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Don’t forget to take your “Fifteen Point Protection Plan”

Holt was just born

One of my all time favorite ‘Pearls’ that I constantly refer to in my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet, is called my “Fifteen Point Protection Plan”. I want to introduce you to it because it could be the most important tool you’ll have in your ‘camera bag’.

I can’t remember when I came up with this tool, but I’m guessing over thirty years ago, and I have done well by it.

Imagine a clear piece of acetate in your viewfinder with fifteen evenly spaced (imaginary) black dots on it. After I’ve decided what my final photo is going to be, and it’s framed in my viewfinder, I look at each of the black imaginary dots and the area around them. Remember that these dots cover the frame, so I look all the way from the dot to the edges of the frame they’re next to.

What that does is it helps me check to make sure everything in the photo I’m about to take is the way I want it. I don’t want to be surprised when I get back to the studio and wonder why I didn’t notice the tree growing out of someone’s head, or why I cropped out something important…or put in something not so important.

Give it a try. Once this becomes second nature to you and a permanent part of your thought process, I can guarantee you that your imagery will go “up a notch”.

Here’s the diagram placed over a photograph:

Check out my workshop description at www.joebaraban.com, and come shoot with me sometime.



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    { 3 comments… add one }
    • Thilo November 1, 2011, 7:34 am

      It has happen to me so often (and to all of us?), being so engaged in “the shot” that I miserable failed to hold my breath for a second and double-check what actually was in my frame that should not belong there… Joe’s 15PPP is a handy abstract idea that establishes a habit of carefully looking into all areas of one’s frame.

      But seemingly not only (amateur) photographers overlook stray items in their images.
      Watch here how even pro (movie) makers overlook the obvious…

    • Mikki November 6, 2011, 4:50 pm

      As Director of Development for Houston’s Ronald McDonald House I have seen Joe capture the essence of all the children and their families first hand when he volunteers his time and talents to take pictures for our organization. Now that I am following his blogs I am beginning to understand how he sees what he sees. Thank you for sharing your special gift the with the families we serve.

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