The last few days I’ve been going through my photos I have taken in the last 10 years trying put together a decent portfolio for my website. There are many photos I’ve taken years ago that I thought were awful but were actually quite good. I’m glad I keep most of my stuff, even if its bad.
When looking back at my older work, I can see all the experimentation I did with editing and processing. I have no idea what I was thinking then. I know HDR was a big thing around that time and it making everything look like a nuclear wasteland. Why did that even appeal to me? I don’t have an answer for that but I am happy that I was somewhat smart enough to keep the raw files so I can reset with a clean state. It was really great re-editing some of my older work with my current process.
I used presets in Lightroom for many years so I never really developed a processing style/workflow but I’d like the think that as of right now in 2019, I believe I am finally on the right track with my processing. Though I still like the experiment but it’s far more subtle than it once was. Even some photos I took as recently as 2017 I had no idea what I was thinking.
Anyways, enough about my processing progression.
I’ve been thinking lately that I haven’t progressed with my photography very much but I have quite a bit and it’s very evident when looking through my past work. I can clearly see the progression and that was a real confidence booster known that I am progressing.
The way I see things and compose them are so different than what I did 10 years ago, heck even just a few years ago. I don’t just point and shoot anymore, I spend more time examining the scene and actually putting thought into the composition.
Going through your old work can be a great thing, it can help you remember why you started to take photos. You can learn from your mistakes by making note of how you’d take that photo again. It can really help you break free of that creative block we all get time and time again. Maybe, you’ll find some hidden gems.
I recently watched a video from Jessica Kobeissi, a very popular photographer/YouTuber, about how she hates most photos she takes and explained how you should too. It made me realize that sometimes photos just don’t come out the way we want. Even the great photographers like Ansel Adams, Elliott Erwitt, Mary Ellen Mark, Robert Frank, Irving Penn just to name a few also took photos they didn’t like but they kept trying anyways. The only thing you can do is move forward and keep shooting anyways.
It was just great looking back at my old photos and remembering why I started to take photos. It kind of relieved a bit of my creative block knowing that it’s OK to have times when photos just don’t come out the way you want. It happens and you can’t, I mean me, can’t let it get you down where you feel like giving up. Photography should be fun and process is what makes it fun.
That’s all I have for you today.