close doesn't count

Sometimes I screw up an amazing shot.  Since the photo agencies get plenty of contributions they can afford to be picky about technical aspects like noise, focus, and motion blur.  When I only get a few fleeting moments to capture a cool shot that appears before me I don't always get the technicals nailed.  And by now I have a growing collection of these images waiting for help.

If only there was software to help.  Well...  there is one way to catch these "fish that got away" that I've used and it's not Photoshop;  it's Illustrator.  By using the photo as source material for an illustration, two amazing things happen: the first is that technical issues disappear, and the second is that the image actually becomes more valuable since it can be infinitely scaled and transformed.

There are several ways to create an illustration from a photograph.  I have done it three different ways: for the best quality I've hired professional illustrators from Elance,  alternatively, I have traced photos myself with some level of success, and lastly I have used software that automatically creates a fast and cheap illustration.

If you can paint or draw that might also be a great way to save photos from the trash bin.  What other ways might I save flawed content I can't give up on?
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