XDrive Photo Lesson 2

This is my submission for XDrive Photo Lesson 2.

A week ago, Amy (The World is a Book…) posted a couple of photos for XDrive Photo Lesson 2 (Amy). I have followed Amy’s blog for a while and her blog is one of several that I hate to miss. Not too surprisingly, I decided to follow her step once again 😉

Due to the hailstorm we had a month or two ago, every house in the neighborhood is getting a new roof, including us. At first, I thought it would be a good idea to stay home to watch, and maybe take some photos. The noise was loud and I started getting a headache, so we decided to visit a Japanese garden an hour away instead.

It was a hot day. No breeze. When we arrived at the garden, we were told that someone had rented the place for shooting wedding photos. We ended up waiting in a small room near the entrance for 40 minutes. Did I say it was hot and no breeze… and it is a very small room?

So, I sat there thinking about Raj’s XDrive Photo Lesson 2. Five feet away, there was a pair of shining shoes. Maybe I could take a photo or two to kill time, I thought to myself.

Raj says (in XDrive Photo Lesson 2): “I strongly believe that, we should always ask one important question to ourselves before we click that shutter… ‘Why should I click this picture?’”

As a person who likes to follow instructions, I asked myself why I should take this photo. I had a feeling that having-nothing-better-to-do is not a desired answer. Let me see… it was not usual to see a pair of fancy shoes left on a wall. Why does a woman (I guessed they belonged to the bride) leave her shoes here? How far these shoes will take her? Hmm… I do want a photo of the shoes.

Raj says: “Before you click always imagine a finished photograph what you are going to create. Think about it, ask a question, is this going to be an unique photo I am going to be taking?”

Is the above photo a unique photo? How do we measure the uniqueness? I was always be able to see a finished photo before clicking the shutter (unless I was taking street photos), wan’t I?

I had to wait 20 more minutes. I stared at the shoes… what if I take a photo from this angle? What kind of background will tell a better story? Are they really belong to the bride?

In a way, I like to believe that we all see the picture before taking a photo. Being mindful or not, that is a different story. I took time to think about the photos before taking photo #2 and #3. Having gone through that thinking process doesn’t guarantee that I would produce a better result, but I certainly felt more satisfied. I think I would continue working on it.

Raj says, “A good picture always speaks out its story…” I couldn’t agree more. 😉

Thanks, Amy and Raj. It’s a good lesson. I’ve learned a lot, and I am so happy.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


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 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to XDrive Photo Lesson 2

  1. Mabel Kwong says:

    It sounded like a very creative time taking photos of the shoes. I like Raj’s advice – to see outside of the box and think of stories that may have been or even, will be. Lovely shots, Leya, and lovely bit of bokeh you achieved. Hope it was a good day at the gardens after that 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mabel Kwong says:

      I meant to say Helen, not Leya 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen C says:

        Thanks, Mabel. I had a good laugh — I had done the exactly same thing before. Now I check twice.
        To my surprise, it was a very small garden. After the long waiting, we only stayed for 10 minutes (and I walked as slowly as I could.) 😉 One lady told us it is very pretty in fall. She wanted us to go back in Sept. Maybe we will.
        Have a great day.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Edward Tan says:

    I admire your passion in photography. Wish I could learn photography one day, yet I have too many other interests. I should really prioritize things. Have a good day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Edward. Maybe you will learn photography one day 😉 Before I got serious on photographing, my husband bought me 3 good cameras. He even volunteered to carry it for me. All I had to do was get camera from him whenever I wanted to shoot and took the photo. Still, I kept going back to my little point and shoot.
      I think timing is everything. When I was working, I don’t have time and energy to learn photographing. Now I really enjoy it.
      If you end up never learning photographing, so what? You have your passion in something, which many people (including me, I am sure) would admire. Maybe publiching a book first??? 😉
      Have a good day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Edward Tan says:

        Thanks, Helen. Your words are always warm, inspiring, encouraging and intriguing. I wish I can have my articles published one day. Yet I still wish to learn photography one day.

        You really have a caring husband, i’m so happy for you.

        You too, have a lovely day!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Raj says:

    Wow Helen, perfect execution! That’s exactly what I was trying to tell.. We all get opportunities for a photo, but mostly we ignore them..just think about the shoes kept on the wall. .. first picture, what everyone sees. But that was pretty ordinary picture if you post as your “photography”, then you moved, took as shot from top and another great shot being close to the subject.
    First picture, viewer will be confused, as to what picture is trying to tell… second and the third clearly puts viewer’s attention to the shoes nothing else. No detraction whats so ever in the third picture! Great shot.
    Now the nitpicking part.. 😀 probably it needed landscape orientation than portrait, that nice bokeh of the leaves should have been the background of the shoes, bit more closer to the shoes … may be?
    I must say this is one of the best posts I saw on this topic. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Raj. Your comment had made my day! 😉 I particularly appreciate your constructive feedback, which is not easy to obtain.
      Landscape orientation or Portrait: when I prepared this post, I wasn’t sure which one I liked better. (By the way, I am easily get confused.) I liked the landscape orientation, and I wasn’t 100% satisfied with portrait orientation. But I think portrait shows more of the environment. Sometime, environment is the one that tells stories, isn’t it? I am so glad when I read your comment on this.
      >> that nice bokeh of the leaves should have been the background of the shoes, bit more closer to the shoes
      I can achieve this by using a bigger focal length, right?
      Have a great evening.


  4. Pingback: Learn Photography – 2 – Photograph should speak – XDrive

  5. loisajay says:

    Helen–I really like these photos because it leaves the story up to me. I get that every picture speaks out its story, but not everyone reads the same book. I imagine this bride slipping off her shoes to walk the cool, calm grass of the garden before her wedding. Remember that Rod Stewart song, “Every Picture Tells a Story”? Your photos told a great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Lois. That’s quite an encouragement! I really appreciate it.
      I like telling stories. If and only if I can come up with a good project using photos telling stories… 😉
      Have a wonderful evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy says:

    What you have posted here gives me a good lesson of photography. Thank you, Helen for mentioning my blog site. 🙂 Appreciate your support.
    I really enjoy the story of this beautiful pair of shoes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Amy, you are so kind. You don’t know how much you have taught me!
      I often ponder over some simple sentences. Easy tasks for others, for no good reason, become complicated for me, so I have to think harder. 😉 I am glad that I have many patient friends!
      Have a good evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done, and most important lessons learned and executed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. restlessjo says:

    I usually have a ‘why I want to take it’ before I click, but I don’t really think it through in that way. I’ll give it a go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Learn Photography – Review – July – XDrive

  10. tgeriatrix says:

    I found this blog just now. I went through the posts and lessons. No two of your pictures is my favorite.


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