Re-editing Past Images

I can quite easily flick through all the pictures that I took prior to taking the NCTJ Photojournalism course, and not pay a single bit of attention to them. But as I take more and more images for other people and companies, I find myself returning to my own personal snaps more often.

In June 2007 I went on an adventurous roadtrip along the south coast of Britain, armed with a tent, a girlfriend and my first ever digital camera – an Olympus E-500.

Thoughts of an education in photography were still a long way off (it would take an annoying boss to cement that idea in my brain) and I was just happy learning how to use my new toy. I didn’t have Photoshop or Lightroom and I didn’t have a clue what style of photography pleased me the most.

A few years later, some of these images made it to my first ever portfolio, which I showed off to my fellow photojournalism trainees and our course leader, Paul Delmar. One of the images I really liked and thought it was deliciously quirky. It was this one below.

Brighton, Old lady, old woman, gambling, photojournalism, photography by matthew james

OK, so I used the camera’s pop-up flash, I didn’t dare venture any further than the door, and you can’t see her face or the reaction on it. But it still clearly shows a little old lady trying her hand on a One-Armed Bandit. Sadly, nobody else shared my enthusiasm. Paul Delmar, however, did quite enjoy this little number, taken on the same day on Brighton Pier.

Fat people, obesity, obese, americans, fat fucks, brighton pier, chips, fish and chips, fish n chips, overweight, photojournalism, photography by matthew james,

But these two images are not what this blog post is all about.

Seven years has passed since those shocking images and I like to think I’m a better photographer these days. We’re always learning and always improving, and that includes our abilities to edit and imagine things differently.

Two pictures I took back in 2007 during our roadtrip showed two different lighthouses at the famous suicide hotspot, Beachy Head. The photos I took of these lighthouses never saw the light of day, because the exposure was shit and there was a horrible haze creeping in from the sea on one of them.

But after revisiting them with Lightroom this week, I’ve dusted them off and refurbished them both. And because they have spent the last seven years sitting on my hard drive with no love, I simply wanted to share them with you, dear reader. It makes me wonder how many awful photographs there are out there, just waiting for a bit of love and experience. Like a virgin with a MILF, perhaps. Or co-op vanilla ice cream being welcomed by every Ben & Jerry’s flavour known to man.

So here they are, looking better I must say. Take a look and let me know if they inspire you to tackle some of your oldies in your collection. Send ’em over to and I’ll share the best ones on my Facebook page.

Beachy Head Lighthouse, photography by matthew james, travel photography, lightroom, editing

Beachy Head Lighthouse

Beachy Head, Photography by Matthew James, travel photography, editing, lightroom

The Belle Tout Lighthouse on the southcoast of England. The lighthouse has seen a lot of history, including damage during the Second World War and a complete relocation due to erosion of the cliffs nearby.