About remastered photographs…

May 23rd, 2009 in Dru by ladymadonna 10

Hi all, I hope everyone enjoyed the update with Dru yesterday!  Remastering Dru’s portfolio was a lot of fun and I was very pleased with the results, but I know that a lot of you have questions about what remastering actually means.  I think everyone has grasped that part of the remaster is the difference in size, or resolution, of the picture.  On the original website, I always sized pictures down to about 900 x 600 resolution, largely because back then (the original site debuted in 2002) most people didn’t have large monitors or fancy video cards, and resolutions higher than that tended to be overkill for most.  Nowadays, large monitors are more common (my current monitor is a 30″ widescreen!) and even standard video cards are quite powerful, so the extra resolution can be put to good use.

But remastering means far more than just larger picture sizes.  Monitors and video cards are not the only things to have come a long way since 2002 – so has photo editing software and my skills in using it.  ;-)  Remastering means I go all the way back to the original shots that came out of the camera, and remaster them all over again from scratch, using new software and the skills I’ve acquired and perfected over the last 10 years or so.  Color correction, brightness, image fidelity and sharpness are all improved, and the new Dru portfolio provides a perfect example of the difference this remastering can make.  For example, check out these two shots – they are the exact same shot, the first presented as it originally appeared on the website in 2003, and the second from the remastered posting yesterday:

Original

Original

Remastered

Remastered

It’s not just the resolution that’s greatly improved.  Look at how the original post has a slightly greenish, almost sickly hue to it, mostly affecting Dru’s beautiful skin tone.  Maybe you never noticed it before, probably because there was nothing to compare it to, but now compare it to the remastered shot, which has a much better color balance and more natural skin tone.  Also, the smoke – very important in smoking glamour shots! – looks far better.  Whereas in the original it too took on a green hue, the remastered photograph shows off the smoke’s blue/white hues more clearly, just the way it should be.  Highlights and shadow tones are also improved, and the sharpness is better and more subtle.  I’m simply better at photo processing than I used to be, and the software I use is more capable than it was even just a few short years ago.  In general, while there was nothing especially wrong with the original photograph, the remastered version is simply superior – and that’s for a set of pictures that were pretty good to start with!  I have some other sets that are grossly incorrect in terms of color balance and image fidelity (such as Kirsten’s yellow/orange hues), and I can’t wait to get to some of those shoots and make them look right.

So that’s what remastering is all about!  I don’t want to excessively recycle older work, but I do feel that because of the vast improvements I can bring to classic material, it’s well worth doing.  Besides, as time goes by and you all buy bigger monitors, the older pictures are going to look smaller and smaller, so that extra resolution is worth getting.  As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment on this post or drop me a line – I always love to hear your feedback!