Then and Now: June 2008

Ten years ago was June 2008.  The weather was warm, and we swung by the Portland Rose Festival to see the navy ships come into town for Fleet Week.

A navy ship moored in the Willamette River, with the Oregon Convention Center across the river | LotsaSmiles Photography

We were also planning for our wedding, at the time a year out.  We had the fortune of visiting our venue the very week we would be wed, so we had a very good idea of what the weather would be like and the conditions we’d face in the Gorge on our wedding day.

But boy, was I an awful photographer.

Priding myself on knowing photography well, we were very stringent with the selection of our wedding photographers.  But I look back now and realize I knew nothing (John Snow).

This was the best from that June:

An altar on a grassy lake bank, with evening shadows stretching toward the viewer (unedited) | LotsaSmiles Photography

Critique

The evening light is pleasant in this photograph, but there’s otherwise very little that is interesting.

Things done right:

  • I like the composition with the altar in the corner, the shadows, and the flowers.
  • It’s well-exposed, and the colors are pleasing.

Things done wrong:

  • The lighting is a bit harsh, so there’s some nasty aberration going on.
  • I should have repositioned myself to make that light post less of a prominent feature.
  • I could have had Aaron sit in the empty space on the right to improve the composition.
  • Even with a faster shutter speed, there is some blur to the photo; the image just isn’t sharp.  The quality would have been better with a tripod.  But at the time, I was more in snapshot mode.  I think the bigger issue was the fact that I was shooting with the kit lens at f/3.5.  The lens wasn’t the greatest quality, itself, especially maxed out on aperture.  And that aperture is far too wide for a scenic shot such as this (f/8 or f/11 would have been much better).
  • As with all my other photos of this time, I shot in jpeg.

Take 2

An altar on a grassy lake bank, with evening shadows stretching toward the viewer (unedited) | LotsaSmiles Photography

I didn’t edit this the first time around, but there wasn’t a lot to do, as I feel most of my mistakes were in taking the picture.  Therefore, there’s not much to do to recover it in post; the edits are quite light.

  • I performed my usual slight boosting of shadows and added a touch of vibrance.
  • I removed the chromatic aberration that comes with such high contrast.

The more I look back at my old photography, the more I realize I was really bad.  But I suppose that’s good, right?  Because that just means I’ve since improved.  Will I cringe at my favorite photos of today in ten years’ time?

Only time will tell.

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