My Favorite Quotes: Bob Marley

I keep saying how much I love writing for this category. Some of the quotes I write are written by photographers, while others were written by other types of artists; from singers, songwriters, and musicians to novelists and poets.

One of the quotes that have stayed with me over the years was said by Bob Marley. Yes, it’s the same guy you’re thinking of…the Reggae King from Jamaica. Bob Marley died from Cancer about thirty years ago at a hospital in Miami. He was only thirty-six, but his music and lyrics were filled with thoughts and ideas that I’ve found to be in keeping with the way I not only approach my online class with the BPSOP but in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet. One quote has always stuck with me. Bob said, “Some people feel the rain, while others just get wet”.

If you think about it, it can have a profound impact on the way we approach picture-taking. Ok, my students and fellow photographers might ask, what does that quote have to do with my ability to take pictures”?

Well, it’s all about the difference between taking and making pictures. It’s about the total immersion into your new found passion and craft. It’s about mastering light and understanding exposure. It’s about getting some dirt on your shirt or at least your knees. It’s about taking on the challenge of being a good photographer, not a good computer artist or digital technician. Let me explain further:

Determining the light and the direction it’s coming from before you raise your cameras up to their eye to me is the most important factor. Making your own decisions as to the correct exposure to use instead of letting the camera and Lightroom do the work for you, scouting ahead of time and pre-visualizing your ideas in your mind then executing it, and spending more time than the “I came, I shot, I left”  frame of mind I find happening all the time, is about “Feeling the rain”.

The “I’ll fix it later” mentality that has come along with the digital era, has sucked the life and breath out of the right side of our brain; the creative side.  Why should I bracket when I can do it in Lightroom? Why should I worry about the horizon line being straight when I can just use my straightening tool later in front of my computer? It just goes on and on, and this is all about “just getting wet”.

I’ve been following this train of thought since I first picked up a camera fifty-three years ago, in the days way before digital. It’s always been the love of my life, and I suppose that’s what has made it easier for me to caress it and “feel the rain”.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

The Use of Gestalt in Photography

The Evolution of Night Photography

Things change, especially in the world of photography. In night photography, things have changed a lot in the five years since the release of my book, Fun in the Dark: A Guide to Successful Night Photography. That is why I have completely updated Fun in the Dark with the newest information about techniques, equipment, planning considerations, post-processing software and more as of mid-2020. I’ve also added sections, including photographing the Northern and Southern Lights. 

For example, did you know that some cameras are ISO invariant? Maybe you’re not familiar with what ISO invariance is. It means that you can shoot a night/dark image at a lower ISO than you would normally use (e.g., ISO 800 instead of ISO 6400) and adjust the exposure in post-processing to get a better quality image than if you had shot it at ISO 6400.

Did you know that the “500 Rule” is now the “400” Rule? 

Bigger camera sensors have reduced the time it takes for star trailing to become noticeable in your photographs. 

Did you know that astrophotography is much more accessible to photographers with just their camera and a tracking device? 

There are many choices for star tracking devices out there, some very small and so easy to use. This really expands the possibilities for your night images.

So much is new in night photography, and interest in it has exploded in the past year. If you love night photography as much as I do, or are just getting started with it, take a look at the new edition of Fun in the Dark: A Guide to Successful Night Photography.

-Instructor: Beth Ruggiero-York

Beth Teaches:

Long Exposure Photography

Post Processing Your Night Images

Ready to have fun getting outside the box?

In Finding Beauty we explore the concept of a quiet image. Each week we come at the concept from different directions.

Here’s a look at some student work and what each had to say about Finding Beauty.

As you can see, this fun course will get you to move the needle on your creativity!


Images: Doreen Weekley

“Thanks for the thought-provoking lessons in your Finding Beauty class. Without giving away the class concepts I can say that it really made me think about what I enjoy shooting and why I like it. It was fun seeing how everyone in the class approached the lessons and I plan to continue this exploration even after the class ends.”

— Doreen Weekley


Images: Chrissy Healy

“After feeling the need to learn something different, I’m absolutely delighted that I decided on Brit Hammer’s course Finding Beauty. I worried that being in lockdown would be limiting, but you can literally use any subject for these assignments. Brit’s inspiring and detailed explanations show a way of looking at photographic opportunities to evoke quiet, minimal images using any subject matter. Her critiques are so encouraging and help nudge students towards their own personal creative direction. I’m a natural light fan but even dusted off the flash kit to try these images for week 3! With one more week left of the course, I’m motivated to keep going with this theme. I’ll miss Brit’s assignments – every reason to take another of Brit’s courses very soon!”

— Chrissy Healy


Images: Linda Block

“I thoroughly enjoyed your class! It helped me look for what was important in an image and gave techniques for distilling it down to the essence of the scene I was trying to capture. I loved that you challenged my creativity and tried to push each of us forward on our photographic journeys! This exercise was very relevant in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. I think decluttering and recognizing what’s truly important is exactly what will help us get through this challenging time.”

— Linda Block




Finding Beauty

Beautiful Black & White

Authentic Photo Stories

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

** No post processing skills necessary for any of Brit’s courses **



Brit Hammer is an international award-winning photographer, bestselling author, and a celebrated artist whose work is aptly described as fresh and optimistic.

Brit’s students love her intuitive eye, patience, enthusiasm and holistic nurturing because the results are unbelievably incredible and inspiring student growth.

Visit Brit’s website at

Learn more about creative development and one-on-one mentoring with Brit

Follow Brit on Instagram


“There are great photographers and great teachers, but it is rare to find a great photographer who’s also a wonderful instructor; Brit embodies that rare combination.” — Tennessee Rick Elliot


Personal Pearl of Wisdom: Get Up and Give me Six.

Inspiration for these posts come in all flavors anytime day or night…no matter what I’m doing. So to tell you that this one came from surfing my cable television provider on a particularly dreadful evening where you wonder why you have to pay so much to get absolutely nothing of any content or cerebral stimulation.

As I had my thumb sitting on the up button, watching the programs whiz by at close to warp speeds I suddenly stopped, backed up and began watching the PBR Network. An obscure channel (at least for this city boy) that’s all about professional bull riding…as in PBR…and by the way not to be confused with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

I quickly became enthralled, fascinated as to who had the biggest testicles the bulls or the cowboys willing to ride these four-legged monsters whose main purpose in life as I see it…is to kill, maim,  mutilate, or seriously injure those that decide to get on and ride it for eight seconds right into the history books as heroes and legends for unnamed prizes, big trophies and or cash.

In my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, I’m often telling my fellow photographers that visual input is a part of our everyday life ,and if we can make it our objective to present this visual information in a way that makes  it worthwhile for the viewer to stick around, we’ve done our job as an artist and photographer. Make him an active participant by moving him around the frame via line, having him discover things in your composition while he’s moving around the frame, and create what I refer to as Layers of Interest.

These Layers of Interest should work together in harmony and be balanced. There should be some sort of rhythm that makes the viewer comfortable while looking around for things to discover. I can tell you that once the viewer sees something interesting, he’ll look for another.

Creating depth by using wide-angle lens to anchor your subject up close and personal is another way to keep the viewer around. The use of light, communicating ideas using color are others.

Here’s what it all boils down to:

When I’m shooting and right before I click the shutter, I ask myself if the photo I’m about to take was a print hanging on a wall during the opening of a new trendy gallery…surrounded by other photos. There are people dressed up in hip and trendy new fashions, holding cheap Merlot or Chardonnay wine in plastic glasses, milling around looking important, hoping someone will see them, and occasionally looking at the photographs.

Would any of them stop from self-indulgent reverie and look at my photo for at least six seconds, or stroll by with nothing more than a cursory look. If I can’t say with the utmost assurance to myself that yes they will stop, then I re-think my composition and not go any farther as far as committing to the final act of clicking the shutter.

Eight seconds is a very long time to expect someone to study your photograph as well as it is riding a bull. For me, I like the challenge, but perhaps six seconds is more like it; still a long time. If you adhere to some of my ideas and practices, you’ve got a very good chance to last the full eight seconds and take home one of those coveted trophies…maybe a silver silver belt buckle in the shape of a camera would be more appropriate.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

The Use of Gestalt in Photography

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  • I really enjoyed this course on composition a lot and learned again as always! Have just been through some more of your critiques for others in class – I also love to learn by seeing work of classmates. A big “thank you” for a great four weeks! You are always kind and never discouraging! This has been wonderful and helps a lot!! Read More
    Séverine Blaise Understanding Composition
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