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My Favorite Quotes: The Temptations

It was a smiley face winking at me.

It was a smiley face winking at me.

I usually read or hear something first that get my attention and gives me some of my ideas, then I apply it to conversations I have with my online class with the BPSOP, and with my fellow photographers that sign up for my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet. In this case I had the idea/feeling before hearing or reading it somewhere, and followed it up by searching the web to see if others experienced similar ideas or feelings.

The feeling I had was when I remembered my mother always telling me that I had a huge imagination and it was always running away with me.

im·ag·i·na·tion

iˌmajəˈnāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: imagination; plural noun: imaginations

“The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful”.

 Here’s what made me remember that:

I was in Rockport, Maine conducting a workshop and while shooting down the road in Camden, I saw a table with an umbrella and a coffee cup against a wall. I moved the table over to the right to avoid a broken window to keep it clean and to have balance and negative space surrounding  and defining it.

When I stepped back to take the photo, I didn’t see what I thought I was going to see, instead I saw a smiley face winking at me!!

The next day I took my class to the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland (which is the reason I have picked this same week to teach there for twenty-eight years) and while walking around I stopped suddenly to take a photo of a man putting batter on fish. All of a sudden I was no longer looking at a man, but instead a living American flag…Old Glory. It was my imagination running away with me once again.

"Old Glory"

“Old Glory”

So my fellow photographers, the next time you go out shooting open up your mind and let it wander around. Give it a try, follow it because it just might lead you to a place you’ve never been before. Use that imagination of yours and you’ll see that it’s a very powerful tool.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see”.

Btw, one of the first things that popped up while searching the web (and what this post is named after and for) was this song, and one of my favorites by the Temptations…how serendipitous was that????????????

Just my imagination running away with me

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule 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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    Look ma, no Photoshop!

    Look ma, no Photoshop!

    I miss the good old days when you had to actually think before you pressed the shutter; you had just one click to do it right.

    By today’s standards, it was very difficult to do it all in the camera, but since we didn’t know any better it seem the natural thing to do; it was the only thing to do!

    I often think back to some of my photos and think what they would have looked like if Lightroom was around and Adobe was not just a type of house in New Mexico. Maybe I would have been dangerous, but i like the way it turned out.

    Having said all this, I certainly don’t sit around every day pining for days gone by. I like to rely on Photoshop when something I want to do can’t be done at that moment…the decisive moment when I press down on the shutter and record what is.

    What I don’t do and what I tell my online students with the BPSOP and my fellow photographers that sign up for my “Stretching your Frame of Mind” not to do is tell yourself that you’ll just fix it later. Instead of moving to the right to create a better balance between the negative and positive space, or to get that telephone out of someone’s head, or to fix the ridiculously overexposed  subject the meter told you was just fine by bracketing, people will sit in front of the computer and deal with it then.

    I was shooting a calendar for Shell Oil, and every year owners drive their huge eighteen-wheelers to a designated city in hopes to be featured on one of the month’s pages.

    In the past they simply rented a huge warehouse that had a large overhead doors at each end, put up white seamless paper and each rig drove through, stopped, had it’s picture taken and drove out; I wasn’t interested in doing that.

    I presented an idea to the art director. The idea was to take portraits of all the owners and try to make it work with a particular month. I sent my producer ahead of time to find me interesting locations I might use as a backdrop. We arrived in Nashville a couple of days early to look at the locations and decide on the twelve trucks we wanted to use. I walked among a hundred rigs looking to pick out the ones that were simply the coolest!

    Since I love purple and Manny and his son (who was spending the summer driving around with dad) were great guys I picked their rig to be on the July’s page. We found this great location and went for the 4th of July theme.

    What you see was taken on one 35mm Kodachrome transparency, and just one click of the camera.

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

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

    JoeB

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      What did I wish?

      What did I wish?

      This is what I talk about when I’m working with my online students with the BPSOP. During my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, we have daily critiques in the late mornings. We discuss images they’ve shot either the evening before or after the morning shoot. One of the first questions I ask someone when talking about a particular image of theirs is what do you wish.

      It’s a little mental game I’ve played with myself for as long as I can remember. I’m always wishing something that’s not in my frame would be, some additional layer of interest that would hold the viewer’s attention and keep him around longer; I’m always looking for ways to make my photos stronger.

      When I ask someone this question, I want them to think, to color outside the lines. This keeps their mind flowing with ideas, and helps them become more of a storyteller ( a photo maker not a photo taker) when composing their own images. It doesn’t have to be a big thing like a hot air balloon landing right behind the subject.

      It can be as subtle as a black cat in an area in the foreground where nothing is going on…maybe even its shadow.  A person riding a bike through the frame with a white shirt on and wishing it were a red one. Maybe the subject is two feet to the right to get a little more of the light on the face. Or a little more to the left so that huge telephone pole isn’t sticking out of his head!!!

      🙂

      Since I hope that all my fellow photographers always take more than one photo of any particular subject, your wish might just be walking down the street towards you, or coming up behind you, or maybe that yellow cab you wanted pulls up and man wearing a red shirt climbs out.

      I’m personally not a big fan of sunrises over the ocean. However, this one is not bad. So what did I wish that would have created another layer of interest? Something to have kept the viewer around by offering him something to think about? How about a cruise ship (all lit up) about to leave the edge of the frame on the left; leaving a wake all the way across to the right edge.

      Btw, if a hot air balloon all of a sudden does land right behind your subject with Dorothy and Toto waving to the lens, I strongly suggest you immediately wish for World Peace…then a billion dollars!!!

      Try it yourself sometime. As you’re composing wish for something else happening and who knows, maybe your wish will come true.

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

      JoeB

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        Quick Photo Tip: Using the Least Likely Lens

        I never thought about using this lens.

        I never thought about using this lens.

        I’m a huge believer in coloring outside the lines and I’m always telling my fellow photographers that take my online classes with the BPSOP and the ones that join me in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our plant to do just that.

        I wrote a post on it almost four years ago and because of it I followed my own advice. I was in an area in the south of France, and when I got out of my rent car to walk along the area surrounding a chateau, I decided to not use my usual go-to lens and put on something I would never think about using for this type of situation…my 100mm Macro.

        It was a fortuitous decision as it turned out giving me what I still consider to be a very unusual depiction of swans that were nestled in a small stream next to this incredible well-known chateau. Although (sadly) it looks like I did considerable post processing work to it, it was shot in the camera, one exposure on one 35mm Kodachrome frame with no post work done to it; this is what Kodachrome looked like, and boy do I miss it!!!!

        I know so many of you out there get comfortable with one or two lens that always reward you with good photos. The only problem is that they always look the same, as in the same compression or lack thereof, the same focal length that might be on one of your zooms, or the same dOF because you’re using a lens (like a prime) and rendering the same F/stop to all your compositions.

        So my fellow photographers bite the bullet, take a leap of faith and grab a lens you haven’t use in forever, or one you would never use in a situation you’ve been in a hundred times and have been comfortable to the point of being complacent.

        Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come color outside the lines 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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          Does it draw you in?

          Does it draw you in?

          Why do we look at some photos more than others? What compels us to stick around longer for some and not for others? How we can control what the viewer perceives and processes when looking at our photos? The answer will differ and the different methods we use will vary. For me, the important part is to draw the viewer into your photo.

          I teach an online class with the BPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching your frame of Mind” workshops around our planet. I teach people how to use the elements of visual design to create stronger images.

          I discuss how humans rely on the perception of their environment and that visual input is a part of our everyday life. If we can present this information (photographically) in such a way we can make him a visual partner, an active participant, and when we do we’ll have his undivided attention.

          Our eye is constantly moving around and notices elements in out photos that stand out, and for one reason or another are significant. An example is the fact that the eye is drawn to light; like a moth to a flame.

          One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating visual tension, a compositional tool,  into our imagery. Visual tension gives your photograph strength and intensity. Tension equals energy, and it’s a psychological force to be reckoned with and used correctly can take your photography what I refer to as “up a notch”.

          They’re many ways to create visual tension, and I have talked a lot about them to my fellow photographer. The use of light, contrast, i.e.,  shadows and areas in shadow, framing within a frame, combining opposites or unrelated objects, peak of action, body language and gestures, showing the subject and its reflection are some of the ways.

          The way we place the elements, and creating design imbalance giving off the feeling of instability, will generate visual tension. Where we pace the camera in relation to the viewer will have an impact on the viewer and will help generate the tension we’re looking for. Conversely, the placement of the subject in the frame will have an acute effect as well. Using the Rule of Thirds to place your subject will NOT create the visual tension as placing it close to the edge of the frame would.

          So, I don’t know about you, but I like attention when it comes to people looking at my photos. I want them to walk away shaking their heads in amazement after being totally immersed in my imagery. If indeed you feel the same way, then think about incorporating visual tension into your photography.

          Visit my website at: www.joebaraban, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime and we’ll create some visual tension together.

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

          JoeB

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            I blow out highlights!!

            I blow out highlights!!

            During my last (my 28th year) Maine Media Workshop, I was working with a fellow photographer and the moment before she clicked the shutter, her LCD screen exploded with blinking black areas going on in the hightlighted areas. This meant that those areas were being overexposed or “clipped” as what’s said by those that don’t know what they’re talking about.

            I think “visually undesirable” is what I’ve been told by students (who were told this) that take my online class with the BPSOP. I’ve also had similar conversations in my own “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet.

            I digress.

            “Egads”, I yelled to no one in particular, “make it stop blinking, I’ll tell you anything you want to know!!” The student relayed to me that she had been told that whenever she encountered the blinking, to immediately stop what she was doing because she was about to overexpose an area. It also annoyed her (not knowing what it meant) and how did she take it off.

            Seriously? The only reason anyone (not in their right mind) would want to do that is if they wanted to be led (blindfolded) down that one way path to mediocrity. Or maybe they wanted to have the slightest chance in winning a blue ribbon at their camera club’s annual competition.

            Here’s what I think…Get that blinking stuff off you camera. Go to settings on your camera and where it says “highlight alert” disable it. Believe me it’s a better thing you do than you’ve ever done before…why?

            Because one of the ways to generate visual tension is contrast and another is the use of light. Those blown out (clipped) areas brings energy to your images. I don’t always blow out the highlights because there’s a time and place for everything. That said, whenever there are bright highlights in my composition I’m always looking to blow them out.

            It’s easier said than done because if you use the meter in your camera, more than likely it’s going to give you an average exposure of the highlighted and shadow areas; based on what the meter is set on. For best results, set your meter on spot and try exposing just for the areas in shadow; this will blow out the highlights.

            For most of my almost fifty year career, I’ve used a Minolta One-Degree Spot Meter. It’s an external hand held meter (you can find them on e-Bay) that can read just one degree of reflected light, which gives me total control to do as I please to my photo.

            I prefer the energy, so next time blow out the highlights my fellow photographers and you won’t spend eternity in photographic purgatory.

            Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2017 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me in Vienna/Budapest next May and enjoy two beautiful and historical cities.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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              Anecdotes: Apache Oil and Gas

              The one I pre-visualized

              The one I pre-visualized

              I was shooting the annual report for Apache Oil and Gas, and the company sent me to Egypt to pretty much shoot whatever I wanted that represented the people and country. The reason being that they were going to enter into a partnership to begin drilling there.

              The one photo they did want was a photo of a new tower that was recently built in Aswan; a city just south of Cairo. When I got to Aswan, I was driven out to somewhere close to the middle of nowhere, and there was absolutely nothing around except this tower.

              Photo #1

              Photo #1

              As the sun was getting ready to set, I was doing the best I could to try and create an interesting picture out of basically nothing but a tower and some rocks.

              In my online classes with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, never give up! There’s always something you can do and whatever it’s going to be, it’s going to be better than what most people would shoot…why?

              Because not only do I show people how to incorporate the elements of visual design into their imagery, but I also give my Did It Do It list for good composition out to my fellow photographers; on that list is pre-visualization.

              Btw, I also send them a link to one of my favorite quotes said by Eddie Adams.

              Photo #2

              Photo #2

              As I was thinking and scratching my head, this man appeared out of nowhere and came up to see what we were doing. I thought to myself, “Did I just get really lucky or what??? I told our driver to ask him if he would be willing to be in my photo, and that I was willing to pay him the equivalent of ten dollars in his currency.

              Even though that was more money that he would see in several months, he was simply to shy to pose for me; and the money wasn’t really a factor. We finally got him to be in it providing he was far away from the camera…photo #1.

              Photo #3

              Photo #3

              As he became more comfortable, I moved him closer to the camera, knowing where I wanted him to end up…photo #2

              FYI, the featured photo above was what I had pre-visualized all along.

              When I was done and gave him his modeling fee, his friends decided to get in on some of the action; they were also each paid, but just half…photo #3

              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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                00080005

                Gary, one of my long time blog followers, sent me this photo to talk about. As usual, I like to let my readers know what my fellow photographers had to say. The reason being that there might have been times when the same situation happened to them, or perhaps they had or have a similar question.

                Here’s what Gary had to say:

                “Hello Joe,

                I know your a big believer in light and how good use of light can really kick your photos up a notch. In this photo I was trying to use the sunlight as best as I could to really make it feel like a tangible part of the picture. Also with virtually every part of the image at the same focus (infinity), I tried using atmospheric perspective with the background mountain ranges to create depth. Lastly I tried using the railroad tracks to create some movement in the picture to help lead your eye to the mid ground rock formation. Of course no train ever seems to come at the right time when I am taking the picture :).

                Is this a good use of light, atmospheric perspective and line?”

                Thank you,

                Gary

                Gary,

                First of all it’s important for people to know what is meant by Atmospheric Perspective. I talked about it in my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet. I actually wrote a post in 2014 that touched on it: http://joebaraban.com/blog/quick-photo-tip-adding-depth-to-your-photos/

                Atmospheric Perspective isn’t necessarily something you try using, it’s something that’s naturally inherent in our daily lives; simply a scattering of dust particles that’s between you, the subject, and the horizon. As photographers we merely work with it or around it, and it’s not always going to be in our best interest…photographically.

                The phenomenon has been around since the time of Roman wall paintings. Leonardo da Vinci wrote about it, ” Colours become weaker in proportion to their distance from the person who is looking at them”.

                For me personally, the fact that the farthest away objects takes on the color of the haze is not appealing and as a result I usually try to avoid it.

                Take a look Gary:

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

                I’m not sure Line comes into play here as there’s not really any leading or directional lines, or a Vanishing Point that moves the viewer around the frame. It’s the depth from front to back that’s moving the viewer from front to back.

                One last note…I’m not sure the viewer would ever see the train tracks unless you mention that they’re there. Since you won’t be around to explain your thought process, it would need to be a “quick read”.

                I like your photo, as it has a certain quiet mood created by the de-saturation (caused by the scattering of water vapor) occurring from front to back.

                Thanks for the submission.

                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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                  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 after my workshop in Sicily in Lisbon, if I hadn’t been looking from side to side instead of straight ahead, I would have never seen this guy mixed in with several of his friends….missing what would 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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