Your beginnings until now...

Your beginnings until now...

Postby boff180 on Thu 25 Jan 2018, 8:13 pm

Going on from a post by Tommy the other day.

The point of this thread isn't to show off but to show new posters or people new to photography that we all started somewhere and for most of us, we are still learning.

Each poster is to post 2 photos....

The first from the early days of their digital photography. The second their most recent work. Both of a similar subject.

Showing how much they've progressed over the years, that listening to others plus practice pays dividends.

2005 - my first ever go with a DSLR - and my first ever Typhoon

Twelve years on....

2017 - Tiger Meet 2017
ImageTiger Meet 2017 by Andrew Evans, on Flickr[/img]
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Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby Tommy on Thu 25 Jan 2018, 8:35 pm

Well, your choice of subject has improved, at least. :icecream:
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Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby cg_341 on Thu 25 Jan 2018, 8:56 pm

Struggling to find an old shot "from the beginning" that doesn't simple show that I've bought a better camera :grin:

Will keep digging!

Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby Tommy on Thu 25 Jan 2018, 9:13 pm

I *suppose* I'd better get in on this.

This is actually really difficult to chose two to narrow it down, as there are such diverse ranges of photography. I've gone with similar subjects/displays in this instance.

Both at 1024 because the original isn't uploaded at 1200px and that's not Flickr's default option, so they'll both be the "small" category to keep them consistent and the same size:

1. RAF Cosford Airshow 2013
ImageCentaurus Music by Tom Jones, on Flickr

2. Shuttleworth's "FlyNavy" Airshow 2017
ImagePro by Tom Jones, on Flickr

Story for both, in a manner -

I came to aviation photography comparatively "late". I loved aircraft as a kid, and remember going to the Cosford shows of the 1990s and watching Shawbury Gazelles with my mum. After a hiatus of many years, I found my love of aviation again when I was 17, and I found this place, and lurked for years. I went to Cosford '09 as it was the first time in years my exams finished before the airshow took place. From then I was hooked. RIAT '10 beckoned (my first RIAT), and the rest is history.

My photography began in earnest in 2013. I was given a DSLR (a Nikon D5100 which still serves me faithfully to this day) and a kit lens for my birthday in December 2012. When I finished my degree, my parents bought me a "graduation present" Tamrom 70 - 300mm lens. I think it's the cheapest on the market, when last I looked six months ago, I think I saw one for £50. No image stabilisation, autofocus slower than an ent reciting the alphabet, and grainier than most UK beaches. But it was great!

Cosford was my first airshow with this new-fangled zoom-lens, and I had no idea. Metadata shows f/20(!) at 1/100th. I think that was the last Cosford show that had glorious weather. I would have been even more stuck, had good mate Rob Cotter not been with me that day to explain some of the more basic points! :grin:

The second is with my "current" setup - D7200 (which I had only traded in my D5100 in January last year! Everything of mine you've seen from 2016 backwards is my old body) and Sigma 150-600mm lens at Old Warden.

Things I've learned since then? Oh, thousands. Most important thing of all? Get out there and do it. Make mistakes, and keep 'togging. Desire to improve, and don't be afraid of criticism - if you don't "force" people to like your photos, you'll find that when people give praise naturally, it's infinitely more rewarding. Listen to those with more experience (or at least with what you begrudgingly think are better photos than yours! :grin: ), especially if they're good enough to take time to give you critique, and find people whom you want to emulate. I used to like Hesja stuff, but knew I never wanted to go that "extreme" with my photography. But I looked at the likes of LloydH, Bartek, Chris C, Preoch, Chris Milne, Dean West, Andy (ibid), DanB, DanO, (pretty much most/all of the current and ex-staffers of this place come to think of it!), Barrie May, Harry Measures, Rich Pittman, TonyO (when he was still here), Rick Ingham, John C, Stu Freer, and many, many other well-known names and faces on forums, social media, and on the fence.

I'm a big fan of the mantra that everyone is born crap at almost everything. Yeah some have more of an "eye" than others, but on the whole, no-one picks up a camera and is instantly John Dibbs. Same with anything. You've got to get out there, in all weathers, at all times(ish), and shoot away. To enable yourself to do that, you really have to love what you do. Which is why I'll dabble with other stuff; landscapes, portrait, (other orientations available), astro-photography, or whatever, but in truth, I don't love that stuff like I love aviation, and I'll never be that great at it, nor do I really care to be.

To me at least, there are two things in this life, amongst others, that can be very boring - 1) forcing people to agree with/like you, and 2) standing still. Anyone wanting to better themselves with their own photography regardless of their standard should ensure that they do neither.

So that, in an essay, is where I started, and where I am now. Hopefully next year I'll be able to look back on this year and go "hmmm... why on earth was I doing that?"

Apologies for the long-winded post which I doubt anyone will get through :lol: . If I would have had more time, I would have written less.
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Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby jalfrezi on Thu 25 Jan 2018, 9:52 pm

I'll give it a go as well.....

From the Little Gransden Airshow 2007.
ImageNorth American AT-28D Trojan - 4 by Nick Jennings, on Flickr

From the Shuttleworth Evening Show 2017
ImageHawker Hurricane IIa - 26 by Nick Jennings, on Flickr

The first shot was from my old Panasonic bridge camera, this is probably the best shot it could manage, it certainly didn't help having an electronic viewfinder where every time you took a shot the viewfinder went black! While the colours aren't too bad, it's lacking a bit in contrast, but the biggest problem is where the subject is! I still take these type of shots sometimes now, but these days I'd crop and fill the missing sky to get a better balanced image.

The second shot is with a Canon 7DII and a 100-400 II lens. This is about as good as I can get with a zoom lens, I'd need a good prime lens to improve on the image quality.

If I'm going to offer any advice, then I'd say the most important thing is to learn about post processing, it makes all the difference. I've recently gone back to processing some airshows from 2013 that I never got round to processing at the time, and I've found there's not a huge amount of difference with the basic RAW images between what I took then and what I take now, the difference has all been in the post processing.
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Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby jingernut on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 12:03 am

RIAT 2006 - Nikon D50 - This was the largest size I would upload then as the quality was normally pretty bad and I didn't have a great lens.
Mig29 OVT by Matthew Hearne, on Flickr

RIAT 2017 - Nikon D7100 - I feel I have progressed somewhat. Don't get too many shows but the clarity/sharpness of my images is definitely much better now!
DSC_4373 by Matthew Hearne, on Flickr
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Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby The Doctor on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 12:47 pm

Fantastic idea for a thread.

This was one of my first DSLR attempts at aviation photography. This was taken at Eastbourne in 2010.

ImageDSC_0856 by James Long, on Flickr

Following a few unproductive years, I have recently put a bit more time and effort into getting a bit better at photographing those things that fly. This was a recent attempt from Biggin Hill last year.

ImageBelgian F-16 by James Long, on Flickr

I have tried to pick two shots as close to each other as possible.
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Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby Airwolfhound on Fri 26 Jan 2018, 1:12 pm

My first real go with DSLR was back in 2004. So I have picked two shots, one from 2004 and a more recent one, again with similar angles. Main changes are better equipment, and more of an idea on how to use it lol and different editing techniques :-

ImageTornado - RIAT 2004 by Tim Felce, on Flickr

ImageMig 29 - RIAT 2015 - Explored :-) by Tim Felce, on Flickr

Agile, mobile and hostile ;-)

Re: Your beginnings until now...

Postby DriesE on Sat 27 Jan 2018, 11:52 am

Sanicole Airshow (BE), starting in 2004 with a simple compact camera and three times the same subject :smile: .


2007: first time with a DSLR (Nikon D80 + Tamron 70-300mm)


2017: with my current equipment (Nikon D750 + Nikon 200-500mm)

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