Bara is mentioned the first time in reference to the first spiritual act in Genesis 1:1, God bara -everything-. From NoThing to everything. In my view for this to happen at the very beginning there needs to be a first spiritual act of self sacrifice, self closing.
The second time of bara is for the soul of animals (starting in water life and evolving into land life and so it is not needed for mention with land animals, but understood) with God bara the great whales and every living thing in the waters. The third time for bara is for the spirit of humans with God bara male and female.
Asah is mentioned for the non-living firmament, and non-living sun/moon/stars, but not for living plants. It is later also used for living land animals and humans, but not living water life. In my opinion asah is used for humans/hominids/apes because of their added intellect and land animals get asah because of their added emotions. (This is with exception to animals that were once on land and returned to the seas of course, like whales and dolphins).
Plants don't get asah because they don't have any emotions or intellect and they don't get bara because they don't have a living soul or what I would call consciousness.
The earth as it is gathered also does not get asah or bara, because this is not a spiritual act and everything is in relation to the Earth, not the Earth in relation to other things.
Sun/Moon/Stars get asah because there is a relational relevance here to the Earth where humans evolved, but the star/sun/moon don't get bara because there is no spiritual aspect here.
The Firmament gets asah, because it too shares a relational relevance to the Earth, but it also does not have any spiritual aspect and so the writer refrains from using bara.
So, Bara, in my view, is something created NEW, ORIGINAL, that did not exist before God.
When you run into No Thing, you also find the Spirit.
How I see it: