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XDrive Photography Learning – 16 – Contrasts

I have never been a true photographer, and have never attended any class in photography. In fact, my interest in photography was never there till a few years back when I took a picture of my girl and she just looked beautiful in it. That was when I developed some kind of interest in photography and decided to buy an entry level DSLR to try it out.

I then searched through internet to learn more about photography, the different settings, and of course including other stuffs such as compositions, exposures, apertures etc etc.

More importantly is that I have never had any professional photographers commenting on my pictures before (because I know none of them!) and therefore I really do not know where I stand, though I always thought that I’m still at the basic level.

I’ve always considered myself low in creativity, and also lousy in colour management. Hence, sometimes my pictures can really turn out to be horribly imbalance in terms of colour. But I just couldn’t get myself to get it right.

It was by chance that I saw Helen’s post (another blogger) who has been active in a photography learning lesson from posted by another blogger (Raj).

Out of curiosity, I went to Raj’s blog and was attracted to how he shared his knowledge and thoughts through his blog and also encourages readers to learn together with him. And he will provide his professional comments on the readers’ photographs when they post their pictures with a ping back to his blog.

And so, that’s what I’m doing now for a start. I am keen to improve my photography skill, but yet, I have to be honest that I’m skeptical of this idea in the beginning. Now, what if Raj sees my pictures and says that they are total craps?

Nevertheless, there’s no gain if there’s no pain. I just have to bring up my courage and at least try for the very first time. There’s always a first time, be it good or bad, right?

Today, after reading Raj’s latest post, I picked 3 pictures which I have taken last week and decided to give a go.

These pictures were taken with my Fujifilm X-T20 with the kit lens (XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS).

There are two pictures are quite similar except that one is in portrait while the other is in landscape mode.

I’m not sure why I have taken the first picture in portrait mode except that I thought I wanted to create a leading line that leads the viewers’ eyes to the horizon.

The above picture was taken with 1/600 sec at f/9.0, ISO 200

I personally love the next picture and what I wanted to capture was the lonely stone chair that allows visitors to sit on and enjoy the beautiful scenery in front of them.

The above picture was taken with 1/1100 sec at f/7.1, ISO 200

The last picture was taken when I was resting on another stone chair with two big trees in front of me. As I was watching passers by walking past in front of me, I suddenly had the idea of capturing their silhouettes. I didn’t really get what I wanted and so make some adjustments in LR which resulted in the below picture.

The above picture was taken with 1/240 sec at f/9.0, ISO 200

Raj’s latest lesson is about contrast and I thought these 3 photos do have certain extent of contrast in them – the colour in the first two pictures and the silhouette in the third picture.

If anyone is interested, Raj’s post can be found here:

(edited after Helen pointed out the wrong URL I’ve pasted)



20 replies »

  1. Wu Ming, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. And I’m glad you love the pictures that I took. Even if they can’t meet the expectations of professional photographers, I have already succeeded, for there is you who appreciate my work. Capturing moments, moods, lives, beauty is what I hope to do, and sharing with people is to share my thoughts and joy. Thank you so much, dear Wu Ming!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Francis, I love your photos. The first photo has color contrast (blue and orange), and the last one has bright and dark. The second one – I wish the ship is not right above the chair.
    More importantly, the link you used to point to Raj’s page is from the reader, I believe. Please use this following link, so Raj would be able to see your post.
    Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Francis:

    其實你拍的很多照片我常常一看再看。 尤其是人物,你的人物照總有一種特別的溫度。

    攝影好專業! Helen 姊的格子也是我很喜歡的! 你們能夠連結上,一起研究攝影,真是太好了。

    Liked by 2 people

  4. First of all grand welcome to you Francis. It’s really a great feeling when someone new joins into our adventure here. Thank you for your kind words of appreciation too. It means a lot.

    Now, photography is a creative work, so always remember that there is no right or wrongs. What I feel is wrong might be absolutely right to you, and that’s just fine. For me what majority of people feel about a photograph that matters. First, you have to like your picture then check and see if others like it.
    Having said all that, you have an excellent eye for a photography! Each image you posted clearly shows your creativity.

    Pic 1: I think you have used the portrait mode rightly. This scene works well with this mode. The idea here is to show part of the water and part of the land. Clean blue skies compliment it. The centre raised bump leads the viewer to the centre of the screen. That’s a perfect composition for me. As an improvement, probably a wide open aperture with the focus at the centre? Yes, generally landscapes go with the aperture you have chosen, but here though if you see carefully the raised land at the centre, could have been softer? Right now it’s sharply focused and kind grabbing the unnecessary attention.

    Pic 2: This is a beautiful shot and I like those merchant ships(you will know why when you check my blog thoroughly :D) Clearly a postcard quality picture. Like the colours in this picture as they are very soothing. However please note the following points. There is a slight tilt in the horizon which needs to be fixed first as the viewer is going to find that out first. Secondly, the bench is kind of distraction at the centre. Including the bench is a good thing but since it’s in the middle and blocking the view. Try to position it on the left or right and also shoot from a bit of higher position. Even if the bench is not sharply focused should be fine.

    Pic 3: Great idea to capture a silhouette when there is a backlit condition. However, I feel this screen has too much contrast. The post-processing is a bit too extreme in my view. You can see it from the halo created by the tree borders. Also, I would include the top of the trees to frame from the top and remove some bottom and sides, that way it would be framed properly. Also see here man is walking away from the scene, check the topic breathing space for more on that topic.

    Once again thanks for showing interest in being here on XDrive sessions.

    This critique is part of XDrive’s Photography Learning sessions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Raj, thank you so much for your invaluable comment and feedback. Understood on the note about no right or wrong. I’ll go through your blogs for other areas that I can participate in especially if there is any that is of relation to street photography. Once again, thank you so much! You have just given me great encouragement to go further and share my views of life with other people.


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