Photographing flora creatively (Frozen flowers)

If you live somewhere where it is quite cold now and you keep saying to yourself, that this is not a good moment to photograph flowers (or flora in general), then don’t… We have one creative photography tip to keep you busy during the holidays. How?

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Patrik and Monika Banas


Have you ever thought of putting flowers in a freezer instead of a vase? No? Shame, put them right there! Another creative technique of photographing flowers is simply – freezing them.

What you need:

  • Plastic container (aka Tupperware)– it doesn’t have to be deep
  • Flowers (if not in the garden, then plenty in your local Flower kiosk!)
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Towel
  • Photo equipment including tripod

Tap water will make the ice a bit hazy, so if you want it shinier, use distilled water. There is oxygen in the plants, which makes them lighter than water and they will float and also create bubbles. So, you need to freeze them in stages, with a little bit of water added each time. If you make the ice too thick, it will be more difficult for light to get through, if you make it too thin, the whole masterpiece will melt too quickly. So, after several long hours or even days you can get your creation out of the freezer, wait a moment for the edges to soften and you can start shooting! Place the ice on a towel to prevent flooding and place it so that you have enough light behind it – for example in front of a window. And then experiment with different angles and compositions. If you go over the ice with a warm hand, you can polish it a bit. You can even wait for the ice to melt a little and the flowers will become more visible, or you can even smash the ice!
You might first have to experiment with different containers, flowers, and their arrangements and different thickness of the ice, but we are sure that you will break the ice eventually! 😉

We would be delighted if you will join our PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA class, we are opening in February and you can sign up here! We will explore together tons of creative ways how to photograph beauty of flora. And don’t forget, you can still put this course on your Santa’s list and elfs at BPSOP will be happy deliver a Gift Certificate for you! 😉

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Patrik and Monika Banas


And here are few examples of Frozen Flowers taken by our fantastic students in previous classes of Photographing Flora:

© Beverly Burke


frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Michaela Nesvadbova


frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Tomas Feller


© Alyda Gilmore


frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Peter Stin


frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Lucie Portesova


Creating a sense of place: Case Study #17

This post is one in a series on how to create a compelling series of images that convey a sense of place and tell a story.



Next time you’re taking photos, rather than trying to capture everything in a single image, take several detail shots to flesh out your story.

Have a look at the images in this case study:

  • Close-up of fruit smoothie
  • Close-up of fruit on the table
  • Close-up of cheese
  • Close-up of coffee

Do you see how each image tells part of the story? Each of these images is a single idea. By combining several images together, a story can be created.


  1. Vary the camera angle in each shot. Shoot up, down, out, across, or through a subject.
  2. Frame your subject tightly to omit clutter. Reveal part of the subject.



Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

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



You can also work with Brit privately

Mentoring: Schedule a live session with Brit via Skype

Get a private image video review: Private Video Image Reviews

Find out about all of Brit’s courses, including Photographing Fine Art & Craft

Using Presets and Profiles in Lightroom


Part of using Lightroom is taking advantage of the auto features. Some of these features come with the program, others you can set up yourself or purchase from a third party. 

In my Lightroom class, we cover in detail how to set up your own presets. Presets have been around since Lightroom was invented. You can use presets for any kind of process that you use on a regular basis. Some of my favorite presets I use for the adjustment brushes (graduated, circular and selective brushes). These include an exposure adjustment, a “sunshine” warming filter, and a texture brush. When you are editing a lot of landscape photography images, adding warm light can be an important element in these pictures. Presets will only modify the sliders in the develop module, nothing else. They are good for getting the creative juices flowing. You can hover over a preset, and it will show on your image how it will change the look of it. Don’t forget, these settings can always be adjusted, a preset is just a starting point to inspire creativity.

In April of 2018, Adobe expanded the usefulness of profiles and made them more easy to access. They were originally hidden at the bottom of the Develop module. Now the profiles are located at the top of the Basic panel in the Develop module. Keep in mind that you need to be working with a RAW file for the majority of the profiles to show up in this panel. These are only available if you are using the current versions of Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC or Photoshop CC 2018 or newer.

Profiles are like presets but are permanently installed in the Lightroom program. To access profiles, open the basic panel in the Develop module and use the drop-down menu to select your option. You can also click on the icon to open the profile browser. You can select a profile that will be applied to the overall look of a photo. Unlike presets, you can apply these over any develop/edit controls you have already used. Profiles can create looks that are not possible with the Lightroom controls on their own. It would be as if you added a custom film effect to your images.  

Try using different profiles on an image that has already been edited in the basic panel and save your favorites in the “snapshot” portion of the left side of the develop module for that particular image. Then you can go through all of the different profiles, and save the ones you like, and cull through the images later. 

Lightroom is great for its overall editing and organization features, but when you dive a little deeper, you can find some amazing tools to enhance your images.

BPSOP Instructor – Holly Higbee-Jansen


Holly Higbee-Jansen is photographer, trainer, blogger, and workshop leader who enjoys teaching and the creative process. Her passions include teaching photography workshops in beautiful locations in California, Iceland, Costa Rica and the American West with her husband Mark. Holly also teaches online classes on Lightroom, Photoshop, and photographic technique. Get Holly’s Free E-Book on “Landscape Photography and the Light and find out about her newest workshops at Jansen Photo

Reach Holly by email at [email protected] and read her blog at

Holly Teaches:

iPhone Photography

In this class, we will introduce you to the magic of iPhone photography using several shooting and editing apps that will give you the ability to make your pictures sing in a fun and easy way. You will learn how to crop, change saturation, brightness and affect the overall look of your pictures with HDR, drama and grunge filters and other techniques. You will be amazed at the simple and effective methods.






Lightroom Quickstart


Do you want to learn to create images that show the beauty of the scene you saw when you took the photograph? Do you want to learn the other essential side of digital photography, photo editing and get up to speed quickly?

This course is designed to get you up and running FAST in this incredibly powerful program. In this two week information packed class, you will learn how to import, organize and perform simple and effective editing processes that will let you produce beautiful adjustments to your pictures.



For a complete list of Holly’s current workshops go to:

Jansen Photo Expeditions –

Holly’s Portfolio:

Facebook –

Instagram –


My Favorite Quotes: W. Eugene Smith

W. Eugene Smith is probably one of if not my favorite photographer. Since the beginning of my career as an advertising, corporate, and editorial photographer, I shot mostly black and white. His images made a profound impact on the way I was starting to see, and I identified with just about all of them.

Bur recently, I discovered a side of him that I really felt made us kindred spirits; and it was all about the ways I approach teaching.

I teach an online class with the BPSOP, and I also conduct my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops all over the planet. I teach my fellow photographers how to incorporate the elements of visual design into their images, so when I read what Gene Smith said, I immediately saw so many parallels to the way I do things.

He said, “If I can get them to think, get them to feel, get them to see, then I’ve done about all I can as a teacher.”

Get them to think: One of the most common threads between photographers is that they’re in a rush to click the shutter. Sometimes that’s necessary, as in street shooting when a ‘moment’ occurs and you have to be fast to get it. Most of the time it’s not that important. What happens is that you wind up having to spend time in front of a computer to fix what you didn’t see when you ‘rushed to judgment’.

Think about what you’re doing when you’re trying to convey a message to the viewer. It can be any subject, i.e., landscapes, portraits, still lifes, etc. If the viewer doesn’t know what you’re trying to say/show, he won’t spend much time working to figure it out.

Get them to feel: 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 the 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.

The “I’ll fix it later” mentally 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.

Get them to see: Is it just a tree? I talk a lot about right and left brain thinking. The left brain is the analytical side while the right side is the creative side.

For example, if you were to look at a fence around a little league baseball infield, the left side would see a fence around a little league baseball infield. If you were to look at that same fence with the right side of your brain, you would see Pattern, Shape, and Line; three of the basic elements of visual design.

Make sure that when you’re out shooting don’t view things as they are and what you first see, look past those initial reactions to things so you can see what else they represent. It will open so many other photo possibilities.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

  • Excellent class materials and Monika is an outstanding instructor, one of the very best in the group. Her comments were very helpful. Monika, thanks so much for teaching this course. I love your teaching, you are doing an excellent job. Read More
    Skip Duemeland Creative Portrait
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