What a Difference a Year Makes!

Happy New Year everyone!  2012 is in the books and today we greet 2013!  After a year of triumphs, heartache, achievement, and tragedy, we're all looking ahead at the year to come.  But first, I wanted to take a look back.  Just before we turned towards the new year, I took a look back at my images from 2011 to see how much I had grown as a photographer.  I looked at new photos from Wednesday Racing compared to old, my fine art and my film, and then I came across the WSA junior sailing photos from 2011.  The kids are bigger now but I still recognized many familiar faces.  But what stood out so distinctly was the editing style!  

Throughout the year I've become more and more savvy with Lightroom, fine tuning my own presets and further developing my editing style.  After admiring images from fellow marine photographers, I've never restricted myself to my genre and always look for inspiration from incredible photographers in other fields like Nick Brandt, Joni Sternbach, Darrell Wong, Chelsea Erwin and more.  I've worked with local portrait and wedding photographers on shoots and editing projects, probably observing and absorbing some of their styles along the way.  I've seen what I admire in others and what I dislike in others.  I've taken what I've learned and incorporated it in what I already do, developing my taste and unique mark in the photography world.  I'm always learning and refining my creative eye, my creative vision, not to mention my editing techniques.

Anyway, a quick and easy way to see how I've changed as a visionary came to me one afternoon when all my other projects were done and I was reminiscing through images from 2011.  All I had to do was apply my basic Lightroom preset and see if there was much of a difference from how I edited these images then and how I might edit them now.  Wow!  What a difference!  You'll see some of my favorite shots from the 2011 junior sailors below, and these three images perfectly illustrate just how much I've changed in one short year!  Technically speaking, my editing style has become brighter, bluer, with more fill and just a touch more contrast.  It was quite a shock to see these drastic differences, but I'm very happy with the new edits!  This short exercise also reminded me I can always edit images further, it's just a matter of knowing when to stop! 

Before:      After:

After a terrific year, I want to thank all of the junior sailors, WYC Wednesday Night'ers, people who have supported me during this year of building and exploration, provided me with opportunities and have simply been a terrific support network of friends, family and peers.  Even those of you who I've never met, making your own photography on other coasts or countries, I thank you greatly for your mentorship and hope to learn more from you and from myself in the year(s) to come!  2013, here we go!

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