Every once in awhile, when I find a little extra time, I like to search through the photos I took before I started my business. I like to see how my style has evolved and, truthfully, how terrible I was at taking pictures in the beginning! After all, I’ve said before that my life is all about the learning curve. Fortunately, for many photographers starting out these days, the learning curve is much less curvy than it was for old school photographers because the equipment has improved 1000 fold. Nowadays, anybody can go out and buy a digital SLR and receive instant feedback about their photos -exposure, white balance, focal length, etc. – and this means it is much easier to learn from our mistakes than it was for photographers even ten years ago.
I believe that I improve and grow every time I take my camera out of the bag and start shooting. Of course, this is not only due to modern technology, but also to the helpful and generous nature of many other photographers I know.
I recently ordered a DVD for Greg called Beyond the Green Box because I was having a hard time explaining aperture, shutter speed, ISO and many other aspects of photography that seem to be second nature to me now. The DVD was created by Me Ra Koh and her husband Brian and, surprisingly, I actually took away as much info from it as Greg did. It taught me how to teach others about the basics of photography and I am so glad I ordered it. Greg now understands all the fundamentals and I now understand how to share them with others. I finally feel that I am truly capable of giving back to the community that has given so much to me! Thanks Me Ra and Brian.
This leads me to my point – in the video, Me Ra mentions that she kept her camera settings in P mode for the longest time because she didn’t understand how to use any other modes. I, too, was guilty of the same thing for about six months until I started asking photographers for advice. I took a couple of lighting classes with a local photographer, Kent Wong, and they opened up an entire new world of photography for me. I also spent a day with a really nice photographer, Matt Crossman, who taught me all about my Nikon and what all the settings meant. Without their help, I may have been stuck permanently in P mode…UGH, how limiting that would have been.
Now that I now exactly how to get the photos I want, I find it humorous to look through old photos. At the time, I thought they were fantastic and that I was well on my way to becoming a great photographer, now I realize they were shots achieved by pure luck, not skill. I’m so grateful that I am a constant learner and not the type of person to be happy with lucky shots. Since the beginning, I have worked really hard to improve and find my own style and I’m happy to say I’m evolving nicely. However, I’m also not shy and I have no problem sharing my old, lucky shots with the world. Here are some of the shots I took when I was first learning how to use my camera. I can honestly say that if you think they look good, they were captured entirely by fluke and chance because I had no idea what I was doing. Like I said, my life’s all about the learning curve!