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PMatthes
2nd of June 2008 (Mon), 16:18
I know this is kind of a rhetorical question, but isn't it crazy when you look back at your first/early photos of what you think was a wonderful picture and
realize now what you were missing or could've done differently?

It's hard to believe that in such a short period of time, your skill level can evolve and your output changes from mere snapshots to actual beautiful works.

POTN has been a great wealth of knowledge for me. I feel that by reading, learning, and seeing what others have done, I stand a chance at being a helluva photographer some day, like others on here...

A parting thought: When your skill level evolves and you're what society considers to be an incredible photographer, do you look back at your less recent stuff and continue to believe that it's excellent? Or is this a constant growing curve, with yourself being the toughest critic?

DStanic
3rd of June 2008 (Tue), 06:50
I know what you mean!

I got "serious" in photography when I got my Sony H5 superzoom back in 2007. This past Christmas I got my XTi and have learned SO MUCH more then I ever could with a P&S. I did take some cool shots with my old camera but my DSLR shots continue to evolve. While it's true that practise with correct exposure/composition is important to learn with your first (kit?) lenses, I am so glad I got rid of the cheaper stuff and got my Sigma f/2.8 lenses because I'm taking much better pics now.

The great thing about DSLRs is that learning post processing is part of it. That's why i shoot important things in RAW and archive the raw images for future use if I want to edit them again.

hommedars
3rd of June 2008 (Tue), 07:21
In my experience, the bar will continue to rise. It's an evolutionary process, and each year as you improve your technique and your vision, fewer of your older images will meet your standards. The great shots will remain--cream always rises--but there will be a lower percentage of old work that makes the cut. YMMV

SoloDallas
3rd of June 2008 (Tue), 08:53
A parting thought: When your skill level evolves and you're what society considers to be an incredible photographer, do you look back at your less recent stuff and continue to believe that it's excellent? Or is this a constant growing curve, with yourself being the toughest critic?

Interesting question.
To make it short: most of the time, when I look at how I used to take pictures, I like more how I am today.
With exception though, of a few lucky shots (Probably instinctively done back then) that I still love to this day.

a_kraker99
3rd of June 2008 (Tue), 09:45
I constantly replace my favorite pictures in my portfolio with new ones. I look at my old photos and wonder what I was thinking and why I thought they looked good. So far that process has not slowed down one bit as I continue to learn more and more. It also has alot to do with the fact that the person that took the photos will be the worst critic. You will find more and more flaws every time you look at a picture.

PMatthes
3rd of June 2008 (Tue), 11:04
Thanks for the comments! I know it was kind of a heavy question I raised, but needed to "vent" to someone...

In response, first, I totally agree - I think that PP can make or break. And as I look back, I'd really like to take another whack at some photos that make me wonder why I thought I was decent at PP. From the get-go, I've shot RAW+JPG... raw to process and archive, and JPG to share w/ family/friends quickly via PS automation.

Next thought, it both sucks and rules (great use of expanded vocabulary here, huh?) that everyone indicates that they feel the same way I do. It sucks that looking back, you definitely would've done things differently and could've produced better shots knowing what you know now...

...and it rules (at least to me) because it shows growth. Once you get to the point of complacence, you're no longer challenging yourself and growing. I hope to always improve my skill set over the years...

(along these lines, the guys and gals that output the most amazing images you've ever seen may deem them inferior to their ever-growing standards. Kinda crazy.)

yogestee
3rd of June 2008 (Tue), 11:35
Going the other way I have stuff I shot in the '80s and early '90s that still wets my whistle..Most of these images were shot on 5 x 4 or meduim format..

DStanic
3rd of June 2008 (Tue), 19:44
Next thought, it both sucks and rules (great use of expanded vocabulary here, huh?) that everyone indicates that they feel the same way I do. It sucks that looking back, you definitely would've done things differently and could've produced better shots knowing what you know now...



Well that's the great thing about RAW files. I'm making sure that I keep them, because I look back at my previous PP work and want to do it over again. You might have a picture of someone that you nailed a perfect focus with great composition and exposure, but going about PP'ing a second time you may improve the image. My old JPGs on the other hand.. can't save them especially if you've already PP'd them and don't have original copies.


Also if you've got a shot that looks "meh", maybe the color isn't right or weird lighting- TRY converting it to black and white! You very well might have an excellent picture that you don't know about. :)

jrader
4th of June 2008 (Wed), 18:42
One thing about starting out so humbly with my 2MP P&S was that for the time I used it, I learned more about composition, angles, and framing. It wasn't until I accidentally put it in a different mode did I realize how much I was missing out on. And then after 4 years, my P&S died and I felt the urge to discover DSLRs. Great transition, but I still do the same kind of thinking when I had my P&S. Now, I just have more range and tools to work with.

I still look back at my old pictures (all 20,000 of them) very fondly. I took some of my best shots back in the day because I could take that camera anywhere, and I did. Now, with a sturdy tripod, 2 lenses, filters, accessories, and of course the camera, I feel somewhat held back. However, my shots are 200% better now. It's a good tradeoff.

:)

John

DStanic
4th of June 2008 (Wed), 19:27
I have also taken great pics with my old S200 2mp P&S. Used it for the day I gave my wife her engagement ring on our trip to Niagara falls, some very pretty pictures.