Back When I Took Great Pictures

I was inspired by a quote that for the life of me I can't remember it verbatim but the general idea was that as a photographer one should strive to be the photographer you once were. 

Here are a few images back when I had my starter camera and a new lens, the right light, and happy subjects. It may be time to wipe the dust off my old faithful camera and create the magic that I loved from before... 

...way before I was caught by the wave of actions and confused by what sort of photographer I should be. Well, I just was myself producing these rich shots full of color and wonder. Sometimes, I feel that actions and presets are ways to turn mediocre shots to good shots...sometimes even great ones. However, they are ultimately distractions. At least to me they are. Sometimes I spend more time figuring out what effect I should use rather than looking at the picture and letting it speak to me. These images speak volumes by themselves without any frills.

I wonder...wonder if I should toss all those notions of actions and presets and just be me, again. I'm full of self-doubt or it's just my usual self-loathing that I do from time to time. Not quite sure why I do it. It's probably a way for me to clean house.  A way to get rid of the things that are cluttering my creativity and blocking me from getting the images I want. What I really want is to "wow" myself again. 

These images "wow" me. I love the colors, the crispness, the splash suspended in time and the emotion that was captured on this trip to Key West in 2009. I absolutely love these. As I type this, I'm thinking back at the time. It was late afternoon, early evening...the sweet light. I was shooting with my nikon d50 and using my new lens at the time, the nikon 85mm. What I captured was simple and pure. 

Here's to the simple things.


  1. i think there is much to be said of looking back like that...and grabbing a little of that magic we had before we felt the need to manufacture it...

  2. I am sorry honey but I don't see the difference...the pictures are still GREAT in my non photographer eyes...keep having fun with your pashion...

  3. @Stacey...smiles...
    @Brian...That's exactly how it feels... Like a factory line. I just don't work like that.

  4. Seems like so often we look back on our old images and cringe. I like that you see magic and beauty in them. It makes sense to me to just be YOU, pure and simple, raw and real, just as you are.

  5. Liza, I totally and completely get this. I do. I think it's part of finding your creative voice. There's nothing wrong with spending a season using actions and presets and dabbling and playing, but you're right, they often keep you from finding yourself bc you are so busy trying to be what you think you should be--bc everyone else out there is doing it too. Making any sense?
    The journey should take you through the all of the tools and gadgets and actions, etc... not stop in the middle of them and never find your way out. It's just a part of growing as a creative soul. So it's sooooooo refreshing to hear you say you just want to shoot what makes you happy. In doing that you will find your creative voice and be content. :) It's like tasting all of the different kinds of wine and then discovering you just like a good simple Red wine.
    I love these photos!

  6. I first just have to say, AMEN! I love every word of this and the photos are pure and simple pretty. I love what you said regarding actions and preset: "However, they are ultimately distractions. At least to me they are. Sometimes I spend more time figuring out what effect I should use rather than looking at the picture and letting it speak to me." I gotta say AMEN again. You articulated the exact same thing I feel when I sit down to edit and look at all of the actions I downloaded before I even knew what to do. I really don't like to use them. I want photos to speak to me in as close to a raw way as possible.
    Wonderfully stated, Liza. :)

  7. I totally agree. I used to be a good photographer.

  8. Awesome post. So true. I still feel like im trying to figure out who i am on this photo journey....these pictures are beautiful!

  9. I can relate to this, this feeling of not knowing a proper balance between keeping a photo untouched and touching up. Many times I have to step back and let my photos sit for a while before I visit them again. It's often that after a while I can see that the real beauty in the image is already there. In the end, though, photography is an art and it speaks to us all individually. If it makes your heart soar, own it :)

    I think your photos are beautiful, always. Just be happy with what you end up with and surely the joy will shine through.

  10. Oh, I had the same start with my D50! And I am having that same back to basics movement with my photography + editing. Letting go of all of the processing and focusing more on the simplicity of what I am capturing. I completely relate to wanting to wow myself. It is magic when it happens. And it happens when I get out of my own way.

    I do love the pure emotion and simplicity of these beautiful images... Thanks for sharing your thoughts Liza!

  11. They're beautiful, and you should do what ever YOU want to do. Before Photoshop etc. people just took pictures and however they turned out was it.
    Playing around with photos now is just fun. These photos don't need playing with, they are great the way they are. (geez, do I sound like a mom or what?)


Thank you.