Nostalgia, saturation and digital photography

Two walkers in the hills near Hay-on-Wye
On a long, long trek, a long, long time ago

One of my projects this year has been to get on top of my digital photograph archive. Up until recently, it was across several libraries on different computers. I’ve been busy consolidating and de-duping those libraries, and the properly processing all the photos within.

Right now, I’m working through 2002, my first full year of digital photography. I’m really enjoying two things: culling the photos down to a tight selection, and improving them with modern technology.

The culling just makes for better albums. You look through, and photos which seemed so important at the time, clearly don’t work with a decade’s distance. Chucking them away makes what’s left stand out so much better. But it’s the latter – bringing new tech to bear on old images – that’s really making things fly. It’s become clear that the Minolta digital impact I was using back then fairly consistently undersaturated the images. That, along with some careful exposure work, is making images which I thought fairly average really come to life, despite the low resolution by today’s standards. Here’s another example:

The hills above Hay-on-Wye in 2002

Nothing earth-shattering, but pretty impressive for a digital camera that’s 13 years out of date by today’s technology.

The shots are from a walk in the hills around Hay-on-Wye that Lorna and I embarked on with the London Mountaineering Club back in 2002. It was both a wonderful and disastrous weekend. Wonderful because the weather was great, the scenery stunning and the company great. Disastrous because the the organisers were rather too ambitious. Three of us sensed we wouldn’t make the entire route – so turned around at the lunch break – while the rest eventually ends dup calling us for a pick-up to get them home.

But it was still one hell of a walk.

Walkers on a bridleway in Herefordshire

We never managed to go on another walk with the club, which I regret to this day. But it’s lovely rediscovering these images after over a decade, with the pain and exhaustion long forgotten. It makes me itchy to put my walking boots back on…

First photos with a Lumia 920

So, I have in my posession for a while a Nokia Lumia 920 (I’m involved in a little work for them, via Brilliant Noise). It’s the first non-iPhone phone I’ve had serious hands-on time with since 2007. I’ve only had the chance for a little play with it so far, but here’s some first shots from the camera:

Emerald Quay shot on a Windows Phone from Nokia
Emerald Quay
Cyclamen on the balcony
Cyclamen on the balcony
Shoreham by Sea and the Adur seen from the beach
Shoreham by Sea and the Adur

The images come off the phone a little soft, which I’ve ended up correcting slightly in Aperture. Otherwise, the detail and colours are really impressive. I’m looking forwards to playing more…