One of my favorite posts to write is for my “Life Before Photoshop” category. So many of my students with the PPSOP, an online school I teach with, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet fell in love with Photography after the digital age had eliminated virtually all film cameras.
These same photographers think that Photoshop and Lightroom are just another part of taking pictures with their new digital cameras. Sitting in front of the computer is merely an extension of the process. I’ll admit that CS5 has come to my rescue on more than one occasion, but it was part of my thought process before I “pulled the trigger” (that’s Texas talk for clicking the shutter”) not in front of the computer. For example, if I couldn’t take a step one way or another to keep something from growing out of my subject’s head.
In my classes I try to get across an important point, that is to become good photographers, not good computer artists and digital technicians. For me, the challenge is to get it right “in the camera” and not have to rely on any post processing to make good photos. I also crop in the camera, because when you use the computer to do your cropping , you’ll never know where the edges of your frame are. Next time, try using the edges as a compositional tool…it will make you a more rounded photographer.
In this photo, I was sent to Grand Junction Colorado to shot for BJ Services Annual Report. BJ Services supplies various materials to oil companies that are drilling for either Natural Gas or oil. We shot the day-to-day photos at a drilling site, but they also wanted a photo to use on the cover that portrayed the ideas that they delivered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
I had an idea in my mind that would not only make them happy, but myself as well. I scouted various locations with my Sunpath readings and my Morin 2000 hand bearing compass. As a result, I knew exactly where the sun would come up and choose this small part of the two-lane road that led to an oil rig.
I positioned one of my assistants with a walki-talki in a car going in one direction (with his foot on the brake), and the Designer with a walki-talki in another car heading in the opposite direction. I took a reading on the sky to judge how long I had to make the two cars travel to get the blurred lights across the frame. Based on a thirty second exposure, that’s how long the cars had to complete the distance.
Btw, as the light got brighter, the cars has to cover the distance traveling faster until it became too dangerous. That’s when I knew the shoot was over!!!
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and check out my new 2013 workshop schedule. Come shoot with me sometime!!
Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com