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Life Before Photoshop

Life Before Photoshop: IBM

Look ma, no Photoshop

Look ma, no Photoshop

In 1983 I was hired to shoot a series of ads for IBM. One of the ads featured a class of young students painting a mural of the United States. I wanted strong window light coming in from 9 o’clock to side light providing depth to the room. The clock is one of the most important topics I talk about in my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet.

In the old film days, the days when the word Adobe meant a type of house in the Southwest part of the US, I couldn’t rely on post processing to help create the illusion of depth.; for that matter, for anything. I also couldn’t rely on finding a room that would give me nice sidelight on the kids; let alone count on a sunny day. There was too much money involved for the advertising agency and client to reach a level of comfort in my ability to arrange for everything needed..for example late afternoon light at 9 o’clock.

So, what do you do? You bring out the “big lights”, 12K HMI’s, the lights I often used both in print and when I was acting as a director/cameraman on TV commercials. These lights were 12,000 watt daylight balanced lights that needed a big generator and ballasts to operate…and a package that included a gaffer, assistant, truck and portable generator would run about $2000.00 a day for just one light, CTO gels (warming gels since the light was on the blue side) and barn doors.

An all day shoot.

An all day shoot.

In order to create an even exposure from one end of the kids to the other it took six lights and several hours to set up and shoot. It was the “good old days” where it was fun creating the look on one piece of film and one exposure.

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.

The Los Angeles Center for photography has invited me to come out and conduct a three day intensive workshop over the July 15th weekend. I’ll be making a presentation of my work on Thursday July 14th and the public is invited. The full description can be see at the top of this blog, with a link to the site. I hope to spend the weekend with all of you.

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 me photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique on your image.

JoeB

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

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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