Learning how to develop my photography skills

the motoroamers

Learning how to develop my photography skills

Capturing moments, places and people has been my passion for decades, and learning how to develop my photography skills feels important. So this series of blogs track my lessons and invite you to explore your photography skills too.

Setting up the camera

After the inspiration from my friend Anna, who has set a monthly photography challenge on her website, I decided to begin learning how to develop my photography skills. I love my photography and I love learning, so it couldn’t be a more perfect task. Each month she is setting a different challenge that ‘we’ as followers can do at our leisure and in any particular order.

This month, from her topic headings, I have chosen;

  • Lighting and darkness
  • Apperture
  • Cropping

In these photos I have experimented with the topics and have attempted to critique each photo so I can examine what I have learned.

Photography - Light and Shade

With the challenge of the church that was in shade and the sun on the wall, made for a tricky balance. So I used a 5mm aperture to create a foreground focus and put the church in the shade.

I loved how the sun caught this napkin holder whilst the table was completely dark. The first image I tried to create a more balanced light with the background yellow, whilst the second was entirely about the heart in the sunshine.

The lighting on the Roman pillars was really tricky, where I had to not overexpose the shot given the shadows at the base. It’s not a great shot and wouldn’t go into any album, although shows me about lighting and sunlight in particular. The second shot has a lot of dark/light movement too. Although I loved the story that it might reveal.

I loved how the background greens made the stem and petals stand out in this shot. I used a large aperture (F Stop 2.4) to create this.

The green background from a FStop 5 makes these flowers burst on the page. I think a bit of cropping could help from the bottom although I do like the shades and tones here.

I really loved these close-up images of pigeons. Not a bird that many photographers would choose to capture. Although I loved the context, the lighting and the detail of their red feet, in particular. The yellow pigeon could do with some more cropping on the left, as I see it now.

Whilst the lighting of these two photos is very stark and a bit too white, they do allow the stories to be told. So I cropped these quite significantly to reduce the white noise and enable the detail to be seen. The old guy not only has a photographic story to tell, when I chatted to him, he also told me his story, which makes this image so much more powerful. He told me about living in the country as a boy and how he cried when his parents brought him to the city at Evora. He now takes his dogs out the countryside to hunt as often as he can, because the city makes him sad.

Reflections always captivate me and the combination of the window detail and the eye into its soul make a perfect composition for me.

If you would like to join in the challenge then either join me over on the Chat Room, or sign up to Anna’s blog to have a go for yourself.


Published: April 13, 2024

1 Comment

  1. anna@portugal

    So glad you want to join me with the photo challenges. It is not important exactly what you do, it is the focus to practice and I can surely see that you´ve done that. A thought about the image of the pidgin with the yellow background. I think it would benefit from a crop on the right side, so you keep the space in front of the bird. Maybe just crop one of the cables. Have a good evening my friend! And thank you for the link!


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