Every so often, I like to submit a quote to all my fellow photographers out there. These are quotes I’ve written down over time that I find from all different sources, and don’t necessarily come from photographers. It’s kind of a library of thoughts I’ve accumulated that were said at one time or another sometimes going back at least a hundred years. By now I know most of these quotes from memory and I’ll refer back to one when the timing is right.
It’s a pity that this author is unknown since it’s one of my all time favorites. At some point in time, someone once said, “If you always do what you did, you’ll always get what you got”.
In my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, I’m constantly working with people that have a particular way of looking at things. A particular way of composing, and a whole lot of them live by the rules laid down by people that only require you to achieve mediocrity.
It’s all about coloring outside the lines, and looking at new ways of seeing things. It’s about going out and forgetting about putting your subject in one of the intersections required by the Rule of Thirds. It’s about not worrying that your subject is leaving the frame instead of making sure there’s plenty of room for your subject to walk into.
When you go out shooting. leave the left side of your brain at home. That’s the analytical side that only sees a tree. Go out with the right side of your brain turned on, that way you’ll see a tree but you also see the texture of the bark, the shapes created by the leaves, the Negative space between the leaves that defines them. Study the way the light falls on the tree, whether front, side or backlit.
If you’ve always brought the camera up to your eye and composed from that height, try getting on your knees. Lay on your stomach and get some dirt on your shirt. Follow the light and let it be your guide as far as where to stand in relation to the subject.
Stop fearing shadows, instead embrace them because they are your best friend. Don’t leave just because the sun has gone down. Shoot in the blue hour, using silhouettes as your center of interest.
Try shooting through things, or shooting the reflections coming off buildings or glass. When you’re walking around looking for subject matter, don’t just look straight ahead; make your field of vision 360 degrees. Look from the ground in front of you to the sky above you because you just never know what you might see happening.
Instead of going out shooting after breakfast or before dinner, go out before breakfast and after dinner. This is when the light is the best.
If you try some of these ideas, I can guarantee you that your images will begin to go (what I always refer to) up a notch. Stop doing what you’ve always done so you can stop getting what you’ve always got.
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 August 18th 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 those photos and questions coming into: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.