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It’s been a year and 5 days since I decided to take up photography (again) and I feel I’ve come a long way. Just this past weekend I was shooting and realized I was using mostly manual mode and I was getting my exposure and speed mostly right the first time.

I’m starting to see my compositions before I shoot them (instead of the scattershot method I started with–shoot and shoot until, eventually, you get something worthy of keeping). I notice light now and know whether it’s good or bad–mostly.

Finally, I’ve made a solid group of photography friends, which I’m positive has improved my skills (and I’m assure annoys them to no end when I stand behind them trying to see what they’re seeing and then ask why–or, worse yet, steal their shot. Fortunately, they understand I do so with no malice).

Here are some examples of my progression:

Taken on 12-23-2012
Taken on 12-23-2012

Taken on 05-25-2013
Taken on 05-25-2013

Taken on 11-23-2013
Taken on 11-23-2013

I’m feeling pretty good about my progress–I’m starting to develop a style and have a consistent process I use for processing–I’ve even changed my watermark throughout the process. I’ve entered some of my photographs into a juried gallery show and am awaiting to see if I get any chosen.

Most importantly, I feel like I’m improving and I have visual proof of that progress. It’s been a good year (and 5 days) and I look forward to what the next year brings.