On March 25 2013, I made my Flickr account to upload and preserve my pictures. Back then, they were taken with my daily beater cellphone, my Galaxy S2X. Nowadays, I use my Flickr as my portfolio to showcase my best (and sometimes experimental) works.
Here is the first picture uploaded, almost 500 pictures ago:
Jeez, what is even going on in this picture? I’m nowhere close to aligned; the white balance is completely off (it’s pink!?); the composition is uninspired and it’s low resolution on top of grainy. Looking back, I’d give myself an F. I didn’t even name it, its name is its timestamp.
But a lot of that isn’t because of the camera. In fact, nearly all of it is because of me. I started learning basic composition, and here’s what that exact same camera can do:
Amazing isn’t it? We’re all so keen to blame the equipment instead of ourselves. When you understand the limitations of your equipment, you can push it hard enough to make it look like it was done with much more expensive gear. But most importantly, you know how to make your subject look its best. A 1D or a D4s, both almost $8000 cameras, won’t teach you how to make a picture worth looking at.
As I learned technique, it made me scrutinize my pictures more, so I started uploading less and less; only my very best. This improved the signal-to-noise ratio of my portfolio, but up until about the beginning of February, even after I got the SLR, all the pictures posted were as they were shot by the camera. Cameras, being the imperfect little eyeballs they are, need the photographer’s help to get it to what the photographer saw or wanted to see. This really triggered a change for the better. I learned how to do post-processing ranging from simple colour edits to distortion and, rarely, airbrushing. With those tools, I could now really evoke feelings with my photos, and to facilitate, I jumped from shooting JPG to shooting RAW to make those edits happen without murdering the quality of my photos. Every photo I post now has been worked on in some way, though 99% of the time it’s some basic level edits, noise reduction, CA reduction, lens correction, and so on.
So this weekend, which again was Doors Open, I made sure to get out shooting. Here’s a picture I posted today, for comparison:
I will upload the remainder over the course of the week. I wanted to take the SLR to the Portlands Energy Centre and RC Harris to redo some photos, but alas, I’m dogsitting, so he comes first. As far as tours go, Carpet Factory was the only actual tour out of the six places I went to. They really knocked it out of the park with interaction and their staff! Seriously, they gave us a freight elevator ride, a trip through the server room, and some posters. A+ guys!
In one year I managed 20000+ cumulative views and 12 publishings. What will year 2 offer?