Richard Bernabe Online Photography Classes

Richard Bernabe Online Photography Classes


For the past two years, I’ve been working to create online photography classes with KelbyOne, a worldwide leader in photography education and Photoshop/Lightroom instruction. In 2016, we released Master Compositional Class for Landscape Photographers which was filmed along the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina. That was followed by Landscape Photography Preplanning Post-Processing in 2017, which helped photographers connect the decisions they make in the field with the techniques they will use later in the digital darkroom.

These photography classes are masterfully filmed, produced, and edited by the video team at KelbyOne and in addition to being extremely informative, the video classes are ecstatically beautiful as well (if you don’t consider that I am in the frame most of the time). For my photography classes, as well other many other photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom classes as well, become a member of KelbyOne and learn from the pros. My classes are listed below.

Master Compositional Class for Landscape Photographers

This class takes you on a photographic road tour through the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina while you learn how to master an array of compositional tools for creating more dynamic landscape photographs. I will share my thought processes on various composition principles and concepts while showing you how to create more compelling landscape images – from sunrise, sunset, waterfalls, and grand landscapes. View this class here: Master Composition Class for Landscape Photographers.

Landscape Photography Preplanning and Post-Processing

This class demonstrates how the photographic decisions you make in the field will impact the tools and techniques you can use in the digital darkroom later. I will show how you can bring your field work together with your post processing, so that you are capturing photographs that allow you to get the most out of your workflow. Each lesson on a specific capture technique is paired with a lesson on how to process those photographs using Lightroom and Photoshop. View this class here: Landscape Photography Preplanning and Post-Processing.

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The Creative Principle

The Creative Principle


The following is an excerpt from my new E-book, Creative Composition. It happens to be the very last chapter after outlining and explaining the many compositional “rules” and concepts used in photography and the arts.

The Creative Principle

Creativity is the process of making, or creating, something new and useful – in our instance here, that would be a photograph. So in order for a photograph to be creative it must involve a scene, technique, or composition that’s never been done before. But making something new isn’t enough. There are an infinite number of ways to make new or novel images with your camera – including tripping the shutter as you throw it down a mountain or firing it remotely after attaching the camera to your dog’s tail as it walks the yard. Each of the results would be new or different, to be sure, but they wouldn’t necessarily be creative. Almost all of the photos would be failures, unless you stumbled upon a random, happy accident. The photograph needs to be both new and useful, meaning it has to make a meaningful connection with the viewer. Art cannot be the product of an accident. Art must be purposeful. Composing a scene through your camera’s viewfinder is just one conscious, purposeful thing you can do as a photographic artist.

Following the composition “rules” as outlined in this book will surely lead to visually appealing images that are “useful” but they will lack the creativity you’re striving for since there’s nothing new in any of them. You must learn to break the rules in order to achieve true creative results but you also have to know the rules in order to break them. Actors are told to learn their lines so they can later forget them and improvise on the spot. The good ones do just that. Call it irony if you wish, but I prefer to call it the Creative Principle. Feel free to break this one too since there are, in fact, no rules.

It’s also crucial to understand that breaking the rules just for the sake of breaking them is not being creative either. What’s most important about knowing the rules is understanding why they work most of the time – something I hope this book has accomplished for you. Knowing why the rules work will lead to something akin to a higher state of compositional enlightenment: knowing when your photo is successful when not using the rules, or better yet, purposely breaking them. Once you get to that happy place, you will be on the path to true creative synthesis.

The last step on this journey to creative expression is actually putting The Creative Principle into action. The French artist, Henri Matisse once famously declared, “Creativity takes courage.” It takes considerable courage to deviate from the safe confines of conventional compositional rules because trying something different could lead to failure. Your art should be an intimate expression of yourself so it’s easy to take failure personally. It’s important to remember, however, that artistic growth requires experimenting and trying new things. Failures will definitely occur along the way but they’re a small price to pay for the creative breakthroughs you’re going to make by venturing outside your comfort zone. Edwin Land, the founder of Poloroid, said, “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” Don’t be afraid to try something new.

So consider the rules merely as guidelines or suggestions with which to take generous liberties. “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,” Pablo Picasso offered as advice to fellow creatives. When I’m behind the camera, I am not thinking about any compositional rules, guidelines, or suggestions but instead I’m working on more of an intuitive level. I don’t think too much about composition. I simply defer to what feels right. Yet the concepts in this book have helped teach me how to see and they’re never far away from the conscious decisions I’m making in real time. Later on, I often discover that I did, in fact, use one of the rules presented here (or I’ve discovered that I ignored all of them) but I’m never thinking that way at the time of the capture.

Remember, no one is born an accomplished photographer and master of composition. It’s not an innate talent. It’s not a gift. There are no child prodigies in the field of photography. Every great photographer has had to learn the rules, intentionally break the rules, then ignore them altogether. If you’re just starting out, rest assured that you are in the same place that I once was, as well as every other professional photographer. Learn the rules, adopt the Creative Principle, then follow your heart and intuition to a life of creative expression. Enjoy the journey.

The 74 pages of Creative Composition, including the Creative Principle and photographs to illustrate the ideas and concepts in the book, will get your creative juices flowing again which will help power your way to greater creative expression with your camera.

Creative Principle


Image Design Masterclass by Richard Bernabe $9.95 USD
74-page PDF E-book on photographic composition theory and practice by photographer Richard Bernabe.

Add to Cart

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My Ten Favorite Photography Quotes

My Ten Favorite Photography Quotes


My Ten Favorite Photography Quotes

A photo may be worth a thousand words, as it has often been said, but sometimes just a few words or sentences can help explain a thousand or more photographs. And while thousands of illuminating remarks may have been written or uttered about photography, here are my ten favorite photography quotes, plus a couple of bonus quotes to make it an even dozen (the list keeps growing).

“Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them” – Elliot Erwin

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment ” – Ansel Adams

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera” – Dorothea Lange

“What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time” – John Berger

“With photography, I always think that it’s not good enough” – Lynsey Addario

“Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be” – Edward Weston

“I think photographers are too polite. There is not enough anger in photography” – Duane Michals

“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world” – Arnold Newman

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer” – Ansel Adams

“My best photographs always had a strong personal vision. If they didn’t communicate a vision or an emotion, they failed” – Galen Rowell

And lastly…

“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky

If you have a favorite photography quote of your own, please share it with us in the comments section.

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