Revisiting and Reworking a Photo

Every photographer has photographs that they keep going back to – either just to revisit and remember, or because they were never quite happy with how they processed them, or because they learn a new technique they think will improve the image.  The image I worked on today was just one of those.  I was printing some images for frames in my house, and for a gift for my wife’s assistant when I came across an image I captured at Alcatraz Island when we visited San Francisco a year and a half ago.  We were walking around the outside and I saw this couple sitting a stone wall admiring the view of the city.  I liked how they were just enjoying the day and the view as well as each other’s company.  In color, you don’t really capture that feeling, but it seems to come out in black and white.  My original conversion lacked any “punch”, but perhaps the softness of the conversion was better for the mood.  But after seeing it again recently, I decided to punch it up using the Nik Silver Efex Pro software (which I didn’t have when I originally processed the image).  I could have gone further with the “punching up” but it seemed to lose the emotion then.  I have a feeling this will be one of those pictures I come back to multiple times. What do you think? Which one has the better emotional value?

First conversion (softer):

Lovers on the Wall, Alcatraz


Second conversion (punchier):

Lovers on the Wall, Alcatraz (2)


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