Way back in 2006 I had the chance to go to Death Valley with a friend. He brought his nice film camera and I borrowed a digital camera that, while I had used before, was not that familiar with.
I committed one of the cardinal sins of photography. I did not look at any of my settings before I started shooting.
The photos were of lower resolution than the camera was capable of, and, even worse, had a time stamp across the bottom corner. Here is one of the shots.
These files have sat for (checks calendar) let’s just say a long time on my computer. I had not the heart to delete them, but they were still a disappointment.
You see. Death Valley is beautiful. If you ever get the chance, go. Even if it is hot (bring water!) It is worth it. And yes, the experience was still with me, but I had still wanted to have some nice photos to go along with it.
Well. Here we are in 2023. I had recently purchased Photomator for the Mac. (There is another post here about me searching for a solution for my photos, but later) I’d used it on my phone for a few years, and decided to give it a go due to how great Pixelmator Pro was.
As I was playing around with the app, the tools and the interface I found myself back in 2006 with these photos. So, starting with the repair tool, I gave it a shot. And was amazed.
- Repair removed the timestamp from a good number of images without too much compromise.
- Super resolution upscaled the image from 1280 X 960 to 3840 x 2880
- The ML Tools and some color adjustments corrected the older camera’s issues
And they look great, take a look at the same picture.
Are they as good as they could have been had I actually paid attention to the settings on the camera? No1. Are they good enough that I am now happy with them and am going to post them to my Flickr 15 years later? Absolutely.
I know these tools aren’t new, especially for you Photoshop experts. Which, I am not. It is more the ease and the integration with the rest of my workflow that brought these to my fingers (without a subscription cost).
And perhaps a willingness to do alterations to my photos I had not previously considered. (Afraid of, perhaps, crossing the line from “edited” to “modified”)
There is a happy epilogue to this, as I was able to get to Death Valley this year with my nice camera and I was very careful with settings. (I did forget my wide angle lens, however. Maybe next time…)
- Technically the camera had a 5 MP sensor with a RAW resolution of 2560 x 1920. BUT, I believe the natural output would have been better than an upscaled one. Also these photos were JPG, as I had not yet taken the leap to RAW. ↩︎