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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

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    With hover (just move the mouse)
    The left-hand jockey
    The right-hand jockey

    In sales jargon we’re use to hearing, the expression two-fer means “an item or offer that comprises two items but is sold for the price of one.” So what in the world does that mean to photography and to all my fellow photographers that love to make photos as I have which is closing in on fifty years.

    It means (to the photographers that have heard me talking about it in my online classes with the BSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops) don’t just settle for one variation of a final composition when you can easily walk away with a two-fer and not spend that much more time doing it.

    When I’m out shooting, and when I’m composing, I’m already thinking about the second variation, and a lot of the time the third. In doing that, it gives me a much better chance to come home with a Keeper. It might be something as simple as shooting both horizontally and vertically. I will often change my POV from eye level to climbing up on a ladder to look down on the subject. I can tell you one thing I always do and that is to change the direction of the light. I’ll move around or have the subject move around so they are both side and back lit.

    I’ll usually go out with just one or two lens that will cover anything I want from 17 to 70mm. I don’t mean just standing there and zooming in and out. I mean having the ability in shooting with a wide angle lens, a fairly normal focal length, and a medium telephoto.

    Light is so fleeting that I seldom have time to try different filtration such as a ND or a polarizing filter, but if the timing is right they can offer me other different looks. The Polarizing filter can get rid of unwanted reflections (although I love reflections since they can add visual interest and tension). It can also darken the sky and make clouds stand out.

    You have to remember that this will only work if the sun is at  ninety degrees to where your lens is pointing to. You’ll also have problems trying to use a wide angle lens with it. A Neutral Density filter, especially one that’s at least two stops can make running water look smooth and also make the clouds appear to be moving.

    In the above portrait, having the jockey looking into the lens gives off a completely different feeling as when he’s looking out of the frame. It took several seconds and a slight shift of my POV since the horse was moving around to leave with two versions of an environmental portrait. Of course shooting at sunrise didn’t hurt as far as the quality of the light is concerned.

    So there’s many ways to make your image look different and it can be done in less than a minute; as long as you’re thinking about it in the first place. Next time you go out think about that two-fer…two keepers for the price of one!!

    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.

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

    JoeB

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      Food For Digital Thought: Lifestyle Photos

      An everyday occurence fror him.

      In the last couple of years I’ve seen a trend develop concerning my fellow photographers that take my three classes with the BPSOP, and also in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet.

      It seems that everyone wants to have a website and actually try to generate some income from it. I’m often been asked what type of photos would need to be in it in order for people to be interested in buying their services.

      My first question to anyone is what do you like taking pictures of? That’s so important, because if you don’t love your subject matter, you’ll never be happy with whatever outcome befalls you. Second question would be where do you want this new generated income to be coming from. Are you looking for people to buy prints from your site, or do you want someone to hire you to shoot original photography.

      If you’re only interested in selling prints, then the subject matter should be generic in nature. In other words, color photography of land or seascapes, flowers, abstracts, or B/W editorial or photojournalism. Of course any of the areas I’ve mentioned can also be shot in B/W.

      If you’re interested in being hired to shoot editorial, corporate, or advertising photography, then it’s very important to be able to shoot people. People like to see people in photos, and for an editor, art director, or graphic designer to hire you you need to be good at what’s called Lifestyle Photography.

      Lifestyle was one of the areas I was best known for back in the days when I was shooting for all three of these avenues. It’s about capturing people in everyday life. Situations that are common to the people that will be looking at your pictures. Situations that they are involved in every day of their lives. Needless to say these Lifestyle photos need to be shot by portrait or people photographers and handled in an artistic manner.

      Although Lifestyle photography depicts common everyday occurrences, it would also include those moments that are not seen everyday, but still include people interacting with other people or people being alone with nature. For example a lone cross country skier alone against the elements. Lifestyle, but not an everyday occurence.

      Think of situations that you’ve experienced or seen being experienced by others. Finding these happening in real time…real life may take you a long time to accumulate enough images to put on a site.

      Or, try setting  these scenarios up and then shooting in a reportage style. In other words, set up a situation and shoot it as if it were really happening.

      Here’s a few examples of what I mean:

      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. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

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

      JoeB

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        AskJoeB: A pattern

        A Pattern

        A Pattern

        Lonnie sent me this image to critique and as I always like to do, I let you read what he had to say to me:

        “Joe,

        Here is a “pattern,” if you will, that I found appealing…actually shooting upwards while lying on my back under a dome in a park.  Please critique.  Thanks!

        Cheers,

        Lonnie”

        I teach online classes with the BPSOP, and I conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops all around our planet. In both my online part I and II classes, I show my fellow photographers how to incorporate the basic elements of visual design into their photography. One of the basic elements is Pattern, and for those that haven’t had a chance to read my post on it, click on the link .

        Lonnie,

        Take a look: http://www.screencast.com/t/30RqCeb9

        I hope my critique and link has helped, and thanks for sending it in to me. I know that there are so many others out there that like to photograph with an abstract point of view, so making them stand the test of time is not often easy.

        Visit my website at: joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. This March in conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops I’ll be leading a group to Cuba.

        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.

        JoeB

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          My Favorite Quotes: Robert Capa

          Close enough?

          Close enough?

          In this category although I always quote an artist, I don’t always quote a photographer. I’ll often quote someone like Kenny Rogers, or Marcel Proust because what they had to say fits in with I often say both in my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet.

          Robert Capa was a well known war photographer and photo-journalist. who documented five different wars. In 1947 he co-founded Magnum ( a international free-lance photographic agency) along with photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson. He once said, “If you’re photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough”.

          There’s been discussions concerning this quote, and many think that he was referring to being up close and personal to the wars in which he photographed and incidentally, he was in the first wave of soldiers that hit Omaha Beach.

          I’ve followed his work for some time, and to me his quote goes well beyond the photos he took during those five wars.

          All my fellow photographers that I’ve helped since 1983 when I first started sharing my knowledge have come to known my “Personal Pearls of Wisdom”. One of them is “get up close and personal”. What I mean is that so many photographers will see a subject and without moving start shooting; this might be five feet away or twenty. They will keep at a distance which usually means that there’s not a lot of depth that can be created by anchoring the subject in the foreground while creating layers of interest.

          I’ve found that many photographers are easily intimidated and are not comfortable with being close to either a person or even an inanimate subject . Nor are they willing to change their POV like getting on their knees to compose a photo. Therefore, they’re more at ease with keeping their distance and that falls under another Pearl of Wisdom I call “make don’t take pictures”.

          So, the next time you’re out and about with your camera and see an interesting photo opportunity, think about what Robert Capa said. You just might find it to be true in your approach to picture taking, and if it is, just for once try to do it his way.

          Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and keep an eye out for my upcoming 2016 workshops. Come shoot with me sometime…pictures that is!! In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country. 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.

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

          JoeB

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            Anecdotes: Anderson Consulting

            Game, set, and match.

            Game, set, and match.

            Although it feels like centuries, some thirty years ago I was hired to shoot the annual report for Anderson Consulting. By all accounts, it was a great project that took me around the world shooting their clients.

            One of their clients was the Social Security Department of Spain, and my assignment was to just shoot the people of their country. What a great job I thought to myself upon hearing what they wanted me to do. What more could I ask for since I love to shoot environmental portraits, and to travel around doing just that (with a complete free hand in what subject I picked to shoot) was just about as good as it got.

            We based out of Madrid, and we were there during their Carnival…another story of really weird people dressing up and walking around the Plaza Mayor, Puerta Del Sol.  Besides shooting in Madrid, we also went to Toledo, and Cordoba to shoot there as well.

            While in a small plaza in Toledo, I had a 300mm F/2.8 lens on a tripod and I felt as if I were a submarine captain in World War II looking through a periscope hunted enemy targets. Instead I was looking in the viewfinder, and after I had loosened all the knobs, I could freely swivel my camera around the crowds back and forth looking for subjects/targets of any height.

            As I tell my online students with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, constantly look around you, be aware of any movements and especially look behind you because that illusive ‘OMG” photo is lurking somewhere out there and just waiting to be captured.

            While scanning the crowd, I saw this woman holding a fan close to her face. The first time I saw here she quickly turned away…the game was on!! I wanted her picture, and she was doing everything she could to avoid me. What I had in my favor was her extreme curiosity as to what I was doing and she couldn’t help herself to periodically look in my direction. At that point come hell or high water, and if it took me the rest of my life, I was going to get my shot.

            In those days I was shooting film, and you had to focus your own camera. While her head was turned I pre-focused on her, and since I was at F/2.8, and at the minimum distance for that lens to get her sharp; I didn’t have much latitude as far as my DOF was concerned.

            Since I was focused on her, I pretended to scan the rest of the people but was not actually shooting. Not knowing whether she was looking or not I looked back in her direction, and before a blink of either her or my eye, I clicked the shutter. I got her!!!!!

            I smiled at her and reluctantly she gave me a half smile back as she knew at that moment that it was game, set, and match.

            Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2016 workshop schedule at the top of this blog as it becomes available. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

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

            JoeB

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              This is a follow-up to my first post on one of the concepts of Gestalt I teach  in one of my three online classes with the BPSOP, as well as in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet This concept is called Proximity and if used in your thought process, it will help you make stronger more memorable photos.

              Besides what I talked about in my first post, another way Proximity can make your images stronger is by grouping your subjects together so that a relationship or common bond is created. Research suggests that the viewer prefers to see similar objects grouped together, and by placing objects close together you will be offering the viewer an explanation of the message you’re trying to get across.

              One example is when you purposely arrange the elements of your composition so that they relate to one another and becomes a visual unit.

              We all love repeating forms, shapes and colors, and if you can include these in your grouping, it will create a pleasing rhythm and a sense of unity that will keep the viewer around longer. Another good example is watching a flock of Geese fly overhead. I, for one, find it visually interesting and will usually watch them until they become dots on the distant horizon.

               A well known set of diagrams will show you how it can work in your favor. In diagram (1), you see the nine elements scattered around and although they all look alike there’s not a visual bond between them and they are perceived as nine similar squares. In diagram (2) by placing the nine elements together, they form one big square and are perceived as one unit.

              Diagram (2)

              Diagram (2)

              In the above photo, my goal was to have the viewer perceive this group portrait of all the clowns of Ringling Brothers & Barnum& Baily Circus as one unit. I also shot them with a 35mm Widelux panoramic camera so I could get close while getting them all in.

              Here’s some more examples:

              So, the next time your out and about, consider this concept in your composition. I think you’ll find it a big help in taking your photos what I always call “up a level”.

              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. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

              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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                AskJoeB: My question is about focus

                It's about focus

                It’s about focus

                Greg, who has taken my online classes with the BPSOP, sent me this new photo to take a look at before starting. When I get a submission to AskJoeB, I like to include what he or she said about the photo, including any questions.

                Here’s what Greg had to say:

                Hi Joe,

                I’m signed up for your August “Stretching Your Mind” class with BPSOP, but saw the Ask Joe post on your blog, so thought I would send an image to you. My question is about focus.

                I deliberately focused at the point where the handrails stretch off down the wooden walkway, about 1/3 in on each side. Do you feel that my focus point is appropriate? Where would you have placed it?

                By the way, I’ll be going back soon to give some more time to the shapes on the left side framework.

                Greg”

                Greg,

                There’s several things I like about your photo. That said, take a look:

                http://www.screencast.com/t/7qlcGfWvZzO

                I tell my fellow photographers in both my online class, but my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops as well…give yourself choices. Not only in the exposure, but what you want to be sharp. By only shooting one way you lower the odds in coming home with what I call a ‘keeper’. One that can stand the test of time and not be deleted when you go back later for another look,

                11ASKJOEBGREGScreen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.54.27 AM copy Look at your image now that I’ve taken it down a couple of stops…especially the shadows. If it were me, I would stop taking advice from the meter in your camera. Take matters into your own hand and bracket. Put all the exposures on your screen and compare them. This is  great way to become a well-rounded photography.

                Thanks for your submission.

                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.

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

                JoeB

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                  Life Before Photoshop: Jaguar Shoot

                  Look ma, no Photoshop.

                  Look ma, no Photoshop.

                  One of the hardest photos to take without the aid of post processing is that of an automobile. I’m not talking about the new car you bought and is now sitting in your driveway for all to see on Facebook, I’m talking about a photo that will become a two page consumer ad and wind up in all the top national magazines, and possible billboards across the US.

                  Back in the film days, Photoshop wasn’t going to be invented for another five to ten years when Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990. Even then it was in its infant stage and not all that helpful to make the clients cars look good.

                  A great deal of pre-production was involved from finding the right location using my Sunpath readings in combination with my Morin 2000 Hand Bearing Compass. Having enough room to maneuver around with either artificial light, or a series of reflectors was critical. Car prep companies were hired to bring the cars to the location, get the looking pretty enough to photograph, and take them away. No one was ever allowed to move or even touch the cars besides these companies.

                  Depending on the light, I would have them move the vehicles into the position I wanted, and on several occasions these cars were prototypes and came without motors; they would be rolled into position. Budgets on these shoots would sometimes be six figures, and that was over thirty years ago. Needless to say that a lot was riding on it and whatever you did you had to create in the camera on one piece of film.

                  As I tell my online students with the BPSOP, and also in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, take the challenge and try creating memorable images without the help of post processing. I’m not saying I don’t use Photoshop, because I do…all the time. I like the idea of being a good photographer and not a good computer artist.

                  To better explain how I shot this, take a look at this video:

                  http://www.screencast.com/t/9P5WO5jE3

                  Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my upcoming workshops in 2016. Come shoot with me sometime. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

                  JoeB

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                    Workshop Stuff: Autumn in Provence

                    Shot by Petr during the blue hour in Nice.

                    Shot by Petr during the blue hour in Nice.

                    I recently led a group of my fellow photographers to Provence for one of my yearly workshops. We met in Arles and for three days photographed many of the areas where Vincent Van Gogh roamed the streets and countryside looking for subject matter including: Arles, Avignon, Saint Remy de Provence, Les Baux, and Chateauneuf de Pape.

                    From there we traveled by van to Nice and for the next three days photographed this beautiful city by the sea, a sunrise in the magical village of Eze, then a train  one afternoon to Monte Carlo.

                    Many of the photographers had taken my online classes with the BPSOP, and studied the elements of visual design with me. There were so many that had been on prior workshops, and some as many as three, four and five before coming again with me to Provence. It ‘s always like a family reunion with several people returning to shoot with me again, and this time it was to celebrate my 70th birthday…which we did!!!

                    Christine taking a picture of Mikki taking a picture of the class.

                    Christine taking a picture of Mikki taking a picture of the class at the top of Eze

                    All I can say is that there were so many great images that it was difficult to get it down to the number I finally wound up with. I realize that it’s a lot of photos to look at, but it was the best I could do to reduce the size to what I consider a good representation of the area, the light, and the people.

                    Enjoy the show:

                    Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com<, and watch for upcoming workshops in 2016. come shoot with me again, or for the first time.

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

                    JoeB

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                      Manipulated

                      Manipulated

                      I recently had an online student in one of my three classes with the BPSOP that for the four week class keep telling me that as a purist it was wrong to move anything before you photographed it. He also said that it was going “against my grain” to add or subtract something in his composition. Btw, I’ve had several similar discussions in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet.

                      He claimed that he was an idealist, and he only photographed something the way it was. Well, that’s a real bone of contention with me and I’ll tell you why. First of all let me define what the idiom “bone of contention” means. It’s basically an argument between two groups or persons that can rarely be settled.

                      Let me backtrack a bit and I’ll tell you that this person also uses Lightroom, Photoshop, HDR, and an assortment of plug-ins. He uses them to a point where the actual photograph doesn’t resemble a photograph any longer. Whether the end result looks good or not is in the eye of the beholder, but in my way of thinking it is more computer art than photography. If my fellow photographers want to use the computer to help them then that’s their business and it’s fine with me.

                      OK, herein lies the bone of contention. How can someone call themselves a purist when they manipulate their pictures in the computer? Whether they’re well done or not isn’t the issue here. The issue with me is that in my opinion a photographer who calls himself a purist should never do anything at all to his photos. That means before the shutter is clicked, and especially after.

                      In the above photo, I moved the two men from where they were and positioned them in the light. Although I did nothing in post, I would not be considered a purist…and that’s perfectly ok with me. I photograph what I’d like to see, not necessarily what I see. My background is in painting so to me the camera on a tripod is the same as a blank canvas on an easel.

                      The second photo depicting a similar construction situation was not manipulated in any way, either before or after the shutter was released. I like shooting what I see as much as anyone else, and if the situation comes where I can, I will. It doesn’t make me feel any different than if I had placed all the workers and wet down the concrete. The only thing that matters is if it’s a good photo.

                      The purist in me coming out!

                      The purist in me coming out!

                      I’d love to get a response from some of you out there that follow my blog. What do you think?

                      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. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

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

                      JoeB

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                        AskJoeB: So, what do you think?

                        So, what do you think?

                        So, what do you think?

                        I just love it when one of my fellow photographers submits an image for me to take a look at and critique. If I can help out by making suggestions that will ultimately have an impact on the way they approach their next photo, then so much the better.

                        As always, I like to let people read what the photographer had to say. The reason being that so many out there have had a similar experience or have had identical questions. Here’s what Greg had to say:

                        “Joe,

                        In your SYFOM II class we worked on silhouettes and you said one of your “favorite ways to show a silhouette is to combine it with an environment that isn’t a silhouette”. I didn’t quite understand this at the time but as our class was ending I was at a local park trying to get a photo of this covered bridge that wasn’t just another documentary photo, like the ones in the park brochure.

                        I framed the bridge with the trees in the foreground and then this girl walked by with her dogs, as she walked through the covered bridge, I realized she would be silhouetted in the opening on the far side and fired off several frames before she was gone. I chose this angle to show the inside and outside of the bridge and the diamond shapes at the top of the walls, I also like the light coming through the trees. There’s two dogs but only one is visible. I also had to straighten it a little. So, what do you think?”

                        Harry talks about one of the three classes I teach with the BPSOP. I also share a lot of the same information in my “Stretching Your frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet. One of the lessons in my Part II class deals with the silhouette, and how to incorporate them into our imagery. The silhouette, among other elements on my Artist Palette, is a powerful tool in helping to take your photography what I call “up a notch”.

                        Here’s what I had to say to Harry:

                        http://www.screencast.com/t/1ldla8guJWKb

                        By the way Harry, I forgot to mention that I also love the little dab of light in the trees and on the structure, and actually wrote a post about it.

                        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.

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

                         

                        JoeB

                         

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                          Quick Photo Tip: Back light Those Flowers

                          front and back light

                          I’m always after visual interest while at the same time generating visual tension. It’s not something I live or die for, it’s just something that’s always in the back of my mind. As I tell my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, one of the ways to create visual tension is the use of light.

                          I go on to say that whenever I see anything that’s translucent I always try to back light it. This especially holds true for me when it comes to photographing flowers. I just love to see them glow, and the only way to do that is to have the sun behind them. Actually, if you read my post on “The Clock”, the sun would be somewhere between eleven and one to make it pure backlit.

                          In the two photos shown above, and if you remember my clock, the light on the sunflower on the left is coming from behind me at 6 O’clock. This is front light and although it’s still fairly nice (only because it’s about a minute after sunrise), to me it doesn’t have the visual tension as the sunflower on the right does.; where the light is coming from 12 O’clock. FYI, both sunflowers were taken a few seconds apart and are next to each other in a field.

                          So, the next time you’re out and about shooting, before you bring your camera (hopefully secured on a tripod) up to your eye, consider the clock. No matter where you are and what the subject might be, think about where the sun is in relation to your subject first and foremost, and I’ll guarantee you that your photos will jump up to what I always refer to as “up a notch”.

                          Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my upcoming 2016 workshops. Come shoot with me sometime. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

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

                          JoeB

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                            My favorite Quotes: Al Pacino

                            Captured with my Lumix.

                            Captured with my Lumix.

                            Although I love all my categories, “my favorite quotes” is way up in my list of favorites. For those of you that for some reason have not read any, these quotes are from all areas of the arts and literature and not just photography.

                            There are some that I’ve known since my early days of being a professional photographer (forty-eight years and still counting) and there are those I’ve read since I started teaching  (while shooting professionally) in 1983. I often recite these quotes in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, as well as in my online class with the BPSOP.

                            When I find a quote that makes me say “OK, that’s cool” to myself, I’ll instantly think of how it fits into my thought process when I’ve been out shooting, and how it can become a teaching aid to my approach to turning my fellow photographers on to the way I see and/or shoot.

                            One of my all time favorite movies was Scarface, and one of my all time favorite lines in that (or any) movie was spoken by actor Al Pacino. “Say hello to my little friend”.  was said as the bad guys were coming in. Ok, I’m sure you’re wondering how in the hell does this relate to photography.

                            While on a sunset romantic cruise in Venice.

                            While on a sunset romantic cruise in Venice.

                            As I tell my students, always have a camera on your person. Well, one man (among others) once said to me that it was impossible to always have his big SLR with him and that smaller point and shoot’s just can’t take good pictures”…WHAT I said!!!

                            In the modern age, there are cameras that have ten or more megapixels, and have lenses that are very fast and very sharp…that will fit in your pants (or shorts in my case) pocket. They can do almost as much as a large SLR. Remember that it’s not the camera, it’s the ten inches behind it that’s important.

                            I keep a Lumix DMC-Lx5 in my pocket all the time. It’s the identical camera to the Leica D-Lux 5 (same lens, same sensor, same look) but is half the price. You’re paying twice as much for that little ‘L’ in a red circle. Btw, I’ve recently replaced it (with an electronic viewfinder) with the LX7. 

                            I take my little friend with me everywhere I go.

                            I take my little friend with me everywhere I go.

                            After doing a lot of reading, it was the camera for me. The new one is a ten megapixel camera and has a new F/1.4 lens…”WOW”, and you can get a viewfinder for it that shows you exactly what you’re getting.

                            I can assure you that carrying around this “little friend” will add to the possibilities of never missing a good photo again. Ernst Haas, one of my all time favorite photographers whose work hangs in my house said , “The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you’re seeing…but, you have to see.”

                            FYI, here’s the scene where Al Pacino said this now famous line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVQ8byG2mY8

                            Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime, and bring along your little friend. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.

                            Next July 31st, I’ll be back at the Maine Media Workshop for my 28th year. I always have it the same week as the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland. It offers a completely different set of photo ops: color, energy, light, design, motion, people watching and portrait taking, and of course lots of lobster.

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

                            JoeB

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