More often than not, it can be difficult to recognize and acknowledge one’s personal improvement as a photographer. You may feel like you’re stagnating, but you should take a closer look at your work and you’ll see that you’re wrong. In this fantastic video, Mark Denney discusses five reasons that will prove to you that you have progressed over the years. If you recognize yourself in at least one of these, then you’re moving in the right direction!
When you compare your work, you don’t just need to look for the improvement between the first image you ever published and the one you took today. You can compare the images taken over different time periods. Mark compares some of his older photos with the ones he took this year or last year. And the progress is obvious. His old photos aren’t bad, but in the later ones, there’s a better balance and he’s way better at using leading lines and other composition techniques.
Are you regularly using your histogram? Mark admits he would always remove it from his screen during the first year of doing photography. He’d omit the information he got from the histogram and end up with underexposed shots. I remember doing the same thing at first. If you did it too and now you understand histogram and use it to check whether your photos are properly exposed: congrats, you are progressing.
Most of us started out with a camera and a kit lens. But if you’ve been into photography for a while, you most likely have a few more lenses in your arsenal. To make it clear, these don’t have to be the most expensive lenses, and it doesn’t mean you have to have a bunch of them. But, do you have a few options now? If you have the ability to pick the particular lens so it matches the vision you have in your head: this means that you’ve progressed.
What about the light? Are you shooting your photos in the better light now? And do you understand why you’re doing it? While sunrise and sunset are considered to be the best times to shoot, but do you now know how to make the best of them to add texture and depth to your shots? If you do, it means that you’re making a progress.
There’s something else I’d like to add here. If you have learned to turn all lighting conditions into your favor, even the midday sun, I believe it also means you have made a progress.
The certain way to tell that someone is a new photographer is the post-processing job. They tend to over-sharpen the images, go wild with saturation or HDR, or give the same treatment to all images, no matter what they shoot. Have you moved away from those mistakes? If your post-processing is more sophisticated and the editing job fits the lighting and the scene: yup, you have made a progress!
Personally, I often feel as if I’m not making any progress and that I’m even becoming worse. And when you feel that way, just look at your recent work through these five signs. After watching Mark’s video, I did it and realized that I have improved over the years after all. There’s still a lot to learn, but it’s always great to know that I’m not stagnating.
And how about you? How many of these five improvements do you recognize when you compare your recent work with the older one?
[5 Signs You’re PROGRESSING in PHOTOGRAPHY| Mark Denney]
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