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Quick Photo Tips

Quick Photo Tip: Outline the Person

I just followed her outline with my eyes.

I just followed her outline with my eyes.

It’s been sooooooooo long I can’t remember when I first started relying on my fifteen point protection plan, checking my four corners, and making sure I paid attention to my borders to guide me through the process of creating strong images before I clicked the shutter. I can tell you that it’s been thirty-four years since I first shared these concepts with my fellow photographers that took my first Maine Media Workshop in 1983.

I continue to work these concepts into my online classes with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet. Now there’s one more I recently thought about when I was shooting an environmental portrait, but had never really thought about sharing it with others.

It was in an environment where I couldn’t move the subject or change anything. It was filled with obstacles that could easily get in the way of what I was trying to achieve in the camera. Or having no other choice, one where it would either take a long time to fix so it would look natural, or one I couldn’t fix at all; given a reasonable time table.

I went through my photo process, which by the way now takes me a very few seconds. As though I was outlining the woman in pencil I quickly ran my eye over her entire outline to see if anything was growing out of her head or in a really bad position. Remember that this was a ballet rehearsal in Cuba and I had absolutely no control other than having her glance over her shoulder at the lens.

When doing this I could make adjustments by moving one way or the other to get her where the area around her was free and clear, and avoiding unnecessary time in front of a computer that may or may not have been successful.

So the next time you’re out shooting people give it a try. Let your eye become a pencil and draw an imaginary line around the person, looking for potential problems. You’ll thank me for it later!

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime. On July 30th I begin my 29th year at the Maine Media Workshops. I’ve had the same week since the beginning. It’s the week of the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland. It offers a completely different set of photo ops than one would expect when coming to photograph the coastline, lighthouses, and fishing villages of Maine. Come join me and spend a week completely immersed in your love for photography.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.

JoeB

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