making it better

I love it when I revisit an old photograph, and suddenly I see how to make it better. It always amazes me when this happens. A photograph that I’ve printed tons of times, and have been very happy with, will suddenly reveal new depths, new possibilities. I’ll see how to make it better, truer, closer to the way it looks like in my mind. An adjustment here, and a tweek there, and this old photograph has new life.

Sunlight (photograph of a Japanese Maple Leaf) by Daniel Sroka ©2008

Sometimes these moments are inspired by new tools or techniques. Other times they are inspired by the way the light changes in my studio as winter turns to spring. Whatever causes them, I usually have to drop everything and pursue that change, until I feel that the photograph is “right” once more.

P.S. All children of the 80s should immediately click here to relive the soundtrack of their youth. It’s been playing non-stop in my studio for days! (Thanks Wil.)


Daniel, this has such a watercolor feel – I think it’s the lost-and-found edges, which is my favorite part of watercolor. And complementary colors are often a part of good design. But it’s definitely the edges for me – so graceful.

This happened to me when I discovered luminosity masks. All of the sudden I wanted to go back and reprocess almost everything.

And I am typing this listening to some good ol’ Missing Persons …. ha!

I really like your work, and as a photography geek I would love (if it’s not a trade secret) to find out more about the nuts and bolts of how you use your PC lens to achieve these great results. For instance, how about posting a few different candidates of the same shot? I assume you have lots of sets of shots where different planes of focus are visible for the same object? I think these would be very cool.