Standing the Test of Time

There are many aspects involved in taking a photo that you’ll remember and that will stand the test of time; or perhaps just another background memory clouded by the passing of our daily lives.

Since I enjoy the game of golf and I often play (I’m a much better photographer), I can draw this analogy…to simply hit a golf ball straight and not necessarily far, it takes a number of things all working together at the same time: Your stance, grip, wrist, shoulders, head, knees, follow-through,  tempo, backswing, and that’s not counting all the separate nuances that are associated with each one of those aspects. FYI, according to my brother, who’s a Master Professional, only five percent of all the golfers in the world can break 100.

Well the same hold true for photography, fortunately for all of us there’s not quite so many!!!

In my online classes with the BPSOP and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind’ workshops I conduct around our planet, we work on incorporating the elements of visual design.

We also work on light, exposure, balance, composition, unity, rhythm, meaning, visual interest, and the ability to see past first impressions, are all some of the important aspects necessary before you click the shutter; if you expect your photos to stand the test of time.

What do I mean by standing the test of time? I mean that when you look at your photo a day, week, month, six months, a year or longer, and it still looks as good to you as the day you shot it, then it will stand the test of time and become timeless. Will it convey the same meaning, tug at the same heartstrings, the same smile no matter how much time goes by?

Moreover, if in the same stretch of time you take a second look at it and you wonder why in the hell you ever clicked the shutter, then maybe you shouldn’t have been so hasty. That’s where those aspects I mentioned come into play. A good photo is going to be a good photo no matter what new technology forces its way into the art of photography…and make no mistake, it is art.

In fact, I find that the more plug-ins, programs, software, and buttons there are, the harder it is to take a simple photo and have it last through all these photo fads. Case in point, look at all the great photographers that shot with a lens and a camera. People like: Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Steichen, Haas, Lange, Eugene Smith, Newman, Walker, Penn, and so many more.

Their images are more sought after today than ever before and will continue their popularity even as our generations change hands and younger/newer photographers take over with more advanced, more powerful, newer, smarter, more megapixel cameras . I just don’t think you can say that with the type of photos that one sees every day. They will come and go as fast as the new spring fashions that come out year to year.

For a photo to stand the test of time, it takes a commitment to the process. Take the time to get all these aspects going for you before you click the shutter, not in front of a computer. Think before you bring that camera up to your eye, and you’ll wind up shooting less and being more productive.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

The Use of Gestalt in Photography

How to make your images come alive

The secret to amazing images

Have you ever seen a beautiful image and wish you could take something just like it?

It’s easy to think that the secret to an amazing image lies in the technique or in having special gear. Sure, those things are nice, but they are not what makes an image come alive.

The secret to an amazing image is YOU, the photographer, and how you’re feeling.

Are you engaged with your subject?

As an instructor, the first thing I notice is how the photographer feels about their subject. Are they curious? Are they exploring? Are they engaged in some way?

When the photographer is engaged with their subject the resulting images feel alive!

Case in point: Mike Ferrari was in my Finding Beauty class, and it was exciting to see his progress from week to week. It was obvious when everything clicked into place and he was enjoying the act of photographing.

 

Now here’s Mike’s sharing his story

Like many others taking classes at BPSOP, I’ve played with photography off and on for most of my life. This includes darkroom work back in high school and manipulating Polaroid SX-70 images during college.

I’ve gone down many paths, and as an active birder I even tried my hand at bird photography, which proved to be quite challenging!

My skills improved after several classes in composition, black & white fine art, long exposure, and travel photography, but I was still missing a coherent vision of what kind of photographer I wanted to be.

That is, until I took Finding Beauty. During this class I remembered how good it felt to take upbeat, positive photos.

Brit’s guidance made an enormous difference to my photography. Her class helped me become more focused on simplifying my images. As the class progressed I began taking more intimate nature photos, especially around my yard. These were subjects I had ignored in the past — I must have thought I needed to seek out larger vistas.

Over the four weeks I began shooting square crops in-camera and was encouraged to switch my camera’s default color profile from vivid to a softer look.

After Finding Beauty, I stepped away from posting images for 30 days while I took Brit’s tutorial Find Your Artistic Voice. That freed me from worrying what other people like. This was tremendously helpful, and I often wondered why I didn’t do something like this earlier.

The tutorial helped me wrap my head around what kind of photographer I’d like to become. As it turns out, my voice has been there all along. Now I know what I’m looking to achieve when I shoot, which resulted in a greater success rate and a faster image selection process.

While I’ve only just begun to develop my style, which will take time and work, my goal is to convey depth, contrast, texture, drama, atmosphere, story, luminance, and strength in inspiring nature and travel images.

I was really pleased to have taken Brit’s Finding Beauty class as well as her Find Your Artistic Voice tutorial. A lot of developmental threads came together for me, and I now have a much more focused and authentic approach to my photography. I also appreciate Brit’s upbeat, motivational comments, and I highly recommend these classes!

— Mike Ferrari, student in Finding Beauty

 


 

SIGN UP FOR A FUN CLASS WITH BRIT HAMMER

Finding Beauty

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 **

 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BRIT

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 brithammer.com

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

 

Let’s go BLUE!

We continue sharing the best work of our PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA students. Last time we were presenting green color, which is very common in the nature.

But today let’s have a look on much less common color in Flora world – and that is a color BLUE! Just for fun – try to close your eyes and think about all the blue flowers you know…

Done? What you got? Two, three? Iris? Hyacint? Well, if you would start exploring online, you might be surprised how many there are in blue.

Nevertheless, blue IS the rarest flower color, seen on only 10 percent of the 280,000 flowering plants on Earth. This has to do with the fact that there is no blue pigment in the plant kingdom and colors that appear to be blue are actually permutations of violet or purple.

And that’s why we are always so positively surprised by plethora of amazing assignments in blue color taken by our students in PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA classes – that’s why we would like to share them with you!

 

And what do our students say about Photographing Flora class?

I really like the way you teach.  I learn so much from your critiques and have watched all of them.  You are a great educators.  I am looking forward to the next class.
Leslie Hammond

Thanks Monika & Patrik. Great class! Learned quite a lot from your extensive workshop materials, and challenging assignments. My floral photography endeavors will continue to improve.
Jay Salzman

I enjoyed experimenting with all these techniques! Wonderful class! Thank you!
Anna Blatterman

I’ve enjoyed this class and cannot believe four weeks have gone by! Over the course of the month I’ve tried many of the techniques! Thank you so much. Focusing on flowers and photography has helped divert attention from world problems and the disruption of life.
Glenda G

 

PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA class begins July 3rd, please join us here and learn how to photograph Flora too (and not only in blue color 😉 ).

We are looking forward to meeting you in class!

Patrik and Monika Banas

Disclaimer: We are big St. Louis Blues fans – so our love towards blue is biased 😉


 

Jana Jezkova

 

Heather Sugioka

 

Holly Middagh

 

Lynn Riding

 

Michaela Nesvadbova

 

Tomas Feller

 

K. Leslie Hammond

 

Mariel W

 

Darja Nezvalova

 

Darja Nezvalova

 

Charlie

 


 

Creating breathing room

In Finding Beauty we approach creating quiet, minimalist images from several different directions.

One of the ways is by creating breathing room, which is not necessarily the same as negative space.

How do you create breathing room?

Finding a quiet image in a busy scene often means to choose one specific subject and to find a way to isolate it. Some of the ways of doing that are:

  1. Move around the subject until the background is clean.
  2. Frame tighter….but not too tightly.
  3. Change image orientation (or aspect ratio).
  4. Take a step back and zoom in.
  5. Use a shallow depth of field.

Examples of quiet images

Below are examples of quiet images from some of the students in the Finding Beauty class.

What ideas can you glean from these to apply to your own photography?

 

“Brit taught me to look for ways to distinguish and distill the qualities that define the beauty I see until what I am left with is a minimalist expression of that beauty. Great class!” — Dorothy Rosenbladt

 

“Brit urges students to make images mindfully, to strip away the non-essential to find beauty in detail and simplicity. She urges us to go further and find beauty lurking in another part of the image. Her critiques are delivered with care, kindness  and understanding of the level of skill of the student.” — Anne Forbes

 

“I had never given much thought to negative space or to finding pictures inside of a picture. My eyes are open to so many new ideas.”— Ann Kern

 


 

SIGN UP FOR A CLASS WITH BRIT HAMMER

Finding Beauty

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 **

 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BRIT

Brit Hammer is an international award-winning photographer, bestselling author, and a celebrated artist whose work has aptly been called “fresh and optimistic”.

Her students love her “combination of extensive and well-organized photographic design principles…intuitive eye, patience, enthusiasm and holistic nurturing [because the results are] unbelievably incredible and inspiring student growth.”

Visit her website at brithammer.com

Follow her on Instagram

For More FREE Photo Tips…. Subscribe to our Newsletter

  • "I think that this was one of the best classes that I have taken both at BPSOP and other online sites. Joe was innovative with new ideas and ways to take our photos up to another level. He also did excellent critiques of both our work samples and our class assignments. Joe encouraged free flow of questions and ideas in the Q&A. I would absolutely take another class from Joe!" Read More
    Anna Stretching Your Frame of Mind
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