"Seeing past first impressions".

“Seeing past first impressions”.

Before I go any farther, let me define the word Idiom. An idiom is: (1) An expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words but that has a separate meaning of its own. (2) A form of a language that is spoken in a particular area and that uses some of its own words, grammar, and pronunciations.

Here are some common idioms: “Sunday week” for a week from Sunday. “Give way” for retreat, and “Rock and Roll” is a musical idiom.The one I’ve always thought was especially pertinent to photography, and one I mention in my online class with the PPSOP, and also in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet is. “There’s more to it than meets the eye”

In other words I tell my fellow photographers that there’s two ways to look at a subject: You can look at it with the left side of your brain, the analytical side, or the right side of your brain, the creative side. So many of my students don’t look at things as they could be, only as they are.

Doing that will keep you from taking your photography to what I refer to as…”up a notch”. What I mean is that looking with the left side of your brain will only show you what things are. Looking at those same things with the right side of your brain can show you what they could be. Take the photo above for example.

First, allow me to digress for a moment. I teach photographers how to use the basic elements of Visual Design and composition to create stronger images. A complete description can be read by clicking on the link above.

Ok, so last week I was sitting in my backyard on my deck; it was the end of a beautiful day. Seventy two degrees and sunny, so I had my book in one hand and my Bombay Martini and a bowl of nuts at the ready and close to my other hand. I was trying to filter out all the sounds of a house being built next to us and occasionally looking up at what was going on. The sun was setting behind the house that was next door and behind me and as the sun was setting the light was slowly disappearing from the bottom up, leaving only the top part still in sunlight.

If I had been looking at the house with the left side of my brain, I would have only heard the incessant hammering and then seen the man working at the top of the house that was causing it…that’s what was. Since I’m always looking at things as they could be, I saw more than just a house with a man working on the top floor.

I saw the Texture of the Crape Myrtle’s, branches still bare from the Winter. The square and rectangular Shapes, and the blue Negative Space that defines and creates the Shapes. I’m always looking for ways to create Visual Tension, and placing the man close to the edge of the frame is one of the ways. The way the light is only left at the top of the construction is another, and the contrast between his bright, saturated red shirt against the soft blue sky and clouds is still another.

These elements of Visual Design and composition are all pieces that make up the finished puzzle…another idiom meaning the final photograph.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and be sure to watch for upcoming workshops listed at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime, and I’ll show you what could be.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskjoeB@gmail.com.

JoeB

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Bill took this at the Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine

Bill took this at the Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine

One of the posts I look forward to writing is right after one of my workshops. As most of my followers know I recently wrote a post on my last “Springtime” workshop, this time in Paris this last May . It was followed by a second post on the Eiffel Tower competition where everyone went out to capture the famous structure as creatively as they could.

The end of this last July, I conducted my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” class at the Maine Media Workshop, and it was the twenty-sixth year I had done so. The Maine Media Workshop is the granddaddy of them all and it’s where many of the know famous workshops got their beginning. It was a great time with a great class, and the resulting images they took are among some of the best I’ve seen in all the years I’ve taught there. The lasting friendships and experiences all of us came away with, are indelibly etched in the minds of not only all my fellow photographers who took my class, but mine as well.

The class having fun on a foggy morning in Belfast, Maine

The class having fun on a foggy morning in Belfast, Maine

As I trek towards my thirtieth year teaching in Maine, next summer I hope I’ll have an opportunity to meet some of you that have followed my blog over the years. FYI, I also teach this same class with the PPSOP, probably the top online school out there.

Meanwhile, enjoy the slideshow created solely by all my recent students.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and be sure to watch for my 2015 workshop schedule coming out in a couple of months. Although my workshop, in conjunction with Santa Fe, to Cuba is full, you can still put your name on a waiting list. I still have two spots open for my workshop with Epic Photo Tours to Myanmar next February.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com.

JoeB

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A twenty-five cent photo.

A twenty-five cent photo.

I have four grown kids ranging from twenty-five to thirty-eight and two grand kids ages seven to nine, and have been taking pictures of them most of their lives. Not so much with my three daughters and one son as they all have “flown the coop”, and leading grown up lives!!!

There was a time when I took lots of pictures of them, and my fellow photographers that have taken my online course with the PPSOP, and my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet always are amazed when I show them some of mine in response to some of their submission they always have the same disclaimer…”It’s all they would let me take”, or “After one shot they wanted to quit”, or “This is the only pose thy would give me”, or finally, “They had a complete meltdown when I asked them to smile”.

“What’s yours secret”?, they always ask.

It’s easy, pay them!!!!! I’ve always felt that if you were going to take them away from what they were doing, it seemed only fair to pay them for their time; and it has always worked.

When my kids were just past the walking for the first time stage in their life, I was taking their picture for family personal use as well as using them for some of my jobs. At first they wouldn’t hear of being photographed. Covering their eyes and laying on the ground was their way of saying no. So, I offered to pay them twenty-five cents. It worked like a charm. Then as they got a little older, it went to fifty cents. Around the age of ten, it became a dollar, and that meant they agreed to be photographed for as long as I needed, because it was mostly for my work.

By this time, they were as good looking and better all around models that took direction better than any model their age a client could pick. This held true for all the modeling agencies in Houston.

The dollar became five, then twenty-five, fifty, and finally one hundred dollars by the time they were teenagers to young adults. You ask why? When a client wanted to look at model portfolios, I would always put in whichever of my kids would fit the profile of who they were looking for.  If one of them was picked, I would tell them it was one of my kids and the rate was one-hundred dollars for whatever use they wanted. A price my kids gladly agreed on.

The difference in price between a model registered with an agency and one of my kids could be a quite a lot. One of my kids charged a hundred dollars and the modeling agency would easily charge a thousand dollars or considerably more depending on all the different places the photo would be seen. There was never an issue concerning Nepotism with the advertising agencies. It was always about the money.

So, next time you want to photograph your kids, pay them for their time. A quarter can go a long way, which is exactly what my daughter (photo shown at the top) charged to get on the teeter totter with our dog Lucy.

A fifty cent charge by another daughter.

A fifty cent charge by another daughter.

Visit my website at: www.joeBaraban.com and check out my 2014 workshop schedule. Come shoot with me at the Maine Media Workshop July 27th, or in Paris May 28th, Jerusalem September 17th, or in Cuba November 4th.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com.

JoeB

 

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The Use of Gestalt in Photography: Proxmity

August 27, 2014

One of the most diverse, interesting, and sometimes complicated of all the principles of Gestalt that I teach both in my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet is referred to as Proximity. If you’ve ever felt that your composition was a little […]

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Did It Do It: Did It Make People Want To Give Your Photograph More Than A Cursory Look?

August 21, 2014

Well my fellow photographers, this is the last in the series of my “did it do it” list for good composition. This is number twelve, and if you study all of them, you’re imagery will most definitely go what I refer to as “up a notch”. As I’ve said all along, these are not rules […]

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Anecdotes: Sal and Judy

August 15, 2014

Years ago, I was asked to shoot a brochure for a printing company in New Orleans. The theme of the brochure was “something’s cooking at Upton”. The designer had me go to five of the best known restaurants in and around the city; best known not to the tourists, but to the locals. I was […]

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My Favorite Quotes: Ansel Adams

August 9, 2014

Ever since I started teaching workshops, back in 1984, I’ve collected quotes written by various artists. Whether they were photographers, painters, writers, musicians is of no relevance. The important thing to me is that they are artists, and at the top of their game in their respected fields.; of course the quote has to deal […]

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Workshop Stuff: Eiffel Tower Exhibition

August 3, 2014

In my recent Springtime in Paris workshop, that incidentally was a huge success, I had ask the class to photograph the Eiffel Tower sometime during the week. Since it’s the most iconic structure in France, or any country for that matter, I thought it might be fun to have a juried exhibition and award a […]

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Workshop: “Springtime in Paris”

July 31, 2014

I recently returned from my annual ‘springtime” workshop. This year it was in Paris, France and I have to say that it’s one of my favorite cities in the world for photo ops, good wine and food. Being around a group of good shooters doesn’t hurt, and seeing so many again from previous workshops is […]

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Food For Digital Thought: When Do You Need a Release

July 22, 2014

I’ve been asked several times by my online students with the PPSOP, my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, and several of you that had ask me on my blog as to when you need a model release. The following is an article I had Dana Lejune (http://www.triallawyers.net/, my attorney, […]

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