Up until the wee hours of the morning I’ve been searching through my archive of photos to find a set of images that match a certain style. In the process I revisited sets of photos from most every year since 1998. The common thought I had as I looked through each years photos was, “If I Only I Knew Then What I Know Now”.
The fantastic, yet extremely frustrating thing about photography is that it is a constant learning process.
Sure you might expect that I’d have this reaction after seeing photos taken nearly a decade ago. Perhaps you might even think, “Well of course you’d have that reaction the technology has changed since then.” The surprising and embarrassing thing that I have to admit, even if most might not believe it, is that I felt strongest about this with photos that were taken only a couple of years ago when the technology gap wasn’t as great. Why?
I’m sure there are a lot of ways to analyze this, but really the analysis doesn’t matter and would make for a boring rant. What matters is that other photographers know photographers of every level have this thought.
Earlier this week a friend mentioned how his girlfriend was getting frustrated with photography after seeing some of my work. Whether serious or not there was mention of my friends girlfriend giving up. That really alarmed me.
The art of improving is by harnessing ones frustration, dissatisfaction and/or curiosity. Pushing oneself to not just practice, but research and experiment is the key to mastering photography… technically in camera or with post-processing. With that in mind the one piece of advice I will give is technical mastery will go a lot farther giving your earlier work a longer lifespan. One can always rework post-processing years down the road.
To my original point… behind the thought “If Only I Knew What I Know Now”, is the fire that fuels my pursuit of improvement and got me to my current level of photographic understanding. Whether forward looking in setting a goal or having a moment of reflection, harness that common energy to push yourself to the next level because it’s an endless journey.
[tags]Photoshop, photography, digital, film, improvement, skill[/tags]