Ponder on Photos (from Taiwan Trip)

Don’t know why, I find myself spending a good amount of time pondering on photos lately. It’s like that I have, somehow, acquired a bad habit or decease. I couldn’t stop…

Portrait or Landscape
Portrait or landscape orientation shouldn’t be a hard decision. When I first arrived at this place (thanks to our wonderful tour guide Mr. Lo for showing us this spot!), I had no doubt that landscape was the way to go (I wanted lots of hills and clouds!) Immediately, I took 10 photos in landscape orientation. It was at the last minute, not knowing what else I could do, I took one in portrait orientation. And that turned out to be my favorite. I am stunned.

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The calm feeling of that vertical photo seduces me.

Next… Portrait orientation came to my mind first in this case. It is a long hallway after all. But it turned out that landscape one gives me something that the other one doesn’t. I sense more determination/power in it (comparing to more peaceful and calm feeling on the other).

_HHC4877--3s

_HHC4877--22s

(I just realize that the size of the photo would make some difference too. Oh well… continue pondering…)

Big or Small Leaf

Our tour guide Mr. Lo, apparently has a lot of experiences in photographing. He placed a maple leaf on the hood of a black car… there came my next pondering: would leaf alone create a good picture? How much of the “black” space I need to satisfy me?

_HHC4797--s

_HHC4797--s2

_HHC4798--s

I seem to like the original one a little more than the second one.

Two more photos to share

_HHC4645--2s

_HHC4857--s2
Final question
Time for me to get a good photo printer (under $2k, I think ;-). Any suggestion?

Thanks for visiting my blog

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, photo and thoughts, Photo Question. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Ponder on Photos (from Taiwan Trip)

  1. Adhika Lie says:

    Hi Helen! Beautiful pictures. I have yet to visit Taiwan but these photos make me want to visit! That last picture is so beautiful! Probably my favorite of all. After making a few perspective correction, please print this picture big. So beautiful! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      THANK YOU! Does it look better now? It took me a while to understand what you meant. When I first saw this photo, the first thing came to my mind was the wall was not straight. But two sides go in different direction and how was I going to fix that. It took me a while to realize (I mean after reading your comment) that the horizontal line wasn’t straight either. After I fixed that, I realized the wall of the left side was not supposed to be straight.
      That’s why I call you teacher!
      Have a wonderful day!

      Like

  2. neihtn2012 says:

    Helen, a good printer is the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer. It is usually bundled with a new Canon camera, at a reasonable bundle price. People buy the bundle and some then sell the printer on Craigslist for as low as $100. A warning though: ink can be more expensive than the printer. A set of all the different colors can cost $125.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Hien. I have that printer – came cheap with MacBook maybe. At first, I liked it, but now the color wasn’t as accurate as I would like it to be. After reading your comment, I wonder, if it is because we have switched to cheaper inks. (Oops…)
      One of my problem is that I don’t print often, so it makes sense to use Sam’s Club or other printing service (the ink dried out between print). But I really like to have more control on the final product. Maybe there is no good solution on this?
      Have a wonderful day!

      Like

    • Helen C says:

      Oops, checked again. That is not what I have. I am going to look into this one. Thank you so much. (I’m very excited now.;-)

      Like

  3. Cee Neuner says:

    For a printer I have a Canon professional printer that prints up to 13×19. They also have them if you want bigger prints but the price goes up considerably. And I don’t print larger than often and I just run up to a local store and get them printed otherwise. Ones my size run from $800-$1200 but they are often on discount. Your printers that print larger will anywhere from $2000-$5000 depending on the sizes you want. I used to be an Epson user all the way, but in the past few years I think Canon has actually started to lead the field in printing. Just make sure whatever you brand you have you use their photo paper. It really makes a huge difference.

    Your photos from Taiwan are amazing and I like your critiques of them. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Cee. I will check it out.
      Do you print often? Do you have problem with ink dries out when you are not using the printer for a while?
      I guess I am easily to be satisfied. As long as I have one good photo from a trip, I am happy. Yes, it was a good trip.
      Still work on the Odd challenge. I have been working on this one for 2 years.. isn’t that odd? ha.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Like

      • Cee Neuner says:

        Epson dried out. Canon when turned off or in standby mode protects the ink. And if you have had cheap printer, you won’t be using ink anymore. So it won’t smear when water gets on it. That what I like best and it is professional photo quality as if you took it to a professional printer. You are using the same equipment. I go in phases of using it a lot and then I won’t for like a year or so. And so far my ink has been good with the Canon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. loisajay says:

    Helen–your photos are beautiful! And I do love how you think out loud so I can see exactly what your thoughts are–it is a huge help to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Lois. To be honest… I have many bad photos from the trip that I won’t post. 😉 Like I told Cee, as long as I have one good one, I am happy. Hmm… on second thought, I am happy no mater what.
      Have a wonderful day. It’s Wednesday now 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy says:

    I’m in awe, Helen… Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Amy. I’m in awe with all of your photos!!! I didn’t have time to comment, but you don’t know how many times “Ah…” just came out of my mouth!
      Thanks for everything! Have a great day!

      Like

  6. de Wets Wild says:

    They’re all beautiful Helen, and those reflections certainly catches the imagination!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you so much!!! It’s not too hard to pick 4 out of 500 😉 I would be happy to have one good photo and got at least 4 so it’s not too bad.
      I am still fascinated with all those Africa animals you wrote on your blog. Keep them coming, my friend, please. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mabel Kwong says:

    Beautiful photos, Helen. Stunning and crisp reflections. Not a whisper of wind in the air. Generally I prefer taking photos in landscape orientation…probably because I like taking landscape and scenery kind of photos and want to get as much in in the photos as possible. I like the last photo a lot. That person is very hardworking, keeping the place spick and span 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Mabel. What you said about landscape photo makes a lot of sense. I have never thought of that! Thank you! (I keep telling you that you are too wise for your age!!! 😉
      The last photo turned out better than I thought. I had to run to catch him and I almost missed.
      Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Marie says:

    Lovely shots. I especially like the portrait monk and the last one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great shots Helen…it was very interesting to see/read about your take on the landscape ~ portrait on your shots. I am generally a big user of ‘landscape’ (90%+ of the time I bet), but then there are shots like you have described above that absolutely work so well in portrait. Incredible shot ~ sky, tranquil scene and then of course that incredible reflection… Enjoyed your other shots as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you so much, Randall. I have a question: do you usually know that you had taken a good photo? I mean when you were there taking the photo. It’s kind of bothering me that I usually don’t, and I have wait until I see it on my PC that I know if I have a good one or not (good for me, that is). How do I improve on this? Not sure if there is an answer for this… maybe keep practicing? ;-(
      Have a wonderful day.

      Like

      • Dalo 2013 says:

        I think 80% of my best photos, come from photos where I have a very good feeling about the photo I just took (because I am engaged in the scene and I very keen on getting the exposure how I want it to be (generally my aperture setting). However, I think 9o% of the time when I have such a good feeling I am left a bit disappointed with something (focus, exposure, etc…).

        The great joy of shooting is when I find a shot that really resonates with me that captures a scene via an expression or something I could not have prepared for…and it brings out something I could only hope to capture. Those moments are the best.

        The one thing that helped me “begin” thinking about and getting exciting about specific shots I take on a shoot, is when experimenting with light. Shooting into light (forming either silhouettes or interesting sunbursts) or trying to play with shadows from an interesting perspective (basically getting away from any basic ‘snapshot’ level) always got me excited to see what the results were. 90% of the time I was extremely disappointed, perhaps 9% of the time I was intrigued by what I saw (and that was exciting) and then sometimes 1% I capture something unique that I resonates.

        By playing with light (shooting into or creating interesting shadows) always made me a bit excited to see them on the screen. With people and action shots, I also use to play with my shutter-speed quite a bit…and at one time I got quite good at panning shots and then I stopped doing them. I want to start playing around with this again, as it is another great creative tool. Sorry for the long answer, it was fun thinking back to the times I started experimenting so much!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dalo 2013 says:

        Helen, I do have a very short answer too: if you like the scene then on the camera screen, check the histogram. If it looks good (no blown highlights or clipping the shadows) then it just depends on the sharpness/focus. I use the screen often when I am shooting to make sure the exposure is what I want (and to double-check I am shooting what I want from a good perspective and the DOF). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          Thank you so much, Randall. My teacher once told me I always had weird questions. I, on the other hand, don’t understand why others don’t have the same question like I do!
          I appreciate both your long and short answer. You answered some of my question in the long answer. I had no idea if other photographer always had a good idea if they had taken a good shot or not. And the answer is most of the time they do (I was hoping not. Ha). This means I have work to do, which I don’t mind. It’s the unknown that bothers me. 😉
          And your short answer told me a specific thing that I can try to improve my skill, which is great. But most of the time, do you really have time to check the histogram? Aren’t you afraid of missing the moment? With that said, I definitely will start using histogram even if I may miss some good moments.
          Thank you so much. I’ll report to you later after I give this a try…

          Like

          • Dalo 2013 says:

            Ha, ha ~ I am also know to ask many weird questions, so good for you! To check the histogram takes perhaps 10 secs., and if the camera is in my hand it is easy to do… If it is landscape photography, I get there early and prep – there will always be time to check a histogram. Action photography the same, with a pause in action check the histogram. These pauses actually also help prep for the time when a good moment arrives. 🙂 Cheers and happy shooting ~

            Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          Studied the manual tonight and set display_mode to include histogram and practiced several times. You were right. It didn’t take too much time if the setting is correct.
          I was using Aperture mode. Since camera set shutter speed based on my Aperture setting, the histogram always looks good. I didn’t miss anything, did I? It seems like histogram will help a lot if I use manual mode. I think.
          Thank you very much. I will shoot Aperture mode for a while. Maybe I will have some new discovery.
          Have a great day.

          Like

          • Dalo 2013 says:

            The technical side of photography is definitely necessary to understand, as it is from there with your creativity and eye great photographs can be born. Here is a recent article I just read, nice and short (and overall a decent site) about the thinking part of photography ~ Cheers! http://www.lightstalking.com/mind-for-better-photography/?utm_content=buffer83c4a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

            Liked by 1 person

          • Helen C says:

            Thanks, Randall. Great article indeed. I like what it said about thinking outside the box. Remember I asked what if you miss a good shot while checking histogram? It answered my question – “Will it cost you some decent shots? Probably. Will it pay out in the long run? Most definitely.” I am so happy.
            I pay attention to technical side too, but I often stuck at a detail that was not explained by many articles. For example, histogram – I know what it shows me and I have heard how useful it is, but I didn’t know how it will help me since camera itself does most of the work even when I was using Aperture or Shutter mode (I am not ready to use manual mode.) When I read Darrell Young’s Mastering the Nikon D750, after our discussion, I finally realized that even in A mode, I still can increase/decrease exposure to change histogram. Suddenly, histogram became useful for me. Knowledge like that is hard to find.
            This is a great discussion. I am excited for what I have learned. Thank you so much! Hope you have a wonderful day!

            Like

  10. prior2001 says:

    Really enjoyed this post – and pondered with u! I do not have any suggestions for a printer – sorry!
    Anyhow – Lo had a great idea with that leaf and I first saw it before reading and was trying to figure out where it was – it was so interesting – and then I read a car! Very cool. And the first one (which showed up twice in my reader – well I love it – however – I also love the second one – and I know the rule of thirds would maybe say the first has more interest – but seeing the leaf smack center had such a different feel – so I am split down the middle in my choice / ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lynda says:

    Great photos. I find myself grappling with these same issues with my photos – it’s amazing how much different a different perspective gives the same scene. For printing – it’s not a printer suggestion, but have you ever tried Mpix? It’s an online service and the quality is really wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good morning, Lynda. It’s comforting to know that I am not the only person who has this problem 😉 Thank you!
      One blogger has suggested using Mpix before. Thank you for remind me of it. However, in my situation… I like to take candid photos and then give it to the person, so each time, I may only have 1 or 2 to print. Having a good printer would be convenient, I think.
      Have a wonderful day!

      Like

  12. coolquilting says:

    great photos…and the last one is super-great!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lignum Draco says:

    Modern cameras /sensors have so many pixel nows, you can take the photo anyway you want and then crop it later into the best orientation without loss of detail. But getting it right in camera first always helps. It really depends on the ambience you wish to portray.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      So true, Lignum. I am guilty of overly depending on cropping. 😉 I once said to someone(trying to be cute, I am sure) that there is no bad photos, only bad cropping. I know that is not true, but it sounded good at the time 😉
      I still think it would benefit me a lot if I can shadow a good photographer for a couple of hours. There are so many little things (like my question to Randall 😉 hard for me to grasp. One of these days… There is hope 😉
      Thank you again.

      Like

  14. treerabold says:

    Helen, your photos are beautiful. I also enjoy that you shared your thoughts on each photo. I find myself debating back and forth on photos. Especially when it comes to cropping. I often question whether I cropped too much or too little.
    I especially love the first 2 photos…though I will admit the landscape is my favorite of the 2. I really like all the clouds and mountains.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Tree. To be honest, as the days go by, I like the landscape one more and more 😉 I was stunned with what I saw at the moment, and felt very lucky that we had beautiful clouds and blue sky – it was a treat! It was grey and rained a little before we reached there and was grey again 30 minutes later.
      Two things I have to get used to when I go there are the crowd and the noise. Our life here is very simple and quiet (except the black Friday ;-). The portrait one provides me an escape and that was why I loved it so much at that time. Ha.
      Thank you for your comment. Have a wonderful day. (By the way, it’s great that you are doing NaBloPoMo. Lots interesting stories that I truly enjoy reading. )

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Sue Slaght says:

    Helen these are beautiful! I agree that the vertical with the large reflecting pool creates a whole different mood. The same with the long walk. It intrigues me how just a flip of the camera can make such a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Helen, I realized you weren’t post as much as before, I didn’t know you went to Taiwan, gorgeou photos, good to see you back. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Hello, Elizabeth. Do you remember you had a post saying something like you wanted to take a break from blogging (I forgot the exact words)? I totally understood what you said in that post. There are many things on my bucket list that I have to start taking care of ;-). I like blogging and will continue whenever I can, but it is not my top priority. Someday after I complete everything on my list (Ha), I will write more.
      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. rommel says:

    I gravitated more with the vertical ones. Excellent Helen C. You really are there in the league of the many great photographers in the blogosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Rommel, thank you so much for your kind comment. I am not a great photographer (yet), but I have found my photographing voice and that makes me feel fulfilled 😉 Thank you!

      Like

  18. Wonderful photos Helen I would love to explore photography more too, find that I just love taking photos.

    Like

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