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Student Work: November Part I BPSOP Class

A self portrait in a Vanishing Point.

A self portrait in a Vanishing Point.

As most of you that follow my blog know, I teach three online classes with the BPSOP. In my part I class, I show my fellow photographers how to incorporate the elements of visual design into their imagery: Light, Color, Line, Shape, Texture, Balance, Form, and Pattern. We also work on the relationship between negative and positive space, ways to create depth , and the power of a Vanishing Point as a tool to move the viewer around the frame.

At the end of the four week class, they walk away with what I call an Artist Palette that has all these elements on it. Now, they are armed with the tools to “make pictures” instead of taking them. They can now begin to “see past their first impressions”.

The left side of the brain (the analytical side) says it’s a tree, but what else is it? The tree is the completed puzzle, but the pieces of the puzzle are the patterns, the lines, the texture, the way the light hits it, and the color of the leaves; this is what the right side of the brain (the creative side) sees. Besides talking about this in my online classes, I also talk about it in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet.

I just completed my part I four week class and the images that the class created are amazing. I would safely say that it’s one of the all time best classes since I began teaching at the school almost six years ago.

I’m certainly impressed, and I hope you are as well. If there’s too many, think of all the ones I’m not showing…just keep the mouse on the arrow and let it roll!!!

Enjoy the show:

Visit my workshop at www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of the page. Come shoot with me sometime.

Keep sending me photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

JoeB

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    Life Before Photoshop: Pacific Bell

    Look ma, no Photoshop.

    Look ma, no Photoshop.

    I shot corporate and advertising photography spanning a forty year career, and most of those years (the dark ages) were spend without the help of Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, and the plethora of plug-ins one can find shopping on the internet; if ones needs help that much.

    In fact, Adobe was a type of house in the Southwest part of the US. Thinking back, I can also remember when there weren’t even computers, and as they came into being companies were quick to include photography of their new (freezing) computer room to go out to stockholders in the form of annual reports; to assure them that they were on the leading edge of technology. It’s amazing to think that my maxed out iMac27Retina is probably as powerful than the entire room full of giant machines.

    Most of my fellow photographers that take my online classes with the BPSOP, and take my “Stretching Your frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet became photographers during the digital age and have no idea that you can actually “make” good photos before clicking the shutter.

    A million years ago, right after the dinosaurs disappeared,  I was shooting an advertising campaign for Pacific Bell, the California based telephone company. I was sent to three locations: Nameless, Tennessee, Remote, Oregon, and Home, Pennsylvania. Three very small but real places spread across the US. With me, I had a phone booth a wall phone and a phone that was mounted on a stand and placed where people could drive up to it.

    Before I left my studio, I had a sign made up to look like it was a sign you would see on a road stating the miles left to a particular town or city; in this case Home, PA. I had an idea in mind so in case I found the right location, I would have the prop I needed.

    Using my Sunpath coordinates I found just the road I wanted where the sun would set just to one side and down the road apiece!!

    We set up the sign and with a portable generator, lit it up.

    I remember it missing something and was going to put the rent car driving away from the phone, but at that moment an Amish man drove by and saved the day. As Eddie Adams once said, “When you get lucky, be ready”.

    I know that in today’s world, the phone and sign would have been shot in a studio, and the back end of the Amish buggy would have been bought from some stock agency and added after the fact.

    I consider myself very lucky that I started out in the film days when you were able to use your head and imagination to solve problems… in the camera where it was fun instead of in front of a computer.

    Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. come shoot with me some time.

    Keep sending in those photos and questions to: AskjoeB@gmail.com, and i’ll create a video critique for you.

    JoeB

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      Food for Digital Thought: Color or B/W

      It's all about capturing their soul.

      It’s all about capturing their soul.

      When I first starting my career, right at the beginning of recorded history, I knew nothing about color photography. I had studied painting and design my entire life and almost always worked in color.

      However, at the time when I was shooting with my first real camera, a Pentax Spotmatic with a 50mm lens, I was shooting in B/W. The reason being that I was also learning all about photography and how to process my film to eventually make my own prints. Color wasn’t an option even if I did know or think about it…which I didn’t.

      In 1971, when I started shooting for UPI, AP, and was a Black Star photographer we shot primarily in B/W, so that’s the way I saw things. Besides at that time I was looking for the moment, that moment that assured me that my photo would be bought ( for ten dollars apiece) and transmitted. Color never entered my mind.

      To me, that was the best way to shoot B/W…with B/W film. Now, As I tell people in my online classes with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, if you’re going out with the intention of shooting B/W, then either look for the action and capturing it or look for the ten different tones that’s between white and black.

      As I’ve told my fellow photographers, my background is in painting, drawing, and design. One of the exercises I remember is completing the grayscale with white and black tempera paint. I had to start out with a block of white and by adding a little black at a time get to black in ten steps. We referred it to: 10% of black, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, etc. until we got to 100%…pure black right out of the bottle. You might try it sometime. It will help you better understand how we perceive our environment around us without any color.

      Contrast will be so important when composing, and you’ll want to have areas of pure white and areas of pure black..as well as the complete tonal range. It takes some getting use to if you’ve never thought that way, but in the long run, I think your images will turn out much stronger than just sit in front of the computer and deciding to convert a color image.

      My  B/W image is from those early days when I only thought in B/W. Unfortunately it’s a digital files so it’s lost a lot of the real beauty it had when it was a print.

      Btw, Ted Grant, a Canadian photojournalist once said, “When you’re thinking and shooting in color you’re photographing their clothing, and when you’re shooting in B/W, you’re taking pictures of their soul”.

      Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my upcoming workshop description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. I have recently written the description for my next “springtime” workshop to be next April 6th, 2017 in my hometown of Houston, Texas. Come shoot with me.

      Keep sending in photos and questions to:AskJoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.

      JoeB

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        Quick Photo Tip: Adjust

        It’s all about making adjustments.

        For me, the easiest way to walk away with the best shot possible is to make a series of adjustments as I’m shooting. Photography is all about making adjustments from your first frame to your final composition.

        As I’m shooting, I look all around the frame. I’m doing my Fifteen Point Protection Plan, my Border Patrol, and the Four Corner Checkoff. Each time the shutter opens and closes I’m making adjustments, some minor and some major…a new final composition, and I take several “final compositions” before I’m through….shoot adjust, shoot adjust, shoot adjust, etc., etc., etc.

        The reason? To achieve what I want in the camera, and not have to rely on a computer to fix the problems I could/should have done prior to clicking the shutter.

        I’ve discovered after thirty plus years of teaching that my fellow photographers will generally bring the camera up to their eye and aim, shoot, then move on to the next shot. Doing that really lowers the odds of that one photo being the one that can stand the test of time. The proverbial ‘OMG’ shot, a ‘keeper’, one that makes it to the ‘wow’ category of picture making.

        In my online class with the BPSOP I critique so many images that could have been so much stronger had they made just a few adjustments. In my personal “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops, I’ll observe a photographer shoot an images and immediately walk away. Slow down and smell the flowers I’ll say to them; don’t be in such a hurry.

        Maybe the horizon line is off, perhaps it’s something growing out of someone’s head. It could be something coming into the corner or edge of the frame (those dead branches for one example) that you really don’t want to be there…I call those UFO’s, which would not be considered something that was hidden in Area 51. These may be nothing but minor nuisances, but they could also be something that even a computer can’t fix and therefore winds up on the cutting room floor…as in painfully deleted.

        In the above photo of a dance instructor in Cuba, there were several adjustments before I was satisfied: I had her standing with no chairs, sitting with no chairs against the wall, then I added a chair, then I added another chair, then I had her looking out the window, then straight at me, then at me through the mirror…shoot adjust, shoot adjust, shoot adjust, etc., etc., etc.

        If you consider yourself a painter as I do, then a good analogy would be to not think about your camera being on a tripod, think about it being a blank canvas on an easel. A finished painting is achieved by adding and subtracting pigment. Mixing colors to get just the right shade of blue, adding white or black to change the value of an area. Switching from one size brush to another is akin to changing lens. Then there’s always the option of using a palette knife of various shapes.

        If you’re into getting the right light, then you’re shooting from different points of view and thinking about my clock. Shoot then adjust by moving around to see how your subject looks lit from the side perhaps to bring out the texture, then make another adjustment by placing the sun behind your subject to backlight it.

        The digital age has had a profound effect on photography. some good and so many not so good. One good thing that has come about is the ability to shoot a photo and immediately look at the back of your camera to check it out. It’s so easy now to make those adjustments that will undoubtedly take your photography to where you’ve never gone before; and what I refer to as ‘up a notch”.

        Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. Send me a photo and question to Ask@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

        My next “Springtime workshop will be May 17th, 2017. We will spend three days in Vienna, and three days in Budapest. Come join me in shooting in two of the most beautiful cities in Europe…May is a great month to photograph all the festivals.

        Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AsKJoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.

        JoeB

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          Quick Photo tip: Peak of Action

          The Peak of Action

          The Peak of Action

          I will often walk up to one of my fellow photographers on some street in Sicily, France, or in another of my ‘springtime” destinations workshops or my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I also teach and I’ll observe him/her shooting a subject that includes some kind of action. I often notice this in photos that are submitted in one of my online classes with the BPSOP.

          What I observe and notice (right away) is that the photo was not taken at the optimum point in time; to achieve the most visual interest and tension. They will quickly reach for their camera whether it be over their shoulder or around their neck and just start clicking away.

          Of course one might be luckily enough to capture that moment, the peak of the action, but don’t count on it. I’ve heard soooooooooo many times someone saying, “if I would have waited I would have gotten it”…or “If I would have shot earlier I would have gotten it”. Either way you missed.

          In every situation that has action in it there’s usually a moment in time that tells the story about the action you’re photographing; there’s always one exposure that the most important, and that’s the peak of the action.

          Since the environment around us exposes us to various action, being at the right pace at the right time is crucial in capturing that moment. Or setting up the action and shooting it in a reportage style to make it appear as though you were in the right place at the right time (like I like to do) will work.

          What I mean by the peak of action can be explained this way: If you were to through an apple up in the air, there’s a moment in time that it’s no longer going up, but has not started to come down. That split second in time is the peak of the action.; and it’s different from the decisive moment.

          I know it sounds difficult, bu in reality it’ quite simple to capture. The key is knowing it’s going to happen, and slow down just a touch…and preparing yourself for it. Having your camera set on continuous shooting is a very good way to get it. For me it’s a visual reaction I’ve come to rely on automatically since I’ve been doing it for a long time; certainly before the digital age.

          In the above photo of the little boy, I had him jump over the sprinkler several times in front of different houses. Clearly, the boy is frozen in air. He’s no longer going up, but has not started to come down…thus, the peak of action.

          Visit my website at: www.joebaraban and check out my 2017 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

          I have just posted my next ‘springtime’ workshop to be in Vienna and Budapest next May 17th. Two fabulous cities filled with so much history. Read my description at the top of this blog.

          Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

          JoeB

           

           

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            Personal Pearl of Wisdom: 25X4=100

            I looked to my right.

            I looked to my right.

            In both my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around our planet, I have my Pearls of Wisdom that my fellow photographers have become to know and I dare say…grown to love?

            Maybe.

            One of my all time attention grabbers is when I say it’s all about 25X4, and I especially remember using it a lot in my “Springtime in Sicily” workshop last May. I used it every day that we were walking around Palermo, Siracusa, Cefulu’ on the West side of Sicily and Catania, Taormina, and Ortygia on the East side.

            As I do in my workshops, I show people how to see things occurring all around them. As Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see”. I’ll suggest they look at things with the right side of their brain, the creative side instead of the left side which is the analytical side.

            The analytical side sees a tree, and the right side sees texture, patterns, lines, color, light, shapes, and form; all basic elements of visual design.

            Having said all that, if you just look straight ahead while you’re walking, you’re only using twenty-five percent of your possible vision that has a immediate correlation to photo ops that either surround you or you pass by. I can say from years of experience, the majority of photographers do just that; it just doesn’t make sense.

            It reminds me of the blinders that some racehorse trainers have their horses wear to keep them focused on what’s in front of them rather than what’s behind them or on each side. It keeps them focused on the race rather than the distractions around them.

            YIKES!!! Is that what you want to be compared to…a racehorse with no distractions? I think not!!

            OK, when I’m walking around hunting that illusive “keeper”, looking for the light in all the right places, I use 100% of the potential shooting area that’s always there following me down the street. In other words, I look straight ahead twenty-five percent of the time for a few steps, then to my right side (a few more steps) twenty-five percent of the time, to the left twenty-five percent of the time and behind me twenty-five percent of the time…now that sure makes sense to me.

            In the above photo taken on my workshop in Sicily, if I hadn’t been looking from side to side I would have never seen this guy…missing what will soon be one of my favorite photos/examples.

            BTW, I will also look up, and have discovered many of my best shots doing just that.

            So there you have it, my 25X4 pearl of wisdom. I can guarantee you that if you make a conscious effort to follow my advice, a whole new set of photos opportunities will open up for you, and it will be a lot more fun.

            🙂

            Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and be sure to check out my 2016-17 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

            Don’t forget to send me your questions and photos to: AskJoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.

            Keep those eyes wide open and always moving around,

            JoeB

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              Anecdotes:

              They could have been brothers.

              They could have been brothers.

              I was shooting a series of ads for Dewars Scotch in Edinburgh, Scotland, and one of the ads featured two men exchanging their secret fly-fishing spots to one another.

              We scoured the city for an authentic Scottish pub that fit the layout that had previously been approved by the client…without any luck. It seems that all the old antique wooden bars, tables, and paneling had been bought up by entrepreneurs in the US to use in their new restaurants being built.

              We found a room in the back of a boy’s prep school that fit the layout. The only problem was that it was an empty room and needed a lot of help to convert it to a typical Scottish pub. As I tell my online students with the BPSOP, and also my fellow photographers that take my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind”, if you’re going to use props and set things up (which I always encourage) make it look like you didn’t. It’s gotta look real to the viewer. Right before they click the shutter I have them ask themselves…”Do I believe it?”.

              While we were dressing the room, my producer went out on the street to look for a couple of men we could use in the ad. Fairly easy since all the older men could have come straight out of central casting; everyone looked great. We picked out two separate men, total strangers, who agreed to play the role of the two fly-fishermen for a fee of $250.00 each.

              I had a 12K HMI (a very large daylight balanced twelve thousand watt motion picture light) outside the window to act as the late afternoon light. To bounce light back into the men, I set up a roll of white seamless paper between us and cut a small hole in it to stick my 20mm lens through. That done, I couldn’t see anything except what I saw in the viewfinder. To make it more realistic and to get the men loosened up we use the real thing…a bottle of Dewars.

              We had been shooting for quite a while and every time their glasses looked empty, my assistant would fill them up again. Finally, when I saw their glasses needed to be refilled I mentioned it, whereas I was told that the bottle was empty. They had consumed the entire bottle, drinking it ‘neat’ or in other words without anything mixed in it including ice.

              It was over!

              The two men, who never laid eyes on one another in their lives, were so drunk that they were laughing and falling over each other…and in a matter of an hour and a half had become close enough to be brothers. In fact, so drunk that they could barely walk and were in no condition to find their way home. It made us so nervous that we renting two private cars to drive each one home.

              Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016-17 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime and I’ll buy you a drink!

              Keep sending in your photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.

              JoeB

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                What else did I need to say pharmaceuticals lab?

                What else did I need to say to represent a pharmaceutical lab in a photo?

                Photography is the “art of subtraction”. Unlike painting where you start out with a blank canvas on an easel and fill it in until you have a finished work of art, the camera on a tripod starts out with everything the lens can see, and you take things out until you have a finished photo.

                The key to finishing up with a finished photograph, worthy of being on a wall is, in knowing what to take out and what to leave in. To me, this is one of the most difficult parts of the process; from the first idea/composition to the final act of clicking the shutter.

                I’ve been teaching an online class with the BPSOP for five years, and conducting my personal “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops for over thirty years, and one thing that hasn’t changes is that my fellow photographers don’t know when to quit. When to say ok I’m comfortable with what I have so it’s time to let go and click the shutter.

                I’ve found that people have a tendency to not trust their judgment and with that comes an insecurity in what they’re doing, and while they’re doing it..therefore their thought process centers around more is better.

                Years ago, perhaps a million of them, I was represented by The Stock Market”, one of the first, largest, and most popular stock photography agency in the world. The co-owner and photo editor told me that what she liked about my pictures was that I knew what not to to put into a photograph.

                For the most part, I’ve always tried to “keep it clean”. If something in your composition isn’t helping it then more than likely it’s probably hurting it…or at the least taking up unnecessary space. Sometimes you don’t even realize it until you’re sitting in front of a computer, and maybe you can fix it then; which doesn’t make you a good photographer.

                I do suggest three ways to help you out on that: My fifteen point protection plan, the border patrol, and the four corner checkoff. At least it might get you to see those pesky UFO’s…those parts of things that invade the edges of your frame – i.e., a part of someone’s hand or foot, the last three letters of a sign, half a light post, etc.

                The viewer will fill in the rest of the plant.

                The viewer will fill in the rest of the plant.

                Sometimes you don’t need the entire horse running through the field, maybe it’s just the neck and head. What if it’s just the grill of a 57′ Chevy? Try it sometime, and let the viewer work at filling in the missing pieces to the puzzle you left him.

                Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out the workshops I offer at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

                Keep those photos and questions coming to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique of your photo.

                JoeB

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                  What do you think?

                  What do you think?

                  I teach an online class with the BPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around our planet. I also like to have my fellow photographers submit images that they would like me to comment on. here’s one I recently received:

                  Harry sent me this photo to take a look at. I always like to share what each photography says because someone out reading this may have had a similar experience. Here’s what Harry had to say:

                  “Joe,

                  Here is an image I made recently at a local park. This park is a very large former DuPont estate and the barns and houses are leased out to people. I have talked to the owner of this barn on previous wanderings through the park, as I’m lugging my camera/tripod and camera bag over my shoulder (No, I didn’t get photo of him with his horses or barn… still working up to it). On this day however, he was not there, but this purple flower caught my eye, and I stopped to shoot it. I have looked through the Windows Collection on your website and I would like to know what you think of this image and what you would have done differently.
                  Thanks.”

                  As you might know, I’ve been shooting windows and for several years and taking off with my dog to places that I select by closing my eyes and pointing to a spot on a map is one of my favorite things to do.

                  As I said in my video, I have no control over the quality or the direction of the light so it’s just luck if I’m at the right place at the right time. I can tell you that it has to be an incredibly beautiful window, standing on it’s own without the support of light, for me to stop; if it’s entirely in the shade. Here’s a similar window i shot and was lucky enough to be there at the right time:

                  Shot at the right time.

                  Shot at the right time.

                  Take a look at your video:

                  http://www.screencast.com/t/Vtwz1G3nm0k

                  Harry,

                  Thanks for submitting to AskJoeB, and I hope I’ve been able to help. Be sure to send me your photo in case you ever get a chance to go back and take another look at it.

                  Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

                  Keep sending in your photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

                  JoeB

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                    My Favorite Quotes: Henri Matisse

                    Coloring outside the lines takes courage.

                    Coloring outside the lines takes courage.

                    I’ve enjoyed writing poss for this category for some time, the first one going back three years. As my fellow photographers that follow my blog know, I don’t limit these quotes to just photographers. Artists of all types and genres are my sources, and as long as their quotes make an impact (as it relates to teaching) on me, then I want to share it with everyone.

                    My background is in painting and design, so part of my education was spent in Art History; specifically in the study of painting. Among my favorites was the French painter Henri Matisse. Not only known for his use of color, but he was also a printmaker and sculptor. Matisse once said, “Creativity takes courage”.

                    I have often talked to photographers that take my online class with the BPSOP, and my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet about stepping out from the coattails of photography past and present, and of those that would lead you down the path to mediocrity.

                    I’m talking about those that follow (with the strictest regularity) rules meant to hinder any chance to being creative. Creative in the sense of following your own path instead of those others have blazed a million years before..at least during the onset of camera clubs…and now the ruts are are beginning to be too deep to climb out of.

                    Coloring outsides the lines instead of listening to bad advise offered by those that are too afraid to do so themselves takes courage. We have become a  nation of sheep, and find it easier to go with the flow than follow the beat of a different drummer.

                    For the most part, I’ve found that photographers want/need  to be safe in their approach to creativity and strive for that first, second, or third place ribbon awarded to those that follow the rules laid out in their respective clubs; or perhaps a big smile and gentle pat on the back from friends or family members…that love you unconditionally.

                    Without the revolution started by these influential impressionist painters: Pisarro, Monet, Renoir, and Bazille, art may have never been so radically changed; they challenged the art world and won. As photographers we should consider ourselves as painters who have chosen a camera as our medium; our cameras on a tripod is the same as a blank canvas on an easel.

                    Break all those silly rules that I’m sure all of you at one time or another have either read about or someone has been whispering in your ear; for the most part it’s really bad advice.  If your photos are constantly being degraded from fellow photo club members because they don’t follow their rules…start your own club and enlist only those that dare to be courageous.

                    FYI, I know of people that have done just that.

                    Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and check out my 2016-17 workshop at the top of this blog. come shoot with me sometime and we’ll be creative.

                    Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to; AskjoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.

                    JoeB

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                      Will it stand the test of time?

                      Will it stand the test of time?

                      There’s so many aspects involved in taking a photo that you’ll remember and that will stand the test of time.

                      Since I enjoy the game of golf and I often play (I’m a much better photographer), I can draw this analogy…to simply hit a golf ball straight and not necessarily far, it takes a number of things all working together at the same time: Your stance, grip, wrist, shoulders, head, knees, follow through,  tempo, back swing, and that’s not counting all the separate nuances that are associated with each one of those aspects. FYI, according to my brother, whose a Master Professional, only five percent of all the golfers in the world can do it repeatedly during an eighteen hole game.

                      Well the same hold true for photography, fortunately for all of us there’s not quite so many!!!

                      In my online classes with the BPSOP and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind’ workshops I conduct around our planet, we work on incorporating the elements of visual design.

                      We also work on light, exposure, balance, composition, unity, rhythm, meaning, visual interest, and the ability to see past first impressions, are all some of the important aspects necessary before you click the shutter; if you expect your photos to stand the test of time.

                      What do I mean by standing the test of time? I mean that when you look at your photo a day, week, month, six months, a year or longer, and it still looks as good to you as the day you shot it, then it will stand the test of time and become timeless. Will it convey the same meaning, tug at the same heartstrings, the same smile no matter how much time goes by?

                      Moreover, if in the same stretch of time you take a second look at it and you wonder why in the hell you ever clicked the shutter, then maybe you shouldn’t have been so hasty. That’s where those aspects I mentioned come into play. A good photo is going to be a good photo no matter what new technology forces its way into the art of photography…and make no mistake, it is art.

                      In fact, I find that the more plug-ins, programs, software, and buttons there are, the harder it is to take a simple photo and have it last through all these photo fads. Case in point, look at all the great photographers that shot with a lens and a camera. People like: Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Steichen, Haas, Lange, Eugene Smith, Newman, Walker, Penn, and so many more.

                      Their images are more sought after today than ever before, and will continue their popularity even as our generations change hands and younger/newer photographers take over with more advanced, more powerful, newer, smarter, more megapixel cameras . I just don’t think you can say that with the type of photos that one sees every day. They will come and go as fast as the new spring fashions that come out year to year.

                      For a photo to stand the test of time takes a commitment to the process. Take the time to get all these aspects going for you before you click the shutter, not in front of a computer. Think before you bring that camera up to your eye, and you’ll wind up shooting less and being more productive.

                      Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and check out my 2016-17 workshops at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

                      Keep sending me your photos and questions to: AskjoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

                      JoeB

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                        Student’s Work: New York Workshop/2016

                        "Taxi"!!!

                        “Taxi”!!!

                        I just returned from conducting my latest workshop in New York, and it will have to go down as one of the best group of people I’ve ever had…or close to it since so many had taken at least one if not eight previous workshops with me. The level of work was amazing and I was was proud to be a part of it. Nor only am I proud to show you their week taken during the week, but I would think you will agree that it’s pretty impressive work.

                        Along with New Yorker (historian and photographer) Morning Slayter who produced this workshop, we shot a several places you’ll recognize in the slideshow: The Seaport, Memorial Gardens, the Brooklyn Bridge, Chinatown, Washing Square Park, the Village, Central Park, Calatrava Path Station, and a private hard hat tour of the shuttered hospitals on Ellis Island…not counting just walking around the city finding photo ops wherever you looked.

                        My hat is off to Morning for all her had work, and the images you see would not have been possible without her.

                        As I said, most of the people had taken my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop, or had taken my online classes with the BPSOP…or both, and I would put their body of work against the majority of working professionals living through the US…and abroad.

                        Group photo taken after the hard hat tour on Ellis Island.

                        Group photo taken after the hard hat tour on Ellis Island.

                        You’ll have to excuse me this time for the amount of photos I’ve selected, but it was very difficult and this is less than half of what I went through as to make it as short as possible. Just keep your finger clicking on the arrow and it will go by a lot quicker!!!!

                        🙂

                        I always try to select a photo to highlight and it was very difficult to do so. I finally settled on the one at the top that to me represents New York, albeit in a semi-strange (NY) way. It’s the one image you see happening more than any other when in the Big Apple.

                        Enjoy:

                        Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and check out my 2017 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. March 10th, 2017 in conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a trip to the Oriente Province on the Eastern side of the Island. This will be my fourth trip to Cuba and I’m excited to see cities and parts I’ve never been to before.

                        Send me a photo and question to: AskJoe@gmal.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

                        JoeB

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                          Isolating just the woman executive takes time.

                          Isolating just the woman executive takes time.

                          I’m not sure how many of my fellow photographers out there ever have the need to light and shoot a group of people and make just one of them stand out without the others knowing; and still make the lighting even on everyone. As they now say, “Being politically correct”.

                          Having complete control of both your exposure and shutter speed is essential, to pull it off. In this executive portrait, I set up in an empty room in the company’s offices. By using  black board in between the lights that are on each of the temporary stand in models (we used so we wouldn’t take up too much of the real executives time), I was able to control the reflected light hitting each one separately. Using my Minolta One Degree Spot Meter model ‘F’ for both ambient and electronic flash readings I matched the light on all three executives.

                          Now having the light readings the same, I then could control my DOF. I could have all three in focus, just the man in the middle, or the man on the left end. In this situation, the woman was the key executive, and the one the company wanted to feature in their annual report to the stockholders.

                          By using a 300mm telephoto lens, I could isolate the woman at F/2.8 even though the next man was sitting close to her. I did this by getting as close to her as the lens would focus, approx. twelve feet.

                          Then it was time for the real executives to come in and make it look as though they were in a real meeting; instead of looking at a whole lot of diffusion material. I tried countless variations where I had each executive doing something different; as though it was an actual working meeting.

                          Remember that lighting takes a lot of time to make your photos look good. So many of my online students with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet just don’t take the time necessary when you’re using flash; either inside or outside. They tend to only think about the main subject and let everything else fall where it may…not a very good idea.

                          Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016-17 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

                          Keep sending in your photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

                          JoeB

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                            Life Before Photoshop: Budweiser

                            The finished product.

                            The finished product.

                            Looking back through all my post in this category, brings to mind all the years I spent without the help of Lightroom and Photoshop. I’m closing in on fifty years of shooting advertising and corporate photography, and I would say that three-quarters of those years were spent without their help. These years were during the period of time when computers were not invented, in their infancy stage, and later on when Adobe was a type of house in the Southwest part of the country.

                            I was recently talking to a woman that had taken both my online class with the BPSOP, and several of my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet. One of the things she said was, “I can’t imagine shooting and not seeing what you’ve captured while it is being developed.  That in itself, has to make one think very carefully before clicking the shutter. ”

                            She’s right, but it was a lot scarier than that!!!

                            Imagine a large production shot that included an out of town location, people, interior lighting you had to make believable, and important props that helped tell the story. Now imagine getting everything in the frame to be withing one stop of one another; from the front to the back, and from one side to the other…that’s not counting the exposure on the faces of the subjects. All this on one 35mm Kodachrome transparency.

                            Now, imagine not being able to see your finished photo until you got back home, sent the film to the lab, then waited nervously until you saw the first three to four frame clips. I only knew it would be close ahead of time based on the countless meter readings I took with my Minolta One-degree Spot Meter and bracketing in one third intervals. Had it not been for this meter, I would have never been as successful as I was…plain and simple.

                            In the photo of the boxer, Budweiser sent me a layout depicting a young Hispanic man posing with his trainer and manager, to be taken in the gym they worked out in. These were not to be models, but the real deal. I sent a location scout to San Antonio to check out his gym to see if it fit all the requirements. In other words, if it looked real. Needless to say I was exited when I saw the photos and quickly set up a date to take their portraits.

                            Knowing from the photos that the room was going to be too dark to really work with, I took virtually all the lighting I had in my studio; I wound up using everything I took.

                            Here’s the finished production photo with a video of how I achieved it with out the help of any post processing. Everything was created in the camera on one piece of film.

                            http://www.screencast.com/t/lLw6jNdZiS

                            Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out the workshops I offer at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

                            Keep those photos and questions coming to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique of your photo.

                            JoeB

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