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Student Work: “Work with what’ya got”.

Several elements from his Artist Palette.

Several elements from his Artist Palette.

I teach an online class with the BPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops around the planet. I teach photographers how to incorporate the elements of visual design and composition into their imagery, and each week of the four week class they are given a lesson to work on for that week.

In the second week we work on ways to generate Visual Tension. I’m not talking about the tension that comes from mental or emotional stress, I’m talking about the visual tension that comes from forces acting upon one another. I recently had a student in my part I class send me a photo to be critiqued, and along with the photo, he described his thought process this way:

While driving across Osage County in Oklahoma, I came across this wind farm being erected, and drove around until I found a single turbine and an oil well pumper side by side. I couldn’t cross the fence line, so I used the barbed wire and fence post for the foreground and to help frame the turbine and pumper. I also placed the blades of the turbine near the top wire to form a triangle. I also thought the fence post leaning toward the edge of the frame added tension”.

As always, I do a video critique of each photo that’s submitted, which is a huge help since I can explain myself while using the cursor to move around the various parts of the composition. In the videos, I point out what I like and why. I discuss the elements of design that are present in the photo.

Here’s the video I created for him: http://www.screencast.com/t/lh1Au4Ci

Here’s his reply to the video:

“Thanks Joe. I have to admit that before this class, I probably would have just walked up and shot OVER the fence instead of incorporating it into the scene. Or worse, I might have crossed over the fence (illegally) to get closer for a different angle. Thanks to you, I am seeing photography in a whole new way, and enjoying it all over again! I have a whole new philosophy–“Work with what’ya got, but WORK with what’ya got”.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog.  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 send you a video critique of your image.


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