Going Back in Time
Sunset at the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World, a reprocessed photo from our trip in June of 2011.
Because we have not been anywhere in a while, why not take some photos from past trips and reprocess them? After all, I have learned a few things over the years, and I have some new photo tools, too. These photos may or may not be better than the original versions. And they might be different from the original versions, too.
How does this Polynesian Resort photo compare? Check out the original version and decide for yourself. And to make the comparison a little easier, here is a somewhat small version of the two photos side by side, with the original on the left and the new on the right:
I had always enjoyed the original. But now when I look at it, it looks just a little green, and slightly fuzzy. I am guessing that I was going for a more yellow/brown sunset look back then, but the yellow tones have a good bit of green in them. And while I might have liked the soft-focus look back then, I like this slightly sharper version here now. Plus, this new version has much better color saturation, especially in the sky. Isn’t it interesting how tastes can change over time? My tastes definitely have changed, as you can tell by comparing these two photos.
By the way, a few years after this photo, the resort went back to its original name of Polynesian Village Resort, by the way. I like that better, but I went with the “Polynesian Resort” name here because that was the name of the resort when I took this photo.
One other minor detail: I digitally removed the “No Wake” buoy. Back when I first took the photo, my stance was that the buoy was there in real life, so it should be in the photo, and you can see that it is there in the original.
But now I look at these photos more as art than as journalism, so I had no qualms at all about removing the buoy. I can definitely see how it might have been a distraction, drawing your attention away from the main focus of the photo. But if you go boating in that area, the buoy will still be there, so you better slow down and not leave a wake!
Check back for more old photos soon! Also, I did redo some other old photos in the past, and you can find all of those as well as these new ones in the Old Photos section.
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. - Proverbs 20:13
About the Photo
As I mentioned above, a lot has changed since I originally took and shared this photo. First off, that was a few cameras ago, and the newer cameras are even better at capturing scenes in lower light than the old ones were. The newer cameras also take higher-resolution photos than this photo was. You can’t really tell it here, though, because I resize the photos before I upload them to the web anyway.
I did have the good sense to shoot in Raw format even back then, and that helped with being able to process the photo. If you have not started shooting in Raw, I suggest that you do. Your future self just might thank you.
For the original photo, I had shot three separate exposures (-2, 0, +2) and combined them in an HDR image, which is what I typically did back then. I combined them using Photomatix, and then did final processing using GIMP, an open-source alternative to Photoshop. But for this new version, I just used the main (or “0”) exposure, because the software of today can do even more with Raw files than it could back then. Now, I like the look I got from this single exposure even better than the look from combining multiple exposures back then, and it took less steps and less time, too.
This time around, I used Luminar AI to do the processing, and just that one program was able to produce what you see here. Except for the buoy. I used Photoshop and its Content Aware fill tool to quickly and easily remove that. And if I had not told you or shown you the original photo, you probably would not have even noticed that it was not there.
It is fun to go back and have another try at things. If you see an old photo here at the site that you think I should process again, just let me know!
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar AI. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT
Date: June 5, 2011
Location: Polynesian Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida