The Photography Lesson #saigon

I made a pact with myself this year that I would stop talking and start doing.
There are a few things on my list, that pop up each year...
only to be added to the next year.
A photography lesson is one of them. 
Call it lazy, call it paranoid, there has always been a reason.
Not so this year.

I managed to pass the camera bug on to my daughter, Miss Claire.
I have been promising her a mother and daughter photo session
for a long while. With a five week visit home, it was the perfect time.
A recommendation from a friend and a bit of circumnavigating
around the net put me on to Peter Stuckings
a talented photographer, under his own label, IndoChina Images.
Miss Claire and I signed up for a private lesson,
the 'Better Travel Photography Workshop'.

Travel Photographer, Peter Stuckings

Our mission was to walk away with a clearer understanding
of the big three. The ones that so often get us in a twist...
Exposure, Shutter Speed and Aperture.
Eight hours later... after intensive discussion, reviewing
personal photos and going 'walkabout' Saigon.
I have to admit...we started to 'get it'
Mission least for now.

Miss Claire enjoying the results of her efforts.

Our practice shots were fun but not so easy.
Peter encouraged us to embrace in shutter speed.
The object was to capture passing cyclists in motion.
We attempted this in a number or ways.
All I can say is the one where I had to stand still and
turn with the passing motorist from the waist...was a challenge.
It was hard to ignore the stares...the ones that said..' you crazy woman'.

Peter said once we understood the concept and attempted
more practice sessions, we would be hooked.
I know he is right...I can't wait to get back on that street corner again.

 With thanks to Peter for sharing his expertise. I am more
determined than ever as a result of his efforts and
excited to be joining his upcoming Travel Photography Workshop
with fellow travel photographer Mark Stennett in a few weeks time.
If you are interested in photography workshops and tours around Saigon and further
afield into Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Laos and Mt Everest Base Camp..
 you can read more here and here.

With that, I leave you to enjoy the rest of this beautiful weekend
and I hope you can do the same. I am in the midst of exploring
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, do you know it?
Peter gave it a big thumbs looks wonderful.
Do I dare?

After watching this video featuring American Photographer,
Nevada Wier...I am very tempted!

Happy Creating!!

Jeanne xx


  1. Way over my head! Methinks i need to add learning to use a real camera to my retirement list. i'm not all that good with point and shoot!

  2. I love this post Jeanne. Your photography is already so beautiful and alive. I'm delighted that Claire has become an enthusiast too. I look forward to what awaits. The lightroom 4 video is inspiring with not only photography pointers but life lessons as well. Thanks again for sharing your life.

    1. Agree Rose...I think Nevada is an inspiration in herself. :)

  3. Bonjour Jeanne. How wonderful you have finally signed up for a photography class, and with your daughter, no less. I can only imagine how perfect Saigon street life must be to practice working on that shutter speed :-) From the samples displayed here, it looks like you are doing pretty well, under Peter's tutelage. Félicitations! Taking a private photography workshop is on my to-do list in 2013. This story inspired me to research available options. Bonne semaine, Jeanne! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    1. Glad to see I am not the only one will have to let me know when you do. You are right about the shutter speed and Saigon have to be quick on the mark. Best wishes.. :)

  4. Great pics! Would you tell us again what kind of camera you use to be able to make photos like this?

    1. Hi Judy...I use a Canon 550D and a Canon G12..the latter is smaller and for day trips when I do not want to carry a larger camera. :)

  5. Oh hooray! You would have to know how excited I am that you did this! As the companion of a professional photographer, I know first-hand that they understand the inner workings and the hows so innately. Remi will look at a scene and immediately (and often audibly) say the settings that he needs to capture it. Of course, he also knows that he has a wilful and stubborn red-head on his hands who "wants to figure everything out for herself." Sigh. You are far wiser than I, Jeanne! I can't wait to see what photos you will take...
    Off to look at the links and video.
    Bisous from chilly Provence,

    1. I think we would do very well shooting together Heather. I found myself walking around with Claire the other day all the while blurting out ISO, Aperature and Shutter Speed settings..thinking what would be correct at that moment. No idea if I had it right but the thought is starting to take shape. I thought of you when I watched the video...inspiring. :) xx

  6. Wow - fabulous photos - what a great workshop - I have booked into a course next month and can't wait. Also have Lightroom 4 which I am attempting to master!!!! Have a book and looking at You Tube - it's fun - just need the time to do it! good luck and love the collage F x

    1. We need to confer Francesca... Once Peter showed me what he could do on Lightroom I started to look at iPhoto as a relic. You are so is time...and more time. Keep me posted! :)

  7. Those photos are great. What a difficult project and you did so well. I need to do the same as I'm always saying I will learn how to use my camera off the automatic setting and never do. I'd love to join you for a session or two, but it is pretty far away ;)

    1. There are some great online sites Grace...can't say I have used them but I have been collecting links here and there. I will create a post around them for those who prefer Auto...but wonder what is around the dial...:)

  8. Jeanne,

    What a wonderful mother daughter day! I too have been promising myself a few lessons and I have a lot on my plate at the moment but if I am honest I think I am afraid. I am not trying to be a professional photographer but I also do not want to look like a complete idiot and at the moment my camera totally confounds me. I must get over that.

    Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos! I can actually see you in my mind standing on the street corner twisting to get these photos.

    Enjoy your lessons JEanne because you are truly talented and your travels and adventures open doors for the rest of us that we may never get the opportunity to see.

    Have a wonderful week, Elizabeth

    1. Thank you Elizabeth..your photos are lovely..this may be the year you step outside your comfort zone. Keep those recipe shots coming...they are my favourite! :)

  9. I’m taking a class at Maine Media in June, hoping to improve travel and food photography. I'll work on travel during upcoming trip to your part of the world.

  10. I've been wanting to take a proper photography class for some time. Good for you for doing it - your photos are wonderful! I checked out Nevada Weir's video - wow, is she talented!! I'm curious to see what you think about Photoshop - intrigues me...

    1. I will keep you posted Laura..I agree Nevada is pretty inspiring! :)

  11. I am sure it is a sensible thing to do Jeanne, to take such a course. I am stuck with my little pocket digital camera and am too lazy to go into the mechanics of using my old camera. Your photos are lovely.

    1. Thank you WG...many of my photos are taken on a pocket camera...most likely my phone. I will take them any way I can get them! :)

  12. Ah yes, those Three. I tremble just reading your words. I usually point, shoot and hope for the best. And, in moments of utter distress, I will read my camera manual.

    1. Point..Shoot...Hope for the best.. I can so relate to that Loree! :)

  13. Us creative types need a big nudge to commit to technical endeavors but I swear you have made me think this through again Jeanne. I have been dying to leap into photo lessons and Photoshop and just keep stalling, could be I am fearful that left side of the brain is totally non-functional at this point-lol! We shall see and look forward to seeing your progress. Wonderful to nudge your daughter too, such a gift to have expert direction for traveling. xx

    1. I like nudge's too Sande..I think we need them every now and again. This was a big nudge for to keep it going. :)

  14. I hope you are enjoying your time in VietNam. How great for a second home.


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