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Life before Photoshop: Ho’okipa

Look ma, no Photoshop!

Look ma, no Photoshop!

Ho’okipa Beach is on the north shore on the Island of Maui, and probably the most renowned windsurfing site in the world. I was there working on another project and went up to see what we could get since the international championships was just a week away.

All the top windsurfers from all over the world were going to be there, so I figured it would be a great photo opportunity. In those days I was selling a lot of stock photography, so I thought why not make a few bucks while adding to my sports portfolio.

We arrived in the afternoon, and on that day it was overcast; rare for Maui. We had just this one afternoon off, so I couldn’t spend more than a few hours…so we waited, hoping for a break in the weather. I was set up on a pullout that overlooked the beach, with my 600mm Nikkor f/4 lens on, and was watching the windsurfers until there was just a handful of them left.

By that time all the other tourists had left, but as I tell my online students with the BPSOP, and those that take my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around our planet, “it ain’t over til it’s over”…as in dark!!

Sure enough waiting around paid off because for less than minute the sun peaked through the almost solid gray sky, and as Eddy Adams once said, “When you get lucky, be ready”….and I was.

The three remaining windsurfers came around and for a matter of seconds had formed a perfect triangle. As the sun was back lighting the sails making them glow, I was shooting…and screaming in pure joy!!!!

What you see in the above is one exposure, on one piece of film.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and watch for my 2016 workshop schedule. Come shoot with me some time. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York.

On July 15th I’ll be doing a three day workshop in LA and also a presentation on the 14th. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

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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    What do you think?

    What do you think?

    Karen submitted this photo of three seagulls. She asked me what I thought about the photo, and I like to share what each of my fellow photographers had to say. In this case, all Karen said was ” Joe, what do you think about this photo”.

    The first thing I immediately felt was how closed in the photo seemed…Why you ask? Because of the square format.

    As I’m always reminding my students that take my online class with the BPSOP, and in my own “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, we don’t perceive in a square, we perceive in a rectangle; which is why I always use a 3:2 aspect ratio. In my opinion it’s very difficult to achieve visual tension in a square, especially in a landscape.

    I’m not saying you can never achieve tension, because it depends on the subject matter. Diane Arbus comes to mind as someone that could generate tension in a square, and if you know her photos, you’ll know why I’m saying it. Sh also committed suicide.

    Take a look at my video: http://www.screencast.com/t/c900iYDpgchJ

    As I said Karen, cropping is not necessarily a cure-all for creating strong photos. There’s so much more involved as far as deciding on what’s important in your composition. I would suggest you try getting it in the camera and not cropping it later in front of a computer. It’s just one opinion, but if you strive to being a better shooter, then design your shot before you click the shutter.

    Here’s what it would look like if it was in a 3:2 aspect ratio. Which one do you like?

    A rectangle

    A rectangle

    Thanks for the submission, and I hope my critiqued helped.

    I want to announe my new upcoming three day intensive workshop at the Los Angeles Center for Photography this coming July 15th with my presentation on the evening of the 14th. I hope to see some new fces out there and say hello to some old ones: https://lacphoto.org/events/stretching-your-frame-of-mind-with-joe-baraban/

    Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. July 31st starts my Maine Media Workshop. It will be my 28th year, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in taking pictures for a week. 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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      Cuba/March/2016

      Taken during "Dawn Patrol"

      Taken during “Dawn Patrol”

      While the experience and images of Cuba are still so fresh in my mind, I wanted to share this wonderful country with you in a visual presentation.

      For the third time, the Santa Fe Workshops asked me to lead a group to Cuba, and for the third time I was as exited as I was the first time I was asked. Together with their point man Kip Brundage, a top photographer in his own right, one couldn’t ask for a more professional experience.

      These photos were all taken by my fellow photographers that had signed up for me to shoot with them through the streets of Havana, as well as smaller towns that were withing an hour’s ride from our hotel.

      Many of them had taken my online class with the BPSOP, or had been with me in one of my own “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops. For three, it had been their second time in Cuba with me.

      To be sure, things in Cuba are rapidly changing and just within a couple of years, the differences for me were very apparent.  From the new Paladares  (privately owned restaurants) offering cuisine for even the discerning foodie, to the increase in tourism shown by the endless line of huge tour buses.

      For the first time I saw cranes rising above the narrow streets, jutting into the blue skies over Havana, and of course the beginning of traffic jams. I walked by huge cruise ships that were either docked in the harbor or on the horizon waiting to come in.

      What hasn’t changed is the people. They are still warm and friendly and anxious to invite you into their small humble homes for coffee and conversation. For the most part, they are willing to be photographed and only once in a while ask for something in return.

      I had many people refuse money (a CUC…about a dollar) but would smile when you offered them, a pack of gum or a candy bar. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you see the joy of a child you just gave a small toy to.

      I can tell you that they absolutely love people from the United States, and eager to talk and spend time with you. Havana is still well worth the visit, but if I were you I would go sooner rather than later.

      Btw, I happened to be there at the same time as President Obama, and watched his motorcade drive by hundreds of cheering Cubans. It was very cool and definitely part of history.

      Enjoy the show:

      Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media Workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography.

      It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

      I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

      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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        My Favorite Quotes: Man Ray

        Inspired by color, patterns, shape, and Texture.

        Inspired by color, pattern, shape, and texture.

        I always think that I was fortunate to not have studied photography, but to have studied art instead.  That’s not to say Photography isn’t art because I’ve been preaching to my fellow photographers that take my online class with the BPSOP, and my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, that a camera on a tripod is just the same as a blank canvas on an easel.

        I still consider myself an artist, I just changed the medium from a paintbrush, pastels,  and colored pencils to a camera. When I did it was “instant gratification”, instead of the hours and sometimes days or weeks finishing a drawing or painting.

        When I got my first camera and looked into the viewfinder, I saw a rectangle. Since we perceive and process information in a rectangle (3:2 aspect ratio), I simply applied everything I had learned from studying all the elements of visual design in my drawing and painting classes to Art History and Color Theory into my new found passion….photography.

        Throughout my education in Art I studied its history from the Italian Renaissance painters of the 15th and 16th century, to the Impressionists, Post Impressionists, to the 20th century modern artists…my favorite being the very founder of abstract art, Wassily Kandinsky.

        Although Dadaism and Surrealism were not my favorite movements, there was one painter I liked, Man Ray. I tolerated his paintings, but what I enjoyed was some of his photography. Over the years I’ve occasionally seen his work in museums and galleries and one day, not having anything to do, I googled him up and found one of his quotes that I immediately related to.

        Man Ray once said, “Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information”.

        I could relate to this because on a couple of occasions when I’ve been talking to one of my students, I was told that I could explain the ‘how’, but what they liked most was that I could also explain the ‘why’. In other words I could show them how to take stronger images, but then I could explain why they were.

        One of my online classes is all about the psychology of Gestalt. In this class I talk about the fact that humans rely on perception of the environment that surrounds them. Visual input is a part of our everyday life, and as photographers it’s our prime objective to present this visual information in a way that takes control of what the viewer sees when looking at our imagery.

        This is where the elements of visual design and composition come into play. These elements have been a part of art since the beginning, and knowing how to use these elements when creating your photos will always answer the ‘why’. Once you’ve put these elements on what I call my ‘Artist Palette’, it enables you to see what others can’t and this has always been the inspiration that has kept me going…after fifty years of taking pictures; the same inspiration my students walk away with.

        I guess the only way to really explain it is when you take my classes or join me in one of my workshops. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

        I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

        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

         

         

         

         

         

        Man Ray’s work made Dali seem like Thomas Kincade.

         

        Dadaism

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          Student Work: BPSOP Classes

          She used her "artist Palette".

          She used her “artist Palette”.

          Besides my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, I teach a four week class with the BPSOP. Actually I teach three classes: A part I, II, and a class on the six concepts in the psychology of Gestalt.

          My part I and II classes are centered around the basic elements of visual design, and how to incorporate these elements into your photography: Texture, Pattern, Shape, Form, Color, Light, and the most important of all the elements…Line.

          Without Line, none of the other elements would exist; in fact you and I would cease to exist since we have an outLINE. What about planes, trains, automobiles? Those as well would come to an end.

          We learn all the ways to generate Visual Tension, a week on just shadows (your best friend), silhouettes, and the ability to “see past first impressions”. We work on ‘making’ not taking pictures, and basically seeing with new eyes.

          The following slideshow is made up of a couple of months of my part I and II classes work. These photos were all shot by my fellow photographers, students that have begun to look at the world with the right side of their brain…the creative side.

          When you’re looking at all the photos (and I know there’s a lot), you’ll be able to see just how they’ve used the elements to create strong images; they now use my “artist Palette” whenever they go out shooting. Now, they’re not just looking, but seeing.

          Enjoy the show.

          My next class starts this Friday April 8th. Sign up for my part I, and I can guarantee you’re work will rise to a higher level in four weeks.

          The July 31st. marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media Workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

          I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

          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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            The very first baby photo

            The very first baby photo

            For all you new to be parent’s or grandparents, the first baby photo is usually taken in the hospital room, and I can tell you from experience, it’s probably the worst place on earth to take a photo; regardless of the subject matter. A photo that could only be counted as time goes by as the very first..especially if said first photo was taken by a phone!!!

            Here’s what’s going to happen: The room will be dark, with the only light on being above the bed the new mom is laying in.  This is going to put those well-known “Raccoon” eyes on mom, you know the ones, the ones where deep black sockets replaced the actual eyes. Except to those in the cast of The Adam’s Family, going through what mom just did might not make her look as good as she could, , and dark eye sockets won’t add too much.

            So, if you want some advice, and it’s the same advice I give to my online students with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Fame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, think about the light first and foremost. All it takes is a little thought and knowing how to expose properly to add visual tension and interest to take a photo that can stand the test of time and be considered worthy of sharing it with others every chance you can get…no matter how old the baby grows up to be.

            In the above photo, I simply opened the curtain to let some available light into the room. I then exposed for the mother so I could blowout the window behind her…a very good thing and never let anyone tell you different. I used a real camera (not a phone with a built-in camera) and choose a narrow DOF to place the emphasis solely on the mom and baby.

            Always take an alternative photo.

            Always take an alternative photo.

            So my fellow photographers, what kind of first baby picture to you want to take?

            Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshops. Come shoot with me. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

            I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

            Keep those photos and question coming into: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

            JoeB

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              Standing just inside the building.

              Standing just inside the building.

              I always try to be at a location either very early or very late in the day so the light is softer and warmer, and the shadows are longer…The Golden Hour. That’s not always possible especially when you’re somewhere that’s just a small part of the overall shoot. You just have to weigh all your options, then decide what’s the most important location to be at during the best light; providing the most photo ops possible in a short amount of time.

              While working on a project for a company that raises crayfish in Louisiana, I was given a shot list that had to be covered in the three shoot days that was budgeted. As always, I sit down with the client and designer ahead of time in a pre-production meeting and talk about their wish list. What’s the most important photo? What will be on the cover? To me, it doesn’t matter as I will spend the same amount of energy for a photo that will be small and one that will be a full page.

              In my forty plus year career, I think that the expression I disliked the most is when someone would say to me, “It’s not that important of a shot, so don’t spend too much time on it”…Really? I shouldn’t care what it looks like?

              I digress!!!

              Since we shot all day, there were times when the sun was high in the sky, rendering everything hot, harsh, and contrasty. The above photo was shot during that time of day. So what do you do, especially when you’re taking a portrait of some local workers and you don’t want “Raccoon eyes”? You know those eyes that have deep shadows from the sun being almost overhead?

              You place them just out of the sun, where the light is just missing their face and the reflections coming off the ground help bounce light evenly on all their faces.

              Works like a charm, and it’s what we often talk about in my online classes with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

              I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

              Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and be sure to check out  my workshop schedule.

              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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                I knew the where, when, and why...in Lisbon, Portugal.

                I knew the where, when, and why…in Lisbon, Portugal.

                I’ve been writing down my personal pearls of wisdom for years, and over the course of these years I’ve been sharing them with both my online students with the BPSOP, and with my fellow photographers that sign up for my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind workshops ” I conduct around our planet. The one I want to share with you today is one of my favorites and most important…“My three W’s”

                Ok, I guess you need to know just what they are, and once again it’s all about the light. People are always asking me how I can get the quality of the light and the saturation/depth in my color without a lot of post processing. First let me digress just a little.

                I’m from the old school that shot Kodachrome 25 and way before the invention of the computer much less Lightroom and Photoshop. We did everything in the camera, and the finished photo was on one piece of 35mm film…one exposure! Nowadays, I love the challenge of getting as much in the camera as I can, with a minimum amount of time spend in front of the computer. To me it’s more important to be a good photographer than a good computer artist.

                Don’t get me wrong, I do a little on every photo, but not much more that what I did to a print in the darkroom.

                So, the three W’s: Know WHERE to stand, WHEN to stand there, and WHY you have to be quick when you’re standing there.

                WHERE: Before I raise my camera up to my eye, I determine where the source of the light is coming from. I’ve watched so many photographers walk up to their subject and just start shooting, paying absolutely no attention to the light. I can tell you that light is everything, except perhaps when you’re street shooting; although good directional light can enhance any situation and generate visual interest and tension.

                I want to create the third dimension in Form ( a basic element of visual design), by adding Depth. This can only be done when you side light your subject. Otherwise you’re left with only height and width. I also like to back light my subject (especially when it’s translucent) which gives it a glow around its outline.

                WHEN: Knowing that (for me) the best times to shoot is during the Golden Hour, when the sun is low on the horizon; generally ten to fifteen degrees above the horizon either at sunrise or sunset…depending on the time of year and if you’re North or South of the equator. I also like to be at a location before the sun comes up and after it goes down.

                This is the time for Blue Hour when the sun is at a significant distance to the horizon, and it comes before dawn (another great time to shoot) when the blue turns into reds, yellows, pinks, purples, and oranges…and dusk when the reds, yellows, oranges, and purples, turn blue before turning into black.

                WHY: After chasing the light for nearly fifty years, I can tell you that it’s so fleeting you can miss a great photo by seconds. Part of what has helped me through a half of a century of taking pictures (saying it that way sure does make me feel really old) is knowing where the sun, to the degree, is going to rise and set at any location in the world…on any day of the week. I know how long I’ll have before the sun gets up to high and becomes hot and harsh.

                I’ll know if there’s a building, structure, hill, or mountain that will cut my time short either by clearing the obstacle in the morning, or losing it behind an obstacle at sunset. Part of my process for determining how much time I have is by an incredible app I have on my iPhone. It’s called “My Radar”, and it shows, in real time with a GPS, where any rain is by showing the actual storm as it moves from one direction to another.. I know this doesn’t sound like it’s a big deal, but I know if I’m about to get bad weather and when it will pass over…sometimes leaving a rainbow behind.

                Even knowing the where, when, and why doesn’t guarantee you that you’re going to come home every time with that illusive “OMG” photo, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. As Eddie Adams once said, “When you get lucky, be ready”.

                Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

                I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

                Keep those photos and questions coming into: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll send you a video critique of your image.

                JoeB

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                  What do I think?

                  What do I think?

                  Ana Maria is a past student living in Madrid, Spain that has taken all three of my classes with the BPSOP. Hopefully her next class will be at one of my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet.

                  I have looked at a lot of her images over the course of the three months of online classes, and I’ve seen so much improvement in the way she now sees, her new approach to her passion, and her ability to “make” instead of take photos.

                  The above photo is an example of the photos that she’s now taking, and it’s a really good shot that not only draws the viewer into the frame, but moves him around as well.

                  As usual, I show people what the photographer had to say, but in this submission all she said was:

                  “Hello Joe,

                  I’d would like to know what you think about this picture”.

                  Ana Maria

                  Take a look Ana Maria:

                  http://www.screencast.com/t/fnNVaEhh42

                  It’s a strong photo and it’s all about making pictures. Thanks for submitting it.

                  Here’s the difference in the exposure the camera told you to take, and the exposure I’m suggesting. If you prefer the exposure from the meter in your camera, then you should continue to listen to it. If you prefer my exposure, I suggest you stop listening to the meter in your camera, take matters into your own hands and learn about the light.

                  My suggested exposure.

                  My suggested exposure.

                  Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. come shoot with me sometime. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

                  I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

                  Keep those photos and question coming into: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

                  JoeB

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                    Life Before Photoshop: Rubbermaid

                    Look ma no Photoshop

                    Look ma no Photoshop

                    I just returned a couple of weeks ago from my 27th year at the Maine Media Workshop. As in most of the time I talk to either my online students with the BPSOP, or those in my personal “Stretching Your Frame of Mind”, the challenge, at least for me, is to create as much as I can in the camera and not always rely on post processing.

                    It’s sometimes amazes me how lazy my fellow photographers can be when it comes to their own approach to taking pictures. It’s unfortunate that the majority of the photographers I teach got started in photography during the digital revolution. The revolution that condones the use of computers to create their photos; even sadder is the fact that these same photographers think that computers and cameras go hand in hand.

                    When it comes to post processing, I’m far from being a purist. I use Photoshop on just about every photo I take to some degree. However, I try to get it “in the camera” first, before I sit down in front of a computer.

                    The above photo was taken for Rubbermaid to be used in their new upcoming catalog. I had two truckloads of their new outdoor line called “Sundial” follow me up and down the coast of California. As long as I shot everything outdoors, I had ‘free rein’ as far as what I wanted to do. Some ideas were simple, and some were more complicated with a lot longer set-up time.

                    My idea was to dress these models up in vintage clothing and create an impressionistic look. We shot on the patio of the Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur; a great place to eat with a fabulous view.

                    Since any chance of soft late evening light was lost because of the mountains, we had to shoot much earlier when the light was going to be bright and harsh. when I was shooting I would often bring along my 20X20 silk so I could soften the light when I had to; and I had to since those were the days when the name Adobe was synonymous with a type of house in the Southwest part of the country. Nowadays you could create this in the computer, but what fun would that be? untitled447

                    Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and watch for my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. My new “springtime” workshop is now posted on my blog. This time it’s in Sicily, so for those that’s always had this wonderful country on your bucket list now would be a good time to see and photograph it.

                    The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

                    I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

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

                    JoeB

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                      Anecdotes: Seton Hospital

                      Hello to all new to my blog. My name for those that don’t know it is Joe Baraban, and I shot advertising, corporate, and editorial photography for forty-eight years. I know teach my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops all over our planet, and I also teach online with the BPSOP.

                      Over these past forty-eight years there’s been funny incidents that have happened along the way, and I find myself reminiscing when it comes to some of these stories. Some were funny then and still funny and some were amusing at best but now seem funny…due mostly to time and my age!

                      I was shooting a brochure for Seton Hospital in Austin, Texas and on the shot list was their emergency room facilities; which they were both proud of and well known for.

                      My idea was to create something that was common among emergency rooms and make it look as though it was happening in real time. I also wanted some action to make it even more believable. Easier said than done as I would soon find out.

                      The answer came to me as I was standing in the hallway next to the emergency room doors to the outside. An ambulance pulled up to deliver a patient that wasn’t really sick. She had just been transferred from one hospital to Seton. Still, it gave me the idea that wound up working out pretty good.

                      In the above photo, I was on a gurney next to the one you see, and moving down the corridor at the same rate of speed. I used a sync delay that fired the strobe right before the shutter closed instead of the strobe going off right after the shutter opened. This is what gives it that blurred but sharp look. To re-create a real situation, I had some of the hospital staff playing the role of the actual emergency team.

                      The woman laying on the gurney and in obvious distress was a volunteer, and the only one around that was available. We did several rehearsals, and each time the woman started laughing. For some reason she thought it was the funniest thing she has ever taken part in, and couldn’t stop. Had there been anyone else around I would have replaced her because she thought it was a lot funnier than I did!!

                      So one of the male ambulance drivers pulled me over to the side and made a suggestion….a really good one. The portable oxygen mask was brought out and placed over her face to hide her laughter. It worked like a charm. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and the show must go on.

                      Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and watch for my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. My new “springtime” workshop is now posted on my blog. This time it’s in Sicily, so for those that’s always had this wonderful country on your bucket list now would be a good time to see and photograph it.

                      The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

                      I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

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

                      JoeB

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                        One picture tells a story.

                        One picture tells a story.

                        How many times in your life have you heard this old adage? For me, I’m putting it at a million to be one the low side. I’ve also said it to my online class with the BPSOP and my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops as many times. One picture is worth a thousand words can fit all types of applications, for all types of people.

                        The quote has been attributed to several sources throughout the years from a Chinese proverb to Arthur Brisbane, a newspaper editor who said it in 1911. In any event the meaning has really come to light in the digital era as truth in our new transparent culture. It’s now talked about ad nauseam in social media, but the simple fact is that it’s all about being able to (very quickly) convey so much meaning with so little or no explanation at all in one photograph.

                        For my fellow photographers it especially has meaning since we talk about it in my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “stretching your frame of mind” workshops I conduct around our planet. Just let your image do the talking for you since you’re not going to be around to share your thought process with the viewer. Unless you’re going for an abstract in which case you’re leaving it up to others to see what they want to see, then it needs to be what I refer to as a “quick read”.

                        If you’re trying to tell a story, then get to it because it’s not easy to hold the viewer’s attention for very long. Imagine that you’re a cinematographer shooting a scene at twenty-four frames a second. Stop the projector and take one frame out and show it to the viewer. That’s what you’re up against when you’re shooting stills and have to portray whatever it is you’re trying to portray in one image…not like motion where you have some time to get the message across. Btw, did you know that one page in a screenplay is equal to one minute on the screen?

                        The methods we use to gain attention to our photography varies, but what’s important is how we manage what the viewer perceives and processes when looking at the visual information we lay out to him in the form of a photograph. Visual input is a part of our everyday life, and when you’re trying to gain attention, by telling a story, we want to take immediate control of what the viewer sees when contemplating the message we’re putting out.

                        In other words as the Notre Dame football teams were know for…”rock em sock em” when it comes to telling it in one photo.

                        Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and watch for my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be making my third trip to Cuba in a couple of weeks. I still have one spot left so come join me and experience Cuba the way it is now, not the way it will be soon. My new “springtime” workshop is now posted on my blog. This time it’s in Sicily, so for those that’s always had this wonderful country on your bucket list now would be a good time to see and photograph it.

                        The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

                        I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

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

                        JoeB

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                          pearl of wisdom

                          I have found that in my online class with the BPSOP, and also in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, so many people think that to create a mood, especially one that pulls at the proverbial “heart strings”, while drawing out an emotional response, you have to underexpose your photos. I mean underexpose to the extent that the viewer has no idea what he’s looking at. My fellow photographers also will try to underexpose a scene that was taken at a time of day where there is no possibility of created the kind of mood they want…as in high noon!!!!!

                          My answer is always the same, and fairly simple. If you’re trying to take a picture and your message to the viewer is dark and moody, then start out with something that’s already dark and moody and occurring naturally in nature. Or, at least a good start and adding ancillary lighting to finish the job.

                          Ok, you can’t expect to find this happening outdoors naturally if you go out after breakfast…say mid-morning. You also can’t expect to see this if you go out after an afternoon nap and before dinner. If those are the only times you can shoot, for one reason or another, then go indoors where it will be easier to create a mood. This is also a good idea if it’s overcast outdoors…I don’t mean stormy, stormy is good. I mean a midday gray overcast sky.

                          If you can go out early or late, then it’s going to be a lot easier to pull on those heartstrings and create a photo that’s moody. Look for areas in shadow with little or no ambient light coming in. Or better yet, look for those dark areas that has a little natural light coming in from somewhere out of the frame and hitting your subject.

                          If you expose for the brightest part of the composition, as in the light falling on your subject, then everything else will be darker and the mood will be forthcoming.

                          Having said this, if you want a piece of advice don’t rely on the meter in your camera to help; because it won’t. Shoot on manual because the meter doesn’t know that you’re going for a mood. It will read the area in shadow and try to give you some detail in said shadows. If and when that happens, you can kiss the mood goodbye.

                          Shoot on manual (which is what I’m always preaching to the choir), take control and put your camera on spot metering, and expose for just the highlights. Do that, and you’ll achieve the mood you were after.

                          Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and watch for my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime, and we’ll be moody together. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be making my third trip to Cuba this March. I still have a spot left so come join me and experience Cuba the way it is now, not the way it will be soon. My new “springtime” workshop is now posted on my blog. This time it’s in Sicily, so for those that’s always had this wonderful country on your bucket list now would be a good time to see and photograph it.

                          The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

                          I have added a new workshop to my 2016 schedule. On September 21st, ten photographers will get together with me at my evening “meet and greet” to begin a fantastic five-day workshop in New York, New York. Check out my description at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me.

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

                          JoeB

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                            AskJoeB: Rays of light

                            Is the flare distracting?

                            Is the flare distracting?

                            Ana Marie has taken my online classes with the BPSOP, where my fellow photographers learn how to incorporate the elements of visual design into their imagery. We also discuss these elements in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet.

                            She recently send me this photo after reading a post in My Favorite Quotes category; one that was once said by Hank Williams. As I like to do, I forward what she had to say since so many has had a similar question at one time or another.

                            “Dear Joe:

                            I took a class with you at the PBSOP a couple of years ago.

                            After reading your post “My Favorite Quotes: Hank Williams” I was interested in having a critique of this picture I took last week at the roman theater of Mérida (Spain).< As I read in your post, I was trying to chase the light taking pictures of my daughter. I wanted to know your critique since I am not sure if the rays of light causing that chromatic aberration are very distracting or is the opposite and they make the picture more interesting.

                            Thank you in advance, Ana Marie”

                            Ana, take a look at this video which should answer your question:

                            http://www.screencast.com/t/2CZwwe9b0

                            Thanks for your submission, and I hope to work with you on one of my “Springtime” workshops in your fabulous city of Madrid.

                            Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. The end of July marks my twenty-eight year at the Maine Media workshops. It’s a wonderful way to immerse yourself for a week and think about nothing but photography. It’s the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland, and offers a completely different set of photo ops than the beautiful Maine coastline, amazing lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages. The full description is at the top of this blog.

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

                            JoeB

                            Let people know you saw it here!
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