Making Old, Lackluster Photos More Respectable

Shinjukunonhdrsmall  ShinjukuHDRsmall

You can spruce up those old, lackluster shots from years ago using HDR and tone-mapping techniques, even if you weren't shooting in RAW way back then.

Consider: The raw material is a snapshot, taken while hurrying across a street at dusk in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo in 1992. It was originally a slide, scanned to jpg, and it's dark and not much to work with. In Photoshop CS3, we went to Image -> Adjustments -> Exposure and saved a file over-exposed to +2, a file under-exposed to -2,  combined them with the original image and tone-mapped the result in PhotoMatix, a program downloadable for $99.

Chances are you won't win any awards, but you can't beat it as a way to resurrect those old, borderline photos and make them a pleasure to see again. Check out larger versions of the original and then the rehabilitated photo, after the jump.



See more photos from Japan in the Japan Gallery, and more HDR work in the HDR Gallery at

var addthis_pub="libsmr"; var addthis_brand = "CS&W"; Bookmark and Share

One thought on “Making Old, Lackluster Photos More Respectable

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s