Which stage are you at?

posted June 8th, 2012
This was an interesting read ..... I have passed through Stage 1 & 2, think I am a 3 bordering/wishing I was on a 4 ... :-))

It's all about how to give yourself an honest portfolio review .... it's important to remember that the point of the article is to show photographers how far they have come and also some tips on where to improve!

http://improvephotography.com/4695/give-yourself-an-honest-portfolio-review/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ImprovePhotography+%28Improve+Photography%29
posted June 8th, 2012
Good article. I will go a 3
posted June 8th, 2012
I will own up to stage 3 and the wacko photoshop effects with plenty of flowers and sometimes still have to explain why I included a bad shot!
posted June 8th, 2012
I think I'm stage 2. And I will stay there because I'm not eyeing a dSLR.
posted June 8th, 2012
Thank you for sharing! very interesting article!
I knew I needed to work!!! ;o))
Probably in stage 3 the very very good days (when I am lucky..; ;o)), but stage 2 in general I guess... Let's go!!
posted June 8th, 2012
Stage two for sure -

"Stage two photographers have gotten lucky a few times, and their pictures have been applauded by friends and family; however, they find themselves caught up in so many little tips and rules of photography that they manage to miss out on the biggest pieces. For example, they find a beautiful landscape and concern themselves so much with the camera settings that they fail to notice that they are shooting in TERRIBLE lighting, or that the composition is dull."

That's me for sure. I have a natural eye for composition - but I need to learn everything else!
posted June 8th, 2012
Would love to think I'd made it to stage 3. :)
posted June 8th, 2012
Stage 0 :-)
posted June 8th, 2012
@humphreyhippo : Don't be so modest... ;o))
posted June 8th, 2012
Lin
Thanks for this - really useful, and not that discouraging for me to realise that I'm Stage 2 - it's a great learning process!
posted June 8th, 2012
Probably somewhere between stage 2 and 3 I think (found myself in the "secretly tell themselves that their photos will finally be professional if they just had the right equipment" hahahaha)
posted June 8th, 2012
Thanks for posting this..
I am barely a Stage 2 and without a DSLR will most likely stay there for some time.
posted June 8th, 2012
I think I'm stage 3, coming into stage 4... Maybe also a bit of stage 5, but I've never been asked by others than friends and/or family...
posted June 8th, 2012
This was really interesting. reckon I'm probably a stage 3 (possibly bordering on 4... maybe...)
posted June 8th, 2012
This was cool. I would say I'm a 3 but still have one foot in 2 and occasionally step into 4.. Thanks for sharing that :)
posted June 8th, 2012
Interesting article - thx for sharing - I think I know where I stand, but also that i'm still learning and growing too!
posted June 8th, 2012
I think I'm a stage 3, with bits of 4, and smatterings of 2... Very interesting article.
posted June 8th, 2012
Don't know - 1 or 2 maybe.
posted June 8th, 2012
Definitely a stage 2!
posted June 8th, 2012
I think I am between a 3 and 4. I lol'd when I read the part in stage three about the coveting the Mark D, that is so me right now. Great read.
posted June 8th, 2012
This guy might have had a tiny stick in his butt when he wrote this. I like how he refers to HDR as a "gimmick".
posted June 8th, 2012
Great article and I think I am in the stage 3 zone, eventhough I don't take macros of flowers ha ha.
posted June 8th, 2012
3 aspiring to 4, sometimes lapsing into 2. Having coveted "the right equipment" for months I do now finally have it, so no excuse not to try harder! I want to be 4 by the end of my second year here.
posted June 8th, 2012
Depending on the day, I am a 4 or 5. Aspiring for a 6, maybe someday I will get there???
posted June 8th, 2012
Stage 3 and wanting to be at stage 4. "Macro flower shots" certainly describes me!
posted June 8th, 2012
Hmm... I guess (hope!) stage 3 with aspirations to stage 4... Although I think I still have elements of stage 2... Sigh...
posted June 8th, 2012
I'd say I'm somewhere in the Stage 3 zone, except for taking photos of flowers. I don't agree with the author that macro flower shots are "Easy". I think it's "LAZY photography"...not to mention extremely boring to look at. :-p
posted June 8th, 2012
Great read. I would have to say 3
posted June 8th, 2012
Thanks everyone for great & honest responses ...

@traeumerlein87 I totally agree about the right equipment part!

@2sweetladybugs I dream about owning the 5D mkIII, the Canon EF
24-70mm f/2.8L lens and various others!

@cromwell I don't think macro flower photography is easy or lazy, some images can be spectacular but it's hard to stand out in the crowd!
posted June 8th, 2012
That was a very interesting article. I'm thinking maybe I'm 3 but not sure. I just keep trying to improve. :)
posted June 8th, 2012
gosh. i'm probably lucky if i'm even in stage 2. i think i am guilty of almost every bad thing. heh.
posted June 8th, 2012
Fun article...a little depressing :p I suppose I'm mostly a 3, but a long way from 4. Lighting shall be my next thing to master...
posted June 8th, 2012
Between 3 and 4 for sure. I was asked to shoot a wedding by a person I had never met and did do the wedding (paid job) but many of the number 3 elements are still there too. I have a lot to learn still, but am working at it. I also do not have a DSLR.

I have long ago said macro flower shots are easy. :) I prefer dragonflies.

I once had a professional wedding photographer see one of my photos and ask if it was my job. I said no and he was like "It should be." :) Happy day that one.
posted June 8th, 2012
Super article. What is odd to me though is that the last stage had some traits in it that could be found in any of the others ... unless I read it wrong. It said that they no longer care what anyone thinks and shoot things for themselves...that could be in any of them??? I THINK I am a 3.
posted June 8th, 2012
Great article. Makes you take a hard look at your work. Thanks for sharing.
posted June 8th, 2012
Some people are being really modest... @allisonrap @myautofocuslife definitely would rate both of you more than a 2.. On the brink of a 4, I think. As for myself, I can't tell.
posted June 8th, 2012
In the past year, I've been asked to be a backup photographer for a wedding; this morning was my 6th charity event shoot; my extended family has me photographing their events and family portraits; tomorrow I'm scheduled to do some portrait work for two military families. I've been getting an amazing amount of experience and absolutely am coveting the Canon 5d Mark II or III!

If pushed to rate myself.. I say "busy". I'm busy having fun!
posted June 8th, 2012
I'll go with three... I hope =/
posted June 8th, 2012
Errm, sort of a three, maybe? Not too keen on flowers or particularly equipment minded though. It's an interesting, perceptive article.

Oh, and I strongly agree with Disha Parekh that some people are judging themselves way too harshly.
posted June 8th, 2012
I started this project as a Two, Hit the Three with full gusto (see my overprocessed photos) and then feel that I am at a Four, I barely process now, look to get it right at the time of shooting, and pushing myself farther and really have done some kick ass photos as of late to develop my portfolio.

@swguevin @gurry just got a Sexy Mark IIi and while his photos have been gorgeous, he has hit a new level lately.
posted June 8th, 2012
@brumbe Thanks, Brumbers! :3

@swguevin If you get a Mark III, you'll love it.
posted June 8th, 2012
I'd be happy to be considered a three. I have no intentions of going pro...just doing this to learn more and to amuse myself.
posted June 8th, 2012
I guess a 2 - 3, but will keep going in the hope I get better - still loads to learn and I am loving it.
posted June 8th, 2012
3 ( i hope) aspiring to 4 - I quite pleased as a novice a year ago
posted June 8th, 2012
@gurry btw, I think the photos from Thailand make you stage five. I still have yet to find my groove thing, but i am getting there very quickly and need to think about writing it all out and making it my statement.
posted June 8th, 2012
I haven't even read the manual on my point and shoot *first camera* nor have I read the manual on my DSLR skipped that for a better read from a guy that broke it down better...that being said...I don't know what I am I used to process heavy now I prefer to just try to shoot manual and get my shot right without clipping etc..I guess I don't want to rank myself I am just too busy having fun learning on the fly
posted June 8th, 2012
2. On a good day! But, hey plenty of scope for improvement.
posted June 9th, 2012
great article Zoe - I think I've just moved out of a 3 into 4 but still got shed loads to learn!
posted June 9th, 2012
I identified with parts of 3,4 and 5. so I have no idea :)

I just like doing this hobby and am trying not to label.
posted June 9th, 2012
I think maybe 2 or 3.
posted June 9th, 2012
I'm 2 or 3 I think... I really need to start working on my photography more!
posted June 9th, 2012
I'd say between 4 and 5... maybe?
posted June 9th, 2012
I think it'd be safe to say I'm a solid stage 3, but approaching a stage 4. Some of my shots are really good in my own opinion, but for the most part I think my shots tend to be just copies of other shots I've seen and liked. I haven't fully developed my creative eye and haven't really been able to inject my own creative style into my shots, something that makes them uniquely my own.
posted June 9th, 2012
Somewhere between 3 and 4 i think....but i don't do macros very much.
posted June 9th, 2012
I'm just a photographer, though I have to agree with.....

"Their best photos are macro shots of flowers. At some point they need to realize that photos of flowers are EASY."
posted June 9th, 2012
I'm thinking 3, perhaps moving towards 4? My photography is for the fun and the memories - It all means something to me, but I really, really want to improve. I found the article very interesting. It made me feel a little guilty at times though!
posted June 9th, 2012
I'm going to go with 2.5... Definitely gonna keep this to compare my future "project completed" self! Thanks for the link, tres cool :)
posted June 9th, 2012
Looking at all the flower shots from the recent days, a 3 with some dabbing in 4.
posted June 9th, 2012
Thanks for this interesting article, Zoe.

"Their best photos are macro shots of flowers. At some point they need to realize that photos of flowers are EASY. "

Ha ha that is so me that is why I'm trying to go out for a photowalk. I think I'm in stage 3 and a bit of 4.
posted June 9th, 2012
thank you for the interesting article - could have done without the timing mind, but really interesting
posted June 9th, 2012
@bradleynovak agreed. I'd go so far as to say the author was slightly pretentious. I think he's one of those photographers that believes "art" and "photography" cannot be simultaneous.

If I recall correctly, Ansel Adams, whom the author of this article stated he respects, stated that for every "perfect" capture, he has 100 bad shots of the same subject. Does that make Ansel Adams a stage 2? hell no
posted June 9th, 2012
@jsw0109 I tend to agree with you there. :)

I've read this article several times now, but I still feel like I'm missing the point. I originally thought I was a stage 3 - but mainly because I don't recognise myself in the other stages at all (no intentions or aspirations to go pro for example).
I guess I stumble at the definition of 'portfolio'. If I put together such a thing, I would expect to pick shots that went together and had a good flow, but I wouldn't want my whole 'body of work' to be all one genre or subject. Some may call that a style, I would think of it as being in a rut.
I think people with a lot photographic experience, as with any subject, tend to specialise, but I don't think a speciality = good photographer.

This article has certainly made me think, even if I don't necessarily agree with its tone or conclusions.
posted June 9th, 2012
@humphreyhippo exactly! :)
posted June 9th, 2012
@zferrie Interesting article- and especially helpful if you do aspire to go pro on how another pro might view your aspirations. He seemed a little tough on the different stages but I also respected his insight. I don't aspire to go pro, so choosing a stage would be difficult. I'm always striving for a balance. Sometimes I like to have fun with the processing, but I don't want to get stuck in rut with that. And I think that processing can make you lazy too. So if I was in any of his descriptions I think I'd be at the place where I take pictures because I enjoy it and not because I'm looking for compliments and approval. However, I don't care if you're Joe Schmoe or Ansel Adams- when people admire and appreciate your photograph, it makes you feel good!
posted June 9th, 2012
@zferrie love tihs topic ! Am a #3, wishing I was a #4 !!!
posted June 10th, 2012
i found that article a very good read and to know im a stage 1 is good :)
posted June 10th, 2012
Oooh, kick in the shin, that... ;-p If I'm going to evaluate myself, I'd say I'm spread across 2-3-4... ;-p
posted June 10th, 2012
oh boy, interesting article. Im just hoping Im a 3. Maybe in year 2 of 365 I'll make it to 4 or 5. LOL.
posted June 10th, 2012
I’d say I’m a 2 to 3 ... But that’s ok, I like shooting flowers and including pictures that have a more sentimental value rather than artistic :)
posted June 10th, 2012
I would honestly rate myself at a Stage 4. I drop into Stage 3 occasionally, so perhaps I am on the cusp. My Photoshop work is minimal; perhaps just a color balance / sharpen.

And I don't constantly eye better cameras, just more interesting lenses / filters for my existing one. I was told a long time ago that having a grand piano doesn't make you play better, and 'tis a poor craftsman that blames his tools. I've tried to live by that.

Many friends have asked to buy photos, but when I end up listing them, no one actually puts down the cash. I am just getting to the point where I would like to make money as a photographer, and I know I'm not studio-quality yet. Working on it. :-)
posted June 10th, 2012
I'd say the guy is a bit pretentious - flower shota are easy? Well, when you decide what it is about the flower you wish to highlight, maybe it's unique structure, it's vibrant colour or perhaps it's translucent petals, then when you are able to get the lighting and composition arranged so that it shows the subject off to it's best advantage AND get the dof just right so you are able to bring attention to the flowers most interesting feature THEN you can take a good shot of a flower...do all that consistently well and then flower shots are easy my friend!!
You could just as well say landscapes are easy, coz all you do is find a pretty view, find a tree or rock or boat maybe for some foreground interest, decide wether you want to concentrate on the earth or the sky, throw in a leading line or two, unpack your lunch, put your ar*e to anchor and stare at the prettty view till the light comes good!! Right?
Anything is easy when you are good at it. There I'm done and off my soap box now :)
posted June 10th, 2012
@allisonrap Allison, I think you're being very deprecating here, I love your images and they are usually technically very good indeed!
posted June 10th, 2012
Great article. I have no idea what stage I am at, that's for others to judge. Anyway, I do think it important to understand that we are all on a journey, and all stages of that journey are worthy. I've seen one or two threads (even on this very gentle site) where very competent image masters feel the freedom to disparage the efforts of others who may be less experienced than they are. This is always disappointing.

The good point throughout the article is, it's not just about the equipment!
posted June 10th, 2012
@bluefirebucket I have to agree with you there, Mick :-)
posted June 10th, 2012
I am between a 2 and 3 I believe. Thanks for sharing!
posted June 10th, 2012
@allisonrap Wasn't sure wether to press the 'post' button when I'd finished Allison as I wrote it in a rush so thank you - probably puts us in a minority of two haha :)
posted June 10th, 2012
@bluefirebucket lolol that's alright :-)
posted June 10th, 2012
That is the most helpful thing I've read in a while. I reckon I'm in the stage 2, verging on stage 3 kind of area, haha :)
posted June 10th, 2012
Gosh, I'm so stage 3 that I feel like he knows me personally. And at first I found that extremely depressing because I don't think I'll get to four :)
But then I decided that I would be positive about it. I can't help liking nature and flowers, and I can't help that I don't get out often. I try the best I can with each shot, and I'm happy that I've spent the year learning to use the camera and documenting each plant in my garden. I know I'll never be the sort of person that does candids/street shots or portraits because I am shy. I have trouble with the technical aspects sometimes but as long as I improve and learn then I'm happy. But boy, I must be soooo predictable given that description!
posted June 11th, 2012
Definitely stage 3
posted June 11th, 2012
I think I'm probably in stage 2, maybe some stage 3 aspects. Because I'm learning to use manual settings this is true for me, "For example, they find a beautiful landscape and concern themselves so much with the camera settings that they fail to notice that they are shooting in TERRIBLE lighting, or that the composition is dull. Soon, they must learn that lighting and composition are more important than anything else." I think it's marvellous to have common errors at any stage pointed out, now I can do something about it.
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