Photo Evolution: How Has Your Style Changed?

One good thing about digital photography is that there are so many genius ways to take great photos, as well as a ton of platforms and ways to save and retrieve your photos easily. With the rise of camera technology, day by day and year by year, experts seem to discover more and more amazing ways to capture photos and create memories.

I never owned a film camera but my family has one until I was in high school. The photos weren't black and white anymore, of course, but that camera did take memorable enough photos for us to fill a ton of photo albums. 

This whole camera technology evolution now makes me think of looking back to the earliest photos I've taken and published and how they evolved through time. It's quite interesting to see how my photos evolved along with the camera I've used. 

Here's a trip down memory lane, be my guest, shall you? 

I've mentioned here before that back in college, I took a Photography course for one semester but ironically didn't have a camera at all. It was expensive back then and I didn't want to burden my mother from buying me one just because. So I borrowed my friend's digital camera, saved all photos in Multiply, and lost most of them when it closed. 

Then came my first wave of taking photos when I could finally afford things for myself using my own money. 

Samsung Galaxy Y Camera Phone

Galaxy Y was the first "legit" camera phone I owned that took kind-of decent photos with its 5 megapixel camera. I didn't buy the phone for its camera though. I really just wanted a decent phone with a camera that can take okay photos. Never cared too much. 

That was also when I first relied on Instagram for photo sharing and the time when I thought dark filters were the lifeline of Instagram. Thus, the photos below. I still cringe now when I see these photos but they're very memorable to me! 

You can say that I banked a lot on Instagram's darker filters right? I know there's a reason for that. Galaxy Y took terrible photos in low light so to mask the darkness, I used dark filters. Isn't it ironic? Maybe not! I thought that if my photos were dark, then I wanted them to be Instagram-dark. At least it's Instagram plus the filters exist for a reason. 

Samsung 14-mp Digital Camera with Optical Zoom

I still had my Galaxy Y at that point when I decided I needed a digital camera to share more decent photos of my then baby son (he's 5 years old now). He was too cute and adorable in person and my Galaxy Y just didn't give him justice. I hated it. 

I didn't bother studying my digital camera because I just wanted to snap photos of my baby and thought that the photos would magically glow and be amazing because it's "digicam". Isn't that what digicams do? Oh, I was wrong? Ok I was.

At that point, I realized that having a 14-mp digicam wasn't enough to take nice photos. I actually needed to level up my knowledge too because taking photos is not just literally and figuratively just point and shoot. That was also the time when I didn't take advantage of the power my camera could do. I just shoot on auto mode and that's it. 

Also, I couldn't immediately share photos through my digicam. I wanted an easier way to gram so I stuck with taking baby photos using my phone and used my digicam for "travel" shots. 

I had unedited photos like this. 

Or unfocused photos like this. 

I also had quite nice, unedited ones like this. 

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

After a year or so, my digital camera magically disappeared so I figured I needed to get another decent camera that wasn't a digital camera. I wanted a decent phone camera that I could afford. Along came Galaxy Grand 2 with only 8 megapixel camera but undeniably takes really nice photos in daylight and quite great photos in low light as long as the timing is right. 

I loved this phone and I still have it until now. Most of my photos on this blog were taken using this camera phone. This is also when I started reading a lot about mobile photography and also when I started deleting photos on my Instagram account to replace them with more decent ones. In short, I became more conscious of my photos because I wanted to do better.

At that point, I'd say I wanted to show people that mobile phones can take good photos too and that despite the lack of technical control, one can still come up with shareable photos by capitalizing on other aspects of photography like composition and proper lighting. 

I geared mostly towards taking more colorful and clearer photos; also less editing if possible. If I have extra budget in the future, I plan to try other more powerful mobile phone cameras too and see what the differences are from my current phone camera.

When I had the Grand phone, I also started doing street photography to take photos of human interests and the fascinating life in the streets. 

Nikon 5100 

I use my phone a lot when taking photos but one day, my friend came selling her untouched DSLR to me for half the original price. Since I didn't have to pay for it in full, I decided to buy it. I wanted to practice more and really start being in the zone. I also wanted to learn more and be more intentional. More than just taking photos, I want to create them. 

I don't have any desktop editing tools like Photoshop or Lightroom and my aim for taking photos using DSLR is also less editing and no filter, at least for landscape photos. I want my adventure photos to be brighter and sharper too!

I've learned to read my camera manual and read more photography blogs. I've watched videos and everything I could think of. Then I started shooting in manual mode and eventually got comfortable with it. I love the flexibility and being able to manipulate and control so many things like exposure, ISO, shutter speed, and focus. I'm still getting the hang of it. 

For street photos, I tend to add some presets like black and white to make the photos more dramatic and interesting. 

My photography style has evolved quite a lot in the course of time and I'd like to say I have also improved (I hope). I haven't really determined yet "the one" style I have. But that's okay. There's a time for that sooner or later. 

I guess that's how things are - they change and evolve through time. Just like photography and camera technology.. and my photos and who knows, maybe your photos too. And like I always say, I am forever learning and discovering new things about photography as much as I can so I expect another wave of evolution in the coming years.

On to you now! How has your photography style evolved over the years? What do you think improved and changed? Feel free to comment below. ;) 

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