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Photo Ops

Photo Opportunities: A little research goes a long way

Found him on the internet.

In the old days, and when I say old days, I’m referring to the days before the internet. The days when you had to send away for information or go to the Library, and maybe it would come when you needed it and before it was too late, or maybe it wouldn’t.

Every time I was awarded a project in another state or country it was important to find out as much as I could about the place or places I was going to be shooting in. It was especially important if I was looking for possible photo ops to either send a location scout to or check out myself; advance preparation was and still is the key to a successful shoot. This is important not only for the professional photographer, but serious amateur shooters as well that want to come back home with interesting photos created in interesting locations.

Every state and  city in the US, as well as every other country has a Department of Tourism and also a Film Commission. The best way to find out information as to the best places to shoot is to contact them, and now it’s so easy to do through the World Wide Web.

Before you travel, whether it be on vacation or for work, and you want to shoot as much as you can in the little amount of time most people have, instead of looking for places when you get there spend a little time researching ahead of time.

I would find (and still do) where the traditional tourists places are…the ones that are crowded with them and make sure I go to those first…why would I do that you ask?

Because I’m there for sunrise and late in the afternoon right before the sun sets. That’s when the light is the best. When I’m coming back to the hotel for breakfast, the tourists are just leaving to go to these places to shoot. When I’m shooting the last light of the day at sunset, the tourists have already left to go eat.

No matter what country you’re going to be in, the Film Commission and the Tourist Bureau want to help you in any way they can. They want and encourage photographers to come photograph their country and cities.

I teach an online class with the BPSOP, and I have students from all over the world signing up. I always suggest that they look up these sites to check out possible photo ops. You would be surprised to learn that a lot of homegrown people as well as xpats are not familiar with everything in their city, state, or country.

I also teach my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around the planet, and looking up these sites is one of the first things I do. The above photo was taken during my workshop in Sicily. I had found this fish market in Palermo on the internet.

Here’s a couple of examples if you were going to Italy and Rome:



Here’s a link if you were coming to New York to shoot for the first time:


Good luck and safe travels.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and watch for upcoming workshops in 2017. Come shoot with me sometime.

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


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