Recently, I was asked to talk about my personal photographic journey. About how I developed my style. How changing technology has impacted my photography.
I'm so glad I was asked.
I was surprised by what I found, and I think it might be encouraging to you!
Let's compare some photos I took in 1997 with my old print film cameras versus some 2016 shots taken with my current camera.
Honestly, I'm surprised people told me I was a good photographer back then!
|PHOTO 1 (unretouched)|
I cringe at this shot now. There's a pole coming out of my sister's head! I did okay with the difficult lighting. Not great mind you, but okay. But that pole is distracting!
Remember, this was in the print days where you took a shot and saw the results after you processed the film.
Obviously, I wasn't really paying attention to the surroundings like I do now. I would have move in closer or changed my position so the pole wouldn't have even made the picture.
|PHOTO 2 (unretouched)|
Plus, as I went through more photos of that trip, I realized that I relied on the flash too much for indoor photography.
I much prefer to use natural lighting in my current photography. I think it softens the subjects more.
There is a place for flashes, but I relied on them too much 20 years ago.
|PHOTO 3 (unretouched)|
The background is nice and uncluttered.
This is a picture I'm a little more pleased with!
Her hair blowing in the wind adds to the feel of the picture.
So, let's jump to 2016.
|PHOTO 4 (unretouched)|
Over the years, I've learned how to make people feel comfortable to be in front of the camera.
Too, I've learned how to simplify the background to make sure the focus is where the focus needs to be. On the subject.
Head shots and conference photography have become my speciality. I love the interaction with my subjects.
Another huge part of photography that I've learned that has helped improve is all about the lighting. You must have light to even take a picture. So you need to learn about how much lighting affects your pictures and how to use it. See how even the light is on Alycia in photo 4 versus the strong shadows of photo 1? I made sure the lighting was right.
|PHOTO 5 (unretouched)|
I didn't do shots like this back in 1997.
So why am I doing them now?
Because I love photography and I'm committed to learning more. I will always be a photographer. I will always strive to get better. To learn and try new things.
I love seeing amazing shots from other photographers. I study them. Try to emulate them. And I try to teach what I know and learn here on my blog. I want you to be able to take better pictures.
I want you to see that I had a long way to go back in '97. Practice does indeed help!!
Plus, digital technology has made it so much easier to learn photography.
Years ago, it might be a few weeks in between taking a photo and seeing it printed. Unless you wrote down what settings you used at the time, the learning curve took weeks or months to master.
Technology is changing that!
A new compact camera from a company called Light has an interactive touch screen built right in allowing you to edit photos the instant they are taken. It's an intriguing technology and I'm very excited about it.
Several years ago, a cell phone camera produced very poor quality images. Now, some people use their cell phones cameras almost exclusively. I'm a fan of DSLR, Point and Shoot, and cell phone cameras. They each have their place.
So, as I've gone back to really study my old shots, I got exited to share with you that I have improved greatly over the years. And that means you can too!
I love teaching here and will continue to do so. There's a lifetime of learning ahead. And I think that's really, really, exciting!
But my biggest tip for today is: Be encouraged! Practice really helps! If I could improve as much as I did, you can too.
What are some of the lessons you've learned about photography over time? Are you discouraged or excited about learning more?
ASSIGNMENT: Grab your camera and photograph the people nearest you. Try different lighting. Make them feel comfortable. Just get your camera and GO! Practice. Review the shots and try again! This is how you will get better.
Hope these tips help!
Keep on clicking!
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