≡ Menu

Photo Ops

AskJoeB: Joe, what do you think about this photo?

What do you think?

What do you think?

Karen submitted this photo of three seagulls. She asked me what I thought about the photo, and I like to share what each of my fellow photographers had to say. In this case, all Karen said was ” Joe, what do you think about this photo”.

The first thing I immediately felt was how closed in the photo seemed…Why you ask? Because of the square format.

As I’m always reminding my students that take my online class with the BPSOP, and in my own “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, we don’t perceive in a square, we perceive in a rectangle; which is why I always use a 3:2 aspect ratio. In my opinion it’s very difficult to achieve visual tension in a square, especially in a landscape.

I’m not saying you can never achieve tension, because it depends on the subject matter. Diane Arbus comes to mind as someone that could generate tension in a square, and if you know her photos, you’ll know why I’m saying it. Sh also committed suicide.

Take a look at my video: http://www.screencast.com/t/c900iYDpgchJ

As I said Karen, cropping is not necessarily a cure-all for creating strong photos. There’s so much more involved as far as deciding on what’s important in your composition. I would suggest you try getting it in the camera and not cropping it later in front of a computer. It’s just one opinion, but if you strive to being a better shooter, then design your shot before you click the shutter.

Here’s what it would look like if it was in a 3:2 aspect ratio. Which one do you like?

A rectangle

A rectangle

Thanks for the submission, and I hope my critiqued helped.

I want to announe my new upcoming three day intensive workshop at the Los Angeles Center for Photography this coming July 15th with my presentation on the evening of the 14th. I hope to see some new fces out there and say hello to some old ones: https://lacphoto.org/events/stretching-your-frame-of-mind-with-joe-baraban/

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. July 31st starts my Maine Media Workshop. It will be my 28th year, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in taking pictures for a week. Come shoot with me.

Keep sending in photos and questions to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.


While the experience and images of Cuba are still so fresh in my mind, I wanted to share this wonderful […] Read More

Besides my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet, I teach a four week class with […] Read More

In my four week online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct […] Read More

I wanted to write this post for all of those that have had interest in my upcoming photo trip to […] Read More

In my never ending quest to show my fellow photographers that take my online classes with the BPSOP, or in […] Read More

Through the years, I’ve collected a lot of quotes that were said by an artist of some measure and how […] Read More

In my online classes I teach with the BPSOP, I teach my fellow photographers how to incorporate the Elements of […] Read More

In the first part of my career, I shot a lot of oi and gas related photos, and the one […] Read More

In my famous quotes category, they don’t necessarily come from well-known photographers, writers, or musicians. They are quotes I’ve heard […] Read More

Valeriano, a past online student of mine with the BPSOP sent me this image to talk about. I always like […] Read More

I recently returned from leading a fantastic photo tour/workshop to Cuba. Several months ago the Santa Fe Workshops asked me […] Read More

I recently was asked by a past student what I thought about his photo. As is always the case, I […] Read More

Deb sent me this photo with a question. Since so many of us has had a similar situation, or have […] Read More

Andrew sent me this photo with the following question. I always like to share exactly what the photographer had to […] Read More

Daniel sent this photo to me for a quick critique. I always like to quote the photographer since so many […] Read More

Dawn is a very good shooter that recently took my “Springtime in Paris ” workshop. She sent me this photo […] Read More

As is usually the case, i like to show the actual text so that others might read it. The reason […] Read More

Maybe it’s a touch of voyeurism and maybe I’m just a people watcher who likes to observe how people go […] Read More

I’d like to think that there’s two photographers bottled up in this mind that’s been covered over with curly whitish […] Read More

I just love thinking back over my forty-three year career to all the funny things that happened during some of […] Read More

Well I’m back again with yet another example of what it was like when Adobe was a type of house […] Read More

I’ll occasionally pick up one of my many photo books, take it over to the couch in my studio and […] Read More

Rick sent me this photo to comment on and as usual, I like to copy and paste the actual words. […] Read More

 Veronica sent me this photo and as always I like to copy exactly what each photographer had to say. I’ve […] Read More

Daniel sent me this photo and asked me for “my thoughts and a critique”. I usually get more of a […] Read More

In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the […] Read More

When I was  starting my career almost forty-six years ago, there wasn’t a lot of money for equipment, especially lighting […] Read More

Bonnie sent me this photo with a question. As I always do, I put the message from the photographer so […] Read More

One of my favorite posts to write  is for my “Life Before Photoshop” category. So many of my students with […] Read More

Linda sent me her photo to talk about. here’s what she had to say, as I like to share each […] Read More

As  usual, I like to show the original note to me from a fellow photographer so everyone can read it […] Read More

Valeriano submitted this remarkable photo and asked what I thought of it.  Here is what she said when I asked […] Read More

Henning  from Germany, sent me this question that I thought I would share: “Joe, I know you shoot with Canon. […] Read More

I don’t know about you, but the two hardest things I’ve ever had to photograph are kids and dogs. It’s […] Read More

Gary submitted this photo of Yosemite taken in the fog. His question to me was, “How I would compose this […] Read More