Some photographers say you should never keep the old unused digital negatives. You should just delete them. I’m not one of those people. When times get slow, especially in the winter, I like to revisit my digital negatives; even the bad ones. I will sift through them, look at them one at a time, and reevaluate them. Why? Because my digital editing skills, like my photography, has evolved over time and I decide I might edit a photograph now I might not have edited way back then.
Sometimes I will even edit a photograph that was already published and printed once before. Such was the case with this photograph. It is a photograph of the old abandoned Milk River Valley Lutheran Church, which can be found outside of Kremlin, Montana. It is located out in the middle of nowhere in the last place you would ever expect to find a church. Surely this one had seen better times.
This is a beautiful old building. I once entertained the notion of buying and fixing it up and making it my studio. I tracked down the owner; an old woman who lives in Washington. When I called her and told her I was interested in buying the church she promptly hung the phone up on me. Well, I guess that was the end of that.
I originally processed this photograph in black & white. I loved how it turned out, as did may other people. Some years later I tried process it in color. It turned out well, but not as well as I wanted. Luckily for me I made a mistake and misplaced the large digital negative of that photo. At the time I was devastated, but it caused me to edit it again recently and this was the result…a much better edit than what I had accomplished before. Just think, if I had not lost that original file I may have never tried editing the photo again.
Now I’m glad I lost that file.