Author Archives: JB

The Smoky Mountains Through Their Eyes

Yet another installment of “Through Their Eyes.” This time, from The Great Smoky Mountains!

Patricia –  My favorite is the mountains because I was hoping to capture the iconic shot with the rolling hills and a colorful sky.

 

Terry – After the rain, the soothing sound of water rushing over the rocks.

Cam – April Morning:  I chose this photo because it depicts the quietude and simplicity of a spring morning in Cade’s Cove.  This restored farmhouse reminds us that people lived and farmed this land long before it became part of  one of the most visited national parks in the U.S.  The spring greens are offset by the white of the house and the flowering dogwood, with traces of red throughout.

Norma – I love the greens and the moss on the rocks.  I find I very calming and peaceful.

Robin – I chose it because the amount and variety of greens in the landscape were unbelievable.  Just incredible.

Posted in Smoky Mountains, Through Their Eyes Tagged , , , , |

Free Celebrate What’s Right with the World Themed PDF!

It is an honor and privilege to be associated with my friend Dewitt Jones, and, his Celebrate What’s Right With The World Project.  Yesterday, he announced my “Featured Artist” FREE PDF portfolio.  Yes, it’s FREE.  All you have to do is click on THIS link and then choose my Themed Celebration at the top left.  Please share this with your friends.  Did I say it’s free? Well, it is! And why not spread some joy and celebrate whats right with the world!

The blog image is from the Smoky Mountains. Taken as I was looking for new things during my pre-workshop scouting.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Charleston Through Their Eyes

I am excited and pleased to present participant images from my Charleston Low Country Workshop. Remember to click on their links to see more of their work!  Here is Charleston (Low Country) Through Their Eyes.

Megg M.

“I Loved this particular spot for it’s serenity, and, it represented what I had always thought of as what “the South” was like.  The trees of South Carolina captured my heart!”

Janice C.

“The city of Charleston is built on layers of contradictory growth – the fringed wagons, pulled by Percherons, carrying visitors with their ever-present iphones; the gentility of a patina-d iron gate reflected in the luster of a black jaguar;  the moss-draped plots of the Magnolia Cemetery where, if you turn just right, you can see the stunning ultra-modern wires of the Ravenel Bridge…Here are more layers, found in the sunrise at Folly Beach.  Somehow, it all works.” 

Louise S.

“Egret mating ritual in the Magnolia Gardens in Charleston.  What fantastic opportunities to view beautiful birds and alligators, to look with awe at ancient trees, and to sample the joys of Southern cooking and Southern hospitality.  Charleston is a city not to be missed!”

Terry S.

“Azaleas may be the best known plant of the Low Country, but I am fascinated by the persistence of Spanish moss.  It’s understated grace thrives in places azaleas wouldn’t.”

Joyce O.

“Loved this iconic view of the Oak Alley at Tomotley Plantation. I wanted something in the foreground, but since there was nothing I decided to get very low and use the grass as an anchor. Originally visioned this as a B&W (which is very much out of my box), but decided I liked the beautiful color version better. Which do you prefer? Taken with my Fuji X-T1, 55-200 lens at f20”

Image by Joyce

Image by Joyce

Scott O.

“This is one of the supports of the Ravenel Bridge. Most interesting, especially considering the wind at the top was probably 40+ mph! Couldn’t use tripods, and balance looking up was difficult. I lamented the lack of clouds, but seeing the final result believe blank blue was much better. Was a fun as well as challenging location. Fuji X-T2, 18-55 lens @ f9, 1/500 sec.”

Image by Scott

Carrie T.

“It’s difficult to pick one favorite image from a place like Charleston that has so many creative photo opportunities  In the end, I chose an image that highlights the symmetry of reflections and the diversity of color and texture.”

 

Carolyn Beauchamp

“I fell in love with the Spanish Moss that was everywhere in Charleston.  I loved the way the sun would shine through the moss, as it waved gently in the breeze.  John asked me why I chose this view, of the arch of tree limbs, at Tomotley Plantation.  I loved the way the large branches on the right and the left framed the low arched branches below.  Also, the way the sunshine lit up the leaves on that first arched branch, and made the Spanish Moss glow, made me move over a bit to the right to take this shot.”

Ed D.

Tomotley Plantation was my favorite spot because the arching branches of the Oak trees lining the entrance road, with their Spanish Moss swaying in the gentle breeze, made for a very inviting and relaxing environment.  It was a shame we couldn’t strategically place a model deep within the arches for some human interest and focal point.
 
Posted in Through Their Eyes Tagged , |

Honor Your Vision


 

Recently, on Facebook, I tried an experiment.  I posted a picture and asked for feedback.  I don’t normally ask for feedback.  In addition, I shared my thoughts on the image.  I said, “So much here that I normally would not include.  The bush, the background and going vertical in the dunes.”  So, in effect I was saying to my audience, I know this COULD be flawed.  What happened?  Some loved it, but many did not.

I’d like to make some observations in hopes that we could learn together. As soon as I gave permission by asking, “I think it works, you?” I knew I was going to get feedback.  Now what? My friend Cole Thompson asks in his excellent lecture, “Why would you ask others opinion about your vision?”  I believe this to be a fair question.  Who knows more about my vision than me?  Why would I give someone else permission to tell me how I should see or interpret a particular scene? More importantly, what happens when I get feedback, especially feedback that goes against my choices or my vision?  If you are “normal” you may feel a little knot in your stomach, or, you might even wince. You might feel dissapointment. My guess is, the next thing you will do, is question your choices, or, your vision.  Hum, maybe they are right? Maybe it is too centered, has too much processing, is not balanced, should be a square, etc, etc.  These are the dangerous waters of which we need to be careful.  Again I ask, who knows more about your vision than you? I fully understand the need for feedback as we are learning our craft, however, at some point, I believe we need to stop asking for it and learn to trust in our vision.

 

My dear friend Nancy used to say “fight for your vision.”  I choose to word it differently, suggesting you honor your vision. Nancy would say the following during a “critique” session on her workshops. “If I give feedback that you don’t agree with, fight for your vision!” Essentially she was saying, her opinion is just that, her opinion and could be wrong. And furthermore, she wanted you stand up for (honor) your vision.  

After a discussion with Dewitt Jones about the idea of critique sessions, I no longer do them.  Rather, I choose to do image celebrations!!  In these, I am happy to share everything I adore about the presented images, however, I try my best to steer away from telling the image maker what they should or should not do to make it better. I feel doing so is imposing my vision on theirs. If I feel compelled to offer a suggestion, I will typically start by saying, might you consider…  I find this to be a much softer approach and is my attempt to honor their vision.

While I understand the desire for feedback, especially as you are learning your craft, I would encourage you to trust that you know what your vision is, what you like, and how you want to present your images. Try to ween yourself from needing the feedback or approval of others. Rather, honor your vision.

Posted in B&W, Inspiration Tagged , , |

Death Valley #3

Another group of images from Death Valley and The Alabama Hills.  The first image is unique, in that it includes vegetation that normally try to avoid.


The next image, as pointed out by a viewer on Facebook, has a finger in the right side of the sky.  As I was making this image, I was feeling the presence of my friend Cindy who has passed away on this day. Now I see Cindy in this image telling me, all is well. This image is very outside of my comfort zone. I was shooting directly into the sun. But, I had to go with with I was feeling and ended up with a number of images that I like.  This is just one. 

 

The image below has become another favorite.  Love the bright shape at the top right.  Love the hint of light and details to the left of that…

Another with lots of tones which I am very much drawn to.

Posted in Abstract, B&W, Cole Thompson, Death Valley Tagged , , , , |

There is ice in them there hills!

While in The Alabama Hills, an excited participant was eager to show me what he had found.  When I saw it I fell in love!  I adore ice patterns and these were great!

 

I thought these would make a great Tryptic too!

Posted in Uncategorized

Death Valley #2

Below you will find more images from my recent trip to Death Valley.  Enjoy!  Oh and remember to see the images bigger, click on them

The first image is from The Alabama Hills in Lone Pine CA.  I was drawn to the texture on the background rock in shadow and then the gentle curve of the lighter rock in the foreground.

The next image is a result of the foreground and background being in deep shadow due to the clouds.  The sun was lighting up the middle ground.  This composition screamed to be photographed!

The Image below was made in the Salt Basin in Death Valley.  It is the rain water seeping onto the valley floor.  We could see it growing inch by inch…. very slowly.

 

Posted in Abstract, B&W, Cole Thompson, Death Valley, Workshop Tagged , , , , |

Death Valley with Cole Thompson – Gear for Sale

I am just back from co-leading two workshops in Death Valley and The Alabama Hills with the great Cole Thompson. We had two tremendous groups with lots of opportunities to create images that made our hearts sing! To be with Cole was a rare treat as he does not typically shoot with others let alone help on a workshop!  

Below are a few of my favorites so far.  Many more to process, so stay tuned for part 2!

On another subject, I am helping a friend sell some lightly used Nikon and Olympus gear.  See the list below.

One last thing, I have room if you’d like to join me in the Smokies this spring!  Mid April is the perfect time and it is a great way to wipe away the winter blues!  And, I just had a late cancellation for my Charleston SC workshop in a couple of weeks leaving a spot available.

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List of Gear for sale.

Nikon  PRICE
D700 with Grip & RRS L Plate 800
D700 with Grip 800
D800 with Grip & RRS L Bracket 1499
85mm 1.4D 700
16-35 f4 800
18-200 3.5-5.6 mssing hood. 450
24-70 2.8 1300
SB-900 Flash 200
Tamron 180 Macro 550
Lensababy Composer Pro 200
Olympus
OM-D E-M1 700
Pen Lite E-PL5 with 14-42 EZ 300
Lumix 35-100 HD 2.8 Polwer OIS 700
Lumix 7-14 f/4 Vario 600
Lumix 100-300 4-5.6 400
Olympus 40-150 2.8 1000
Olympus 1.4x Teleconverter 250
Olympus 14-42 3.5-5.6 EZ 200
Olympus 14-42 3.5-5,6IIR 200
Olympus 12 2.0 Silver 500
Lumix 45mm 2.8 Leica 550
Lensabay Velvet 56mm for Olympus 400
Really Right Stuff Tripod TVC 24l with BH-40 Ball Head 950
Metabones adaptor for Nikon F to Olympus 4/3 335
Tiffin 72mm Polorizer 25
Nikon 77mm Polorizer 50
Hoya 77mm Polorizer 25
Tiffin 77mm Polorizer 25
Hoodman Loupe 25
Tiffin 58mm Vari ND 50
Singh Ray ND 3G SS Galen Rowel 50
Singh Ray ND 2G-SS Galen Rowel 50
Singh Ray ND 2G-HS Galen Rowel 50
Singh Ray ND 3G-HS Galen Rowell 50
Posted in B&W, Cole Thompson, Death Valley, Workshop Tagged , , , , |

Monica

Monica is beautiful and to see her jump like this from a standing position was amazing! I thought the sequence of the jump would make a good triptych.  I was shooting on continuous high to capture the entire sequence of the jump. The Fuji X-T2 with vertical battery grip worked flawlessly! Remember to click on the image to view it much bigger.

MonicaJumpTryptich

Posted in Cuba Tagged , , , , , |

Graceful Monica Floating in Air


Cuban Dancer Jumping (1200px, 25fps)

 

Once again, I can’t express just how much fun I had photographing Monica and Patricia at this old mansion in Cuba.  This is Monica jumping in a very small area with such grace and style.  She was indeed floating in air and I was on cloud nine!  I’ve used the Plotagraph Software to add some motion to her hair and dress. REMEMBER TO CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO MAK E IT BIGGER!  If you’d like to explore or play with Plotagraph you can save 10% by using the code BARCLAY via this link.  I am in the process of working with Topaz and Plotagraph to bring you a webinar on how to best use the software.  Stay tuned!  A non-Plotagraph version is below.

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Posted in Cuba Tagged , , , , |