How to Fix a Poor Photo
Despite what some people believe, most photographers have lots and lots of poor photos resulting from incorrect settings, bad lighting or at least poor compensation for what is available.
So what happens when we shoot things that might seem useless to save. Depending on how important the photo is, there are ways to repair most of our mistakes. We are all acquainted with photo editing programs that can make adjustments to what we see.
Sometimes it takes more than one processing approach to accomplish what we want. And sometimes even with the best efforts, the photo is not salvageable.
I would not consider myself as fully accomplished but I know just enough to make the best of the worst a little bit better.
Below is a photo that I shot on an overcast late day and I made no compensations with the camera. I took this photo from a roof of a 5 story building in downtown San Diego. The photo was dark and missing so many details and in fact was a bit depressing. Certainly not what you would see on the worst weather day in San Diego. The actual view I had, although somewhat overcast, showed vibrant colors in the downtown buildings and the foliage lining the streets.
The photo below was corrected for shadows, straightened towers, brightened, detail enhancement and a few other minor adjustments for true color.
What you see here is what I actually saw without the camera. My rule is the photo should always look at least as good as the view, if not the camera settings are off and need to be adjusted. Therein lies the secret to being a good photographer. Knowing how to make the adjustments in the camera. But nothing works all the time so when needed, make the adjustments after the shoot.