Evolution of a Mistake

I’m not the sharpest tack in the box first thing in the morning and before coffee and it shows on occasion.  In this case I had totally forgotten that I reset the white balance on my camera to take pictures indoor the night before, so when standing on the river front under the bright sun taking a picture of the Cargill plant with the thought of maybe converting it to HDR I failed to notice that my photos were totally blue.

cargill in blue


I was pretty upset with myself when I got home and saw this.  But I don’t give up easy.  I decided to desaturate all 3 photos and just convert the black and white to HDR and hope for the best.  It turns out this wasn’t a bad idea at all.

cargill b&w


After a couple of days I decided to go back and see if there wasn’t more I could do with the image.   Manipulating the HDR itself didn’t give any interesting results so I went back and played with the brightness and contrast in the source files and finally got the result I was looking for.

cargill redo 2


Not bad for a screw up, eh?

8 responses

  1. arnoldthearmadillo

    I took a whole bunch in jpg with the iso set quite high once.. Camera, check, tripod, check, brain.. Oh well. :)

    December 31, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    • We once it made to our shooting location, a hour away from home, when my friend realized he forgot his tripod. Once we got home I realized I had forgotten my cable release and flashlight. Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you.

      December 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      • arnoldthearmadillo

        I am used to being bear food:)

        December 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm

  2. dignad

    Sometimes it seems some of the best pictures are the result of a little screw up.

    January 1, 2013 at 7:05 am

    • Agreed! Perhaps I should stop trying to be a perfectionist and just go with the flow eh? This has given me some ideas for other photos that turned out less than spectacular.

      January 1, 2013 at 11:33 am

      • dignad


        That is my friend’s photo blog, and is the perfect example of a mistake making an awesome picture. If I remember right, he overexposed the spider with the flash aperture settings, and completely whited out the shot. Didn’t notice what he had till he got the pictures onto the computer, and found that little piece of gold. Sometimes I’d rather be lucky than good.

        January 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm

  3. tabularasa88

    I still love this shot. As always in these situations, I’m kicking myself for not seeing the potential you did.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    • Hey thanks, though in fairness it was more of a “I wonder what will happen if” moment. You never get to see my (numerous) failures.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm

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