XDrive Photo Lesson – 3 – Breathing Space

I thought I’d participate in Raj’s Learn Photography – 3 – Breathing Space Challenge this week.

I took this photo this past spring at our Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon.  I liked the strong color the jacket this photographer wore.  I knew I wanted the jacket to be a strong component of the photo but I also wanted to show the tulips.

This is my preferred cropping of this photo.

Here is my my camera and exif data.

  • Sony a7II Full Frame Mirrorless – handheld
  • Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS
  • F/14.0, 1/250, exp. -0.3, ISO 1250

Here is the original uncropped photo.  I obviously wanted to get rid of the noise at the top of the photo.

Here is another cropped version. It is not my favorite, because all I see is his jacket and hand leveling his tripod.  I really don’t notice the tulips he is photographing as much.

Update:  As per Raj’s suggestion, here is another crop idea based off this last photo.

072717photographer.jpgQi (energy) hugs



  1. 🙂 Thanks for showing the before and after versions, dear Cee!
    I haven’t had any kind of professional photography training and for me it’s all learning by doing. Hence I’m always grateful for visual advice. It helps me a lot.
    Have a very HAPPY week 🙂


  2. First of all thanks Cee for the participation.. Great to see the entry.
    One of the most colorful pictures I have seen these days! I think almost all possible colors in the color chart is in the picture..that’s the whole “story” of the picture. I think that’s what prompted you for this pic. Great results.
    As for as my critical review is concerned (as part of this XDrive session)
    Image 1: Nice showcase of colorful view.You are able to avoid the unwanted things from the picture. But biggest let down here is the head room. Anyone watching the picture will soon notice a lack of space at his bent head about to hit the top any time as he raises up.That’s the biggest issue, the left side cropping is fine as it does not effect the picture.

    Image 2: Is the my favorite composition, It presents the colorful photographer in a colorful environment keenly involved with his loving act.He looks very comfortably placed and breathing space works very well here. But as you have already pointed out, the top part has a major distraction. That’s the whole problem with this composition.

    Image 3: Here the story line changes, now the picture is about the photographer not about the things he is shooting, Here too the issue is headroom, probably the portrait mode by cropping his shoulders (as done in Image 1) Could have done the trick. I feel in this framing even if you had included the top distraction part, it could have worked better? If possible could you please post that version here Cee? Also this case open wide aperture is advised as we just need separation of our subject also It would blur out our distraction elements

    Thanks once again…Cee..


    1. Hi Raj,
      I so totally agree with your assessments. I really like this photo but found it hard to work with. I used Aperture 14.0 because I really like my photos to be crystal clear, but in this case you are correct. I probably should have opened it it more to get a softer background. I did add in the photo you recommended, if you want to take a look at it.
      This was fun. So glad I had the opportunity and time to play with you this week. I adore your photography.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Cee for the prompt action. The crop looks good, but story here is just about the photographer and I begs for background blur. Well sometimes we cant correct things at all..I do the similar mistakes too..but sometimes you win some you don’t. I am glad that you liked this session.. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

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