Copyright PADI 2012
Every so often, it pays to go through your image files to look at your rejects with fresh eyes. It's a bit like panning for gold where it seems the vein has tapped out -- there's still treasure, but you have to sift through more junk to find it. These hiding gems don't jump off the screen like your big winners do, but they're worth your effort if you take the time to look.
We captured this image last March while shooting stills for the PADI Tec 60 and Tec 100 CCR Diver courses. On first pass, it looked a bit under exposed (actually, contrasty for those of you who know photography), and there was a lot of silt (suspended particulate matter). But, those problems are easy to fix in processing. Having done so, my goal was show the viewer the delight and joy you see on the model's faces, so in addition to localized color correction and other steps I use with underwater imagery, I added the texture and selective sharpening that makes the final version "pop." (Yes, that's the technical term.)
Lesson? If you're a photographer or photographic artist, go back through your didn't-make-its once in awhile to see what keepers got shuffled in. If you're a casual snapshooter, take some of those I'd-like-them-if-only images you never show (or shouldn't show) to someone who really knows Photoshop or Lightroom to see if they can be made into something.