When I look back on my photos from several years ago, I can certainly see a lot of improvement in my more recent ones, especially in the composition. I still struggle to get things like animals tack-sharp in most cases though.
My best stuff is urban and, for the past year and a half, urban has been really strange, so my productivity is low at the best. I took my camera bag out for a ride in the car a couple times recently, but it's obvious that there's some catching up to do. Hopefully a trip to my favorite venue (ocean front) next week will help.
I believe I'm still improving but I'm not focused on only one thing or technique so there's always something else to discover and try to learn. I also believe my love for variety helps me to improve overall which just happens to be my primary goal no matter what aspect you look at. I know I'll never get to where most of us would like to be but after all, it IS the journey, more than the destination, at least for me.
I believe i have and in many ways, i joined in 2019 and have watched and learned all aspects of creating and SM marketing, hopefully i will continue to improve, i say this as my enjoyment of creating and SM marketing has not dropped so i must be improving.
I think I have improved. However; some of my work is (very) experimental so it can be variable. For anyone interested there are some very interesting YouTube videos out there featuring Sally Mann (one of my favourite artists) where she addresses this very question. What is of particular interest is that she goes a lot further than say she has improved; she clearly articulates how she has improved. I was fascinated when she describes, how everything she now sees is in a frame.
Yes, it has. I have better photo gear, good edit tools like Lightroom, more knowledge, dedication, time, ambition, etc. I keep an eye on those with more experience and altogether makes me get better and improving my skills. Photography was my hobby, and now it's my life's style.
My work has improved greatly over the past few years. I made a resolution a few years ago to do one finished drawing or pastel per week and have kept it up. The practice has been invaluable in improving my artwork.
I learned small and larger skills in Photoshop for some 4 plus years. Constantly putting those skills into practice in more complex ways. Is complex more skilled?
Working with concepts I never needed to improve. I needed to explore as I did.
When I came to the point where things would get more repetitive I stopped entirely.
There is an advantage to stopping where I did. More than 400 images is unwieldy for editing to market to the public. Digital marketing tools are demanding in a very different ways.
The biggest insight for me personally was I could not be an artist and a marketer at the same time. There is a level of not caring about why a person would buy that is antithetical to my purposes as an artist. It is okay for the public to have other reasons for buying an image of mine. I just could never really entertain that and produce art.
adding I am rereading that last paragraph it is full of paradox. I certainly do care why a person would buy. But when making the art I assigned that reason. Now selling the art I see other reasons for people buying that would have changed the art. I did not want every influence hitting me as the creator. I chose my influences.
Antonio Salieri:-- " I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am the patron's saint. Mediocrities everywhere... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you... I absolve you all."
Generally, I tend not to stick with one thing to improve on; I change up the mediums and materials I paint on. I’m happy with that since I paint primarily for my well-being. So to answer your question, not much.
When painters are painting in a realistic style, there is a limit to how good they can be.... for something can only be painted so realistically until it is photographic...subject matter and composition aside. But when artists go BEYOND realism, there is a whole realm of possibilities... but if it is better or not is up to debate. I tend to not do realism though, so I may be biased against it...but I used to think that being able to do realism was the top skill to have. I think that my art now is much better than it was when when I was doing realism.
Improvement is a matter of perspective. It has definitely evolved and changed. Better post processing tools and more knowledge how to use them. I think I've improved but others might disagree. I don't hate my stuff from a decade or two ago, but I'd probably approach much of it differently now.
Bruce Bodden: 'I used to think realism was the top skill'. I belong to a watercolor workshop where most participants paint what they see; while I envy their skill and patience, it's not for me. Everything is an experiment for me.
Is the willingness to experiment improvement? Or is that a different conversation?
I will second what LA says and try to tie it to this discussion - experimentation, trying something new (and I will add serendipity). In this regard, I think I've improved. Perhaps that comes from experience.
I find it very difficult to accomplish anything premeditated to my own satisfaction. In this I think I've declined.
I've made Improvements in execution perhaps. I think over time we all improve in one way or another, with experience and skill (and perception)
As has been said many times by others in past threads, I look back at some of my older work and cringe. In other ways, as I'm sure others will agree, there are times when we stagnate but I don't believe we really digress unless it's because of some other problem. Or we're out of practice, or we've lost enthusiasm. (a big one for me)
I think I've definitely improved, especially regarding my use of digital paint. I find that the technique is very similar to traditional paints and chalks, except that you can't blend color - I have to find workarounds for that - and it's a little easier to make corrections. Plus no chalk dust and no brushes to wash out (a plus, IMHO). I intend to up my output and improve/evolve even more. I don't think artists ever reach a pinnacle of perfection - even accomplished concert pianists still practice every day, as I understand it - which is why creating art remains challenging and satisfying. The key to that improvement/evolution is to consistently put out the best work you can. For my part, I did pause for a while regarding my creative output to deal with other things, but I never stopped creating in my head. Externalizing those ideas is my new goal. Which means I have a lot of work ahead of me...
I'm with David K - evolving - better - I don't know - some of my early work was 'brilliant' and I cannot, could not replicate any of it. Some of the early work was so-so - I'm trying to improve those - or delete them.
Looking back at my first submissions to FAA in mid-2020, the quality of my work has certainly improved at least in terms of consistency. Whether that's a function of becoming a better photographer or a more skilled editor or a bit of both is debatable. Today I feel more creative when editing, and newly acquired editing skills have prompted me to try new and different approaches to presenting my photography. That said, outside of peer recognition through group features and a few sales, I feel as though I have to provide my own yardstick for measuring my progress because, with a few notable exceptions, feedback hasn't been particularly substantive. One thing is certain however; trying to work to please other folks remains far less of a motivator for me than trying to please myself.