Be Pleased With Your Photos


Even if they suck! Sounds like I think being mediocre is A-OK but being realistic is what truly matters. Being positive matters. The root of our disappointment is our expectations. When I was on my recent vacation, I had such low expectations of the places I was to visit. Imagine my surprise when I found the locations far exceeded expectations?

Prague-CitylineI  was in visual heaven with every new experience. The weather was not always the best but making the best of it is key. If cloudy skies threaten, use it for some real benefit or wait it out until the sun peeks through.

To see photos on foggy, windy, rainy days, sunny days, see Garden Walk Garden Talk for these travel posts.

The Blue Danube – Take a Day Trip With Me

Back Home From Eastern Europe

Town Life in Prague

Prague Castle Gardens

Charles Bridge, Prague

Colorful Prague in Red

Where’s Donna

Prague-from-Prague-castleThe gallery below has images while I was waiting for blue skies to appear. I  had some aggravating camera issues and making adjustment settings were in order. The places themselves made all these seemingly negative troubles go away.

Negatives, became positives.

I also found myself with newbie photographers following me around asking endless questions, all complaining that their photos were not as they had hoped. My advice  to them was they had to be honest about their abilities and skill level and go from there. I myself am not a landscape photographer and I did not even have my pro wide-angle lens along for this trip, but you can see the place itself made up for any of the shortcomings I had or experienced.

Many were using phones or iPads for photos, and all it took for them to make wonderful photos was hold the device steady, not shoot into the sun, and frame an image that they found appealing. Too many were shooting at bad sun angles. Others, blurry shots when they wanted images like in this post. Another thing done incorrectly was they focused not on their subject but rather the bright sky and all was in shadow. Just a few tips got them getting better photos.


Some issues were not as easily solvable, like not having a lens or camera to get f22-f32 for those shots to see far and farther. Also to shoot into the sun and get a nice artistic shot, rather than a silhouette of everything they wanted to picture. Sometimes it was not abilities of the photographer, but limitations of the device used.


If fretting on not getting what they imagined, they were doomed from the get go. I said just enjoy the experience and it will shine through in their images. I gave some compositional tips and one woman came back and said she got more likes than ever on her image on FB. More than any she ever got previously. People were praising her left and right.


All that mattered was she found a new way of seeing and her excitement went through the roof. I instructed to frame her image through an archway and after that, there were quite a few images taken that way. All happy campers!

What’s on Garden Walk Garden Talk today? Churches of Eastern Europe. I really could have used the wide-angle lens for those photos!!!

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16 Responses to Be Pleased With Your Photos

  1. Debra says:

    They were so lucky to have you as a mentor! I love these photos so much. The clouds are full of drama and the architecture a real treat. Personally, I am ok with being a newb. Everyone starts somewhere. One thing I have found is having a camera in my hand makes me so much more aware and present. If I catch a good shot that is a bonus.

    • donna213 says:

      When on short trips like we had going from country to country, it was more “immediate” to get good images for the group. That is why many were concerned on the pictures they were taking, knowing it is unlikely they will ever be in these places again. I felt more compelled to help them for that reason. Plus some were new to their cameras, phones and iPads. That only added to the frustration where they could not think about the image, but rather using the device.

  2. You Donna, are an excellent photographer. 🙂

  3. They were lucky to have you with them on this trip to help them with their photos. I might invite you along on my next trip to help me with some photography! Gorgeous shots. Loved them. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    • donna213 says:

      Ha! Always up for travel, Sue. I am going to Maui in January and that friend is a photographer so we will have many opportunities for nice images. She might be getting up with me at sunrise rather than me being the only one.

  4. My Heartsong says:

    Great advice and wonderful photos!

  5. Great tips! I have seen spectacular photos that were taken with a point-and-shoot camera. Good photographers are always saying that you should work on your skills, not run out and buy new equipment. But thank you for saying that sometimes equipment can hold you back. There have been times when I have been frustrated because I couldn’t get the shots I wanted because my equipment simply didn’t have the capacity to do what I wanted. Oh, and I hope you won’t feel insulted if I say that I think your first photo should be a jigsaw puzzle. I mean that in a good way.

    • donna213 says:

      Some of my favorite images were taken with my little bridge camera. The hummingbirds in St. Lucia are an example for instance, heck the whole St. Lucia trip I got great shots with my two small Nikons. I have to agree the pros push knowing the camera you have and not pining for better equipment to make one better. It is very true though. Many who have expensive cameras only use them on Auto which is probably only a tad better than using a point and shoot for most shots. But the difference is, even on auto, the camera is faster and likely the lens is better glass, so even those auto images will be improved or able to capture fast action.

  6. Mike Powell says:

    Wonderful words of advice. Following those simple steps can lead to huge improvements. I know for me, it took some time to really internalize some of the the basic steps, like instinctively looking for the position of the sun and being aware of the aperture at which I was shooting.

    • donna213 says:

      You are right, it does take time to have the basics “sink in”. But with time and experience like you have, they become second nature. I explained to some that sometimes the shot is at the wrong sun angle, but just moving those feet can get you in a better position. How many were so surprised at this advice? They never thought THEY could move.

  7. How lucky they were. I am always improving and learning…great philosophy Donna!!

  8. Lyle Krahn says:

    Keeping those expectations in line is great advice and I struggle with all the time. I wonder if there is a pill for that??

  9. A.M.B. says:

    Great photos, Donna! I try not to let my faults as a photographer prevent me from taking pictures and sharing them with people. I want to capture the experience, even if it isn’t a perfect image.

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