Confessions of a Pixel Pusher – Saving the shot

Author: Paul Bartell

You’re out on a hike exploring some cool areas and the morning sunlight is dramatic and providing you with some wonderful photo opportunities. You’re mind’s eye frames an image that you just have to capture, you scramble to the perfect location but the sunlight is now shining into your lens and reflecting off of the water causing a huge amount of flare in the image you capture. Disappointed, you move on to enjoy the rest of your day hoping to capture other equally inspiring images. Once home, with the image downloaded you are faced with the decision to delete the washed out image or see if you can save it, coax some life into it to become the image you initially envisioned.


Adobe Lightroom did most of the work to save this image.


A little Photoshop work to remove the light colored waterline on the rocks and delete some of the debris floating in the water. Next a little help from a favorite Photoshop plugin, Topaz Clarity, to add some additional some depth and punch. This image is now pretty much what I envisioned that beautiful morning at Watson Lake.


I encourage you to not be too quick to discard those images that are less than perfect, you may be surprised what a little time can yield.

Paul Bartell in an Arizona Highways Photo Workshop Trip Leader and works at Artisan Colour Inc. as a retoucher and project manager for fashion catalogs. In his spare time he loves to photograph and create photo-art pieces in Photoshop. Some of his work can be seen at: