Happy New Year from Bryan Peterson

Quick Photo Tip: Wait For It

Of all the genres in photography, I personally think that street shooting offers the hardest challenge…why? Because “like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get”….while walking down the street.

Landscape, portraiture, food, are three areas that immediately come to mind that gives you time to think ahead of time about your photo. You have the luxury of finding the location, looking for the best light, and as far as food photography you have total control in the studio.

When I’m walking the streets with any of my fellow photographers that are taking my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops, I’m basically looking for light. If I can find the light, chances are pretty good that I will find a shot somewhere in it.

I have had other photographers that take my online class with the BPSOP submit photos that lack visual interest and can’t stand the test of time. For example, a photo that’s showing someone talking on a phone leaning against a corner with a cigarette hanging out one side of the mouth is not going to stand the test of time; unless something extraordinary is happening. How about all those photos that show homeless people eating, begging, or sleeping on the sidewalk?

Having said that, when you do find some light…light that’s worthy of spending some time with, it’s important to find a comfortable spot and wait for some action; just the way Henri Cartier-Bresson did.

When you do see something or someone approaching the light you have settled in on, don’t be in a hurry to bring the camera up to your eye. Too many times I have seen a photographer do just that only to have the subject veer off. Sometimes it’s either because they’re polite and  don’t want to “photobomb” your shot, or they just don’t want to be photographed.

It’s important (and hard to do) to wait for it...wait until the very last minute to bring up your camera.

In the above image, I came around a corner and saw the light hitting just this one part of the building. I thought I would give it a few minutes to see if someone would walk through it. I pre-visualized where I wanted them to be in the light, and I also thought about making sure their entire shadow was against the wall.

I fired off several exposures of the spot I wanted to get the exposure down, knowing I would probably get off one shot.

Well, the waiting paid off. Not only did I get her in the light, but I was lucky enough to have her wearing great colors; of course her looking down the intersection didn’t hurt!!!

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

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

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  • "I’ve taken quite a few online classes on different things and this group has been so wonderful-and Bryan and Chris, all I can say is WOW! I’ve learned more in this class than I could have possibly imagined. Your teamwork is great-all questions answered and all photos critiqued both honestly and gently in a very timely manner." Read More
    Betsy Understanding Exposure
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