Non Human Gesture

I talk to my online classes with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct throughout the world about the importance of a gesture in your imagery; it’s one of the ways to create Visual Tension.

The actual definition of a gesture is “a movement of a part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea. It’s an action performed to convey one’s feelings.”

Visual Tension is generated when you stop an action, as in a gesture, and leave it uncompleted. I’m always on the lookout for someone using a gesture either while talking or even pointing. That said, I don’t like to take photos of people pointing unless I have positioned them close to the edge of the frame so they’re pointing out. Tha way the viewer doesn’t know what they’re pointing out.

There is another type of gesture that I also like to talk about and especially in a photograph, and that’s a non-human gesture. Non-human gestures can also portray an emotion or communicate an idea.

A list of non-human gestures would include contrast, a recurrence of objects, color, depth, shadows, light, and the element of surprise. Trees, waves in the ocean, flowers, and even rock formations can portray a sense of Gesture. The one idea that connects these objects and is usually necessary to show them in their reality is the use of elegance or grace.

The use of color or light to create a non-human expression is an unwritten language different than the intentional movement created by man or other living creatures. This demonstration of visual expression can be a complex form of communicating ideas and emotions to the viewer. The use of Light to create a non-human gesture can be more difficult since Light is so fleeting that it can come and go in a blink of the eye. When you can anticipate this moment, or quick enough to react, it can imply a sense of movement that will embody the essence of an object.

When you can combine these non-human gestures, with any of the elements of visual design and composition on my Artist Palette I refer to it’s a great way to find that elusive “OMG” photo we all strive to take.

Here are a few examples of non-human gesture:

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

-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 beauty of simplicity

What makes an image quiet?

In Finding Beauty we approach creating quiet, minimalist images from different directions. One of the ways is contrast.

The crux of creating a quiet image is to reduce the contrast. That contrast can take many forms, including color, pattern, texture, value, shape, and sharpness.

Contrast is important because the eye automatically goes to the area of highest contrast.

So the trick for creating a quiet image is to either contain or minimize the contrast.

Questions to ask while composing your image

Since reducing contrast is important for a quiet image, some questions to explore as you compose your image are:

  1. Is where something is happening isolated to one area of your image? Or is it spread all over?
  2. How much of the frame is filled with “something happening” versus “not much going on”?
  3. How great is the contrast between the two?

Examples of quiet images

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

What ideas will you use in your own photography, whether you shoot landscapes, flowers, still life, or some other subject?

 

Images: Maureen McKeon

“In Finding Beauty Brit taught me to declutter my images and allow the subject breathing room. She calls them quiet images.

In her critiques, Brit offers alternative ways to frame the image, encouraging exploration and experimentation.

I feel that my skills have grown a lot in this class.”

— Maureen McKeon (Instagram: mccrockett)

 

Images:  Bob Rosenbladt

“I have often found myself in a location that has lots of potential for a photograph, but there is so much going on visually that to make a compelling image in difficult.

Finding Beauty has really helped me to find ways to improve my photos by simplifying and decluttering them.

Brit has many excellent case studies to show how to think about a location to find memorable photographs within it.

Her critiques and comments have been both instructive and encouraging. I would highly recommend this class.”

— Bob Rosenbladt

 

Images: Kip Kriigel

“This class improved my ability to see photographic opportunities in everyday objects that are all around us.

In each week’s lesson the concept of producing quiet and clean images was well explained and backed up with great photographic examples.

I learned to improve the impact and photographic quality of my images by ensuring that nonessential and distracting elements are eliminated.”

— Kip Kriigel

 


 

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

 

 

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

 

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