White background in the Flora photography

We love sharing the best work of our PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA students. In this class we talk a lot about the importance of the background and how a bad background can steal the thunder of your main subject in the photo! And while we definitely encourage our students to experiment and explore different backgrounds, we also find ourselves enjoying pictures with the most simple background possible – just pure white color. White is about simplicity, about cleanliness, virginity, purity… But above all – about NOT taking the focus from the main model!

There are several ways to achieve a nice white background.

  • Obviously, the very basic one is to use just a white, well background – for example paper, cloth, or even a shirt… But this might get a little bit tricky when you are photographing with available ambient light as you will need to minimize the presence of shadows
  • You can use your electronic flashes or softboxes. Our favorite way to use the flash is to photograph together with white opaque plexiglass sheets.
  • Another way is to tape your subject onto the window and photograph flora against the strong outdoor light. You would be surprised how a nice and simple white background can be created by playing with the exposure!

All methods above (and so many more!) we are covering in our class and our participants are sharing beautiful images with us. So do not take only our words for it and let us illustrate what we really mean by “Flora on white background”, with several outstanding examples, taken during our previous Flora classes…


And what do our students have to say about Photographing Flora class?

I truly enjoyed this course. It got me outside to shoot and to think about flora. The lessons were fabulous. The class photos were beautiful I would recommend this course to anyone interested in flowers and  flora. Thank you, Patrik and Monika
Martha Rumley 

Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring class. With your encouragement I have been able to play and experiment and be creative with my flower photography. I truly appreciate the lessons and the excellent critiques.
Pam Corckran

This has been an eye-opening class.  Watching critiques has been invaluable, with his kind encouragement and clear guidance for improvement.  I hear Patrik’s voice in my head sometimes now when I take photos now! I also learned a lot and gained inspiration from my classmates. I will probably take it again.
Mika Geiger

Thank you, Monika and Patrik. Your style of teaching is so much fun and enjoyable. There are lots of things to learn but not enough time to do it! I wish you can change it to 6 weeks! Your video critiques are most helpful. I learned quite a few techniques from your suggestions by listening to your critiques from my classmate’s works.


PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA class begins September 4th, please join us here and learn how to photograph Flora too.

We are looking forward to meeting you in class!

Patrik and Monika Banas


© Alyda Gilmore


© Maureen Rogers


© Tomas Feller


© Beverly Burke


© Maria Sevecova


© Kveta Trckova


© Maureen Rogers


© Beverly Burke



© Francine Sreca


© Jacqui Nye



How to Start Organizing Your Images in Lightroom Classic

Lightroom Online Class

One of the reasons why I am such a Lightroom Classic fan is the organizational options. It can be a monumental task of managing a large collection of photos. I know this because I have over 70,000 images now in my Lightroom catalog. You may wonder how I keep track of all of them, and with Lightroom, it’s pretty easy!

Folder Organization

The first part of Lightroom organization is actually your folder hierarchy on your computer. You need to pick a consistent way to name your folders, preferably NOT by date.

You need to think about what kind of photographs you like to shoot. Do you shoot events? Do you like travel photography? Do you shoot pictures of your kids? For example, if you shoot a lot of travel photography, I would create a folder like this: Yosemite 2018_04. This folder will reflect the images you took in Yosemite, April of 2018. Maybe you were shooting your kids at a birthday party. It could be Megan’s Bday 2018_04. However you decide to organize it, make it consistent. For example, that Yosemite folder could be 2018 Half Dome Climb or Mom’s Bday in Yosemite. Do you see that all of these could reflect the vacation you had in Yosemite, but could be hard to find if you don’t have a consistent way of naming your images?

Yosemite Folders

Why You Shouldn’t Organize By Date

There’s a couple of reasons why I wouldn’t organize by date. The first reason is personal, I can’t remember where I was last week, let alone April of 2016! But I do remember that I was in Yosemite sometime in the spring of 2016, so my name of Yosemite 2016_04 would be easy for me to find. As you can see, I have a main folder heading in my Folders of Yosemite. Then you can see all the different trips I have made to Yosemite broken down by date. That is really the first step of the organization of your images.

When you first import images into Lightroom, it will default to organizing by date. Just be sure you change the settings so the destination reflects that you want your images organized into one folder.

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 2.02.02 PM

Star Ratings

The other important addition to your Lightroom organization is to use star ratings. Star ratings can be confusing unless you use the top ratings sparingly. When I first import my images into Lightroom, I will quickly cull through my images. During this first round, I will mark with one star the images that I like and x to the images I want to throw away. (The x key will tell Lightroom that you are rejecting an image. After you have gone through your images, you can delete all of your rejected images at once.) Go to the Photo menu and choose “Delete Rejected Photos”. You can delete all the rejects at once simply and easily.
Star ratings

Lightroom will ask you if you want to delete it from the hard drive or just remove it from the Lightroom library. Delete them from the hard drive instead of just removing them from Lightroom, that way they will be gone forever.

After I have used the one-star rating, I will go through those images and give a 2-star rating to the ones I want to do further editing. Once I have my editing to those images, I will go back and consider a 3-star rating. This rating would only be for those images that I would want in my portfolio and the 4-star rating would only be given to the best of the best.


My other favorite way of organizing images in Lightroom in using Collections. I would use a collection to store my favorite pictures from a certain shoot. It makes it a fast and easy way to find the best pictures from a shoot especially if you are doing a slide show or want to sync those images to Lightroom mobile. I would use the same naming convention as mentioned above in folders and even create subsets of images from the same location. But you can organize it a little differently in collections.

For example, suppose you took a trip to California. Your folder would be named California 2018_02, but in your California collection, you should only put the best of the best from that trip. Then, you can create subsets of your California folder and name those subsets San Francisco, Yosemite, and Big Sur.

Can you see how this new way of organization could change your whole way of working with your images? It will take a little time to learn, but it will pay off so you will have more time to shoot and be creative doing the thing you love to do, photography!

Learn other ways to organize and edit your images as we go into more detail in the Lightroom Quick Start Class. Learn to use this great program and create more creative beautiful images!


BPSOP Instructor – Holly Higbee-Jansen

HollyHolly 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 Expeditions.com.

Reach Holly by email at [email protected] and check out her blog and photography portfolio at: HollyJansenPhotography.com

Holly Teaches:

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.

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.

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




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 **



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



  • "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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