The Evolution of My Photography

and post-processing skills too.

Most photographers seem to go through a growing pains stage that I’ll affectionately dub the “teen years” – awkward, always just missing the mark. Sometimes tacky, crass and lacking in finesse that maturity brings. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a pro today by any means, but I think my photography has come a long way since my early days. Back then, I photographed anything that seemed remotely interesting (where was instagram then??) and called it good. If it was slightly out of focus, oh well. Big deal! Photoshopping was a new, adventurous world, and I was guilty of many sins that makes me grimace today. Bad HDR, tilted horizons, weird tints, fake sun flares, wacky vignetting, etc. I don’t think I ever used selective colors in b&ws, so we can heave a giant sigh of relief on that count! Scratch that, I just remembered I did a wacky one of my then-toddler niece for my mom. I wish I could post that atrocity, but my sister is paranoid about her kids being online.

Back then, I wasn’t really sure what sort of photography I was interested in. I took lots of pictures of flowers. And my dog. And buildings. And random things. LOTS. And I hadn’t discovered selective focus. Needless to say I have quite a few pictures that aren’t in focus. It wasn’t until one of my friends gave me flack about it that I started paying a bit more attention to my focus, light and composition.

A bit overexposed.

Zombie Photography

Tilt…whenever someone pointed it out, I’d argue that it balanced the jetty. I laugh now.

Zombie Photography

Flowers, flowers, flowers (I had about 1000 of these in my archives). I’ll spare your index finger the work of scrolling past these as quickly as it can and post only one.

Zombie Photography

I lived in DC for awhile. I have lots of these. Actually this isn’t too terrible, except for the dark blue. I think I got that by utilizing a polarizer? Can’t remember.

Zombie Photography

 

And there was the white/black box “I’m going to be a product photographer!” stage…I know I had more of these pictures, but can’t find them.

 

Zombie Photography

At some point, I discovered how to set my WB – and kept forgetting to change it whenever the light changed. At the time I didn’t have photoshop and couldn’t fix it in PP. I call this my “blue phase.”

Zombie Photography

 

It’s a little embarrassing to share these, but I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in transforming from a casual snapshot photographer to …semi pro (??? I’m not really comfortable with that moniker, but can’t think of a better one)  and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. The hardest yet the best thing I did was showing my stuff to a pro. He proceeded to rip them apart, and at the time I thought he was a horrible person for being so mean to me. I hated him so much for it at the time.

But today, I’m grateful for that lesson. That was my turning point in my photography. I’m well aware I’m no Ansel Adams or Edward Weston, but I think my stuff aren’t half bad now.

 

 

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4 comments

  1. Ha! That chart is excellent, especially the blue line.

    The funny for me is that as I’ve “matured” as a “photographer” (and why is that still so uncomfortable?), I don’t mind things liked tilted horizons, etc. But then imperfection is sort of my photographic m.o. these days, anyway…

    • I guess I should clarify – I don’t mind a slight tilt or other gimmicky PPs — in moderation, One out of hundreds. IMO, most of the time, a tilt does not improve the image.

      At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are photographers who think tilts *improve* their photographs’ composition and quality and overuse and abuse it. Those make me cringe.

      About two years ago – maybe three? I’ve a rotten memory – a bad wedding photographer made the news because he took wretched wedding shots and the newlyweds sued. Many of the pictures were tilted. And poorly edited. Horrid vomit-inducing stuff.

  2. Excellent post. Love the honesty – I’m very much at the beginning stage and know that I will be looking back through fingers over eye’s in years to come. My failures are made public for all to see!

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