Ten years ago was February 2008. I hadn’t joined our photography Meetup group yet, but I considered myself a decent photographer at the time.
I was still editing predominantly in Photoshop, creating extra files with every edit. And I insisted on naming every picture.. and every variant of every picture. Seriously, now it’s an organizational nightmare. Why, past me?
This was the best I had to offer from then:
I was quite proud of this photo, because I managed to capture the gull in decent detail. However, with my additional ten years of wisdom, I can assess it a bit more objectively.
Things done right:
- I shot with a low ISO; there was plenty of available light.
- I used a very high shutter speed to capture the action.
- I used a long lens (75-300mm) so minimal cropping was necessary.
Things done wrong:
- I shot in jpeg; the quality would have been much better in RAW.
- I did not use a polarizer; the colors would have been richer and the water more defined otherwise.
- The gull was backlit. This might have been a difficult thing to avoid, but I also failed to compensate in post.
- With the harsh, contrasting light, there is some very minor chromatic aberration I didn’t fix.
Here’s the original photo, SotC:
And this is how I would edit it today:
I brought up the saturation a bit and darkened the blue of the ocean. But the biggest difference is in brightening the shadows on the bird so he’s much more visible. Finally, I cropped it a little differently and added a slight vignette.
As a bonus, here’s another from that day: