Forgotten Images / by Chris Dahl

A number of years ago I attended a program given by Rob Knight on Lightroom, he outlined his system of organization in Lightroom. I watched, took notes and was inspired by the level of organization he was achieving. I quickly adopted his methods and modified them for my use. I will not go through the details here, but I have documented them in the form of a handout that I gave to attendees of a presentation I made for one of the groups I am a member of. You can find that document here, please feel free to download this file.

So the question has become what to do I with all the images cataloged in my system before this procedure change. I have been taking photos for many years. So there are a number of stray folders and files floating around. I also have boxes full of unscanned film.

Most of my digital photography is already in my lightroom database. When I installed Lightroom I simply “Added” the files keeping them in their stored location. Since then I have moved them to an external RAID storage system and in that process did a little rearranging of folders and locations. I looked at the meta data of the images and created “year” folders to move the files to. Most of my files were in folders by event, so I have loosly followed the same procedure going backward in years.

Recentally I was sifting through previous years imports and creating Collection Sets that I could go to by year and filter on to find images. This led me to some older film scans that I had forgotten about.

New York City circa 2001. Shot on film and scanned.

New York City circa 2001. Shot on film and scanned.

All of the images I am posting today were shot on my Brooks Veriwide 100 camera mentioned in this post. This was a fun old camera. It had a wide aspect ratio and had a nice 47mm Schneider Super Angulon lens. I regret selling this camera, they are still avaliable today in the used market but you will pay much more than I did in the 90’s.

If my memory serves me these images were shot in New York about 2001 around Christmas. I am not sure what photographers style (if any) influnced me, but they are interesting to me today.

A wedding lemo in traffic.

A wedding lemo in traffic.

I have hundreds of negatives that I have not scanned. That will be another project for some future cold winter day. I do not find that process fun and tend to push it out

Film was fun to process and print, but there was a different level of work and time involved to get the results you had in mind. If you did not have your own darkroom (or work at a lab) it could take several days to a week to see the negatives and proof prints.

Many of the tools in Photoshop and Lightroom emulate the tools we used in the darkroom. Even the Icons in Photoshop simulate the tool used. Go look at the tools in Photoshop for burning and dodging, these icons are what we used to use. A coathanger with cardboard shapes taped to it (sometimes custom for the image) was used to dodge or hold back light. And for burning, you would use your hands and shape holes for light to pass through.

Today it is much more instant, you have a preview of the image on the back of your camera that you can zoom into and move around. A histigram and other diagnostic tools to tell you how you did with your exposure. There are even tools to assist in composition and crop.

And once you get home you are minutes away from a basic edited job on the Image. There are even tools for editing while your travel on your smart phone with connected storage devices such as the Gnarbox.