise old grandmother took a lot of pictures and never threw any away. If a picture overall was bad, she’d look for the good parts, cut them out, and put them in her scrapbooks.
I learned from her, and even in the digital world, I don’t delete photos. Instead, I take bad photos to Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, Photo-Paint, Dynamic Auto-Painter, and many others to see what I can do with them.
Following is one that most photographers would call a throwaway. It had so many things wrong with it. Here it makes a nice sunset silhouette with those surfers in the lower right trying to get away from that nuclear explosion in the upper left. I have included the original for comparison purposes.
At first glance, I thought I’d simply put a different sun in there because I really wanted to save the silhouette and the surfers. However, replacing parts of pictures isn’t a walk in the park, so I always try the Photoshop slider controls first.
The first thing I always do to pictures in Photoshop is take the Highlights slider all the way down to -100. That always allows for more beautiful clouds, and in this case, it took out much of the overexposed sun.
Then I took the Shadows slider all the way down to -100. That got rid of 95% of the red lens flare. That red lens flare was bouncing around the whole inside of the camera which is what gave the whole picture that reddish tint.
Next, I took the Blacks slider down to -60. That got rid of the rest of the lens flare.
Lastly, I took the Clarity slider all the way to +100. That allowed for the water directly behind the surfers, in the little cover, to come out of the shadows.
A lot easier than I thought it was going to be, and it created a nice picture.