Progression: A Lot Changes In Two Years

Ask pretty much any professional photographer (something I am not) and they will tell you that photography is a journey.  Novice or expert – there is always something new to learn, ways to improve or new things to try.  I picked up my first DSLR when Addison was about 18 months old, so sometime around May of 2008.  I shot in auto and was amazed at how awesome my pictures looked.  Then sometime later I started really trying to learn the technical part of photography.  That’s when I realized just how much my pictures sucked.
Take this for example:
This is a picture of my daughter from March of 2010 in my wedding dress.  I blogged about it back then.  It popped up in the little widget below a blog post when I was looking for something else earlier today.  I knew the colors were bad (lighting in the room we were in was awful) but I was happy about what I had.  I relied heavily on actions at that point in time and I think I was using something other than Photoshop to edit.  I pulled up the raw images today and decided to mess around with them a bit and see how my editing has changed.
See how much better #2 is?  First, my dress actually looks while, not what ever orangish shade of pink it had going on before and I was obviously heavy handed with the skin smoothing in the first image.  She was 3.  I’m not sure why I thought her skin needed to be smoothed.
So, obviously my editing skills have improved, but I’ve also started working hard to be more satisfied with my images SOOC (straight out of camera).  The first step – get off auto.  A good book and some practice, that was easier than I thought.  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times that I can’t seem to get it right, but it’s a lot like life… trial and error.
I take a lot of pictures of food these days, and while my photography skills still leave a lot to be desired, I’m ok with where I am on my journey.
If you’re not happy with your images, don’t be discouraged – just keep at it.  You’ll progress with time and knowledge.
Do you have any images you’ve gone back and made adjustment to?  How did you feel about your second attempt?
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