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Food For Digital Thought: Color Outside The Lines

Coloring outside the lines

Coloring outside the lines

Now that I’m a grandpa, I think back to the days when all of my four grown kids were young; young enough to be coloring in a coloring book. Well as it turned out, none of them ever had a coloring book…why you ask? Because I never wanted them to worry about having to color inside the lines.!!!

How stifling can that be? At least that’s my opinion, and I can now back it up by saying that my kids are very creative in any of their endeavors; and for the most part have always danced to a different drummer. A definite “chip off the old block”. So what did I do for their art time?

Instead of a coloring book, I took them to the Texas Art Supply where we bought plain white drawing paper, and the biggest box of Crayons they made at that time. I can’t remember how many were in the box, but there were a lot. The only thing I would tell them was to use all the colors, and to try filling in the entire piece of paper.

In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” I basically tell my fellow photographers to color outside the lines which is basically what the eighties expression “Think outside the box” was all about.

I can always tell when one of my students simply brings the camera up to his/her eyes and takes a picture. It really became obvious when all the photos that are submitted for review were all taken at the same height. When they go out with me, chances are that their clothes will come back with either dirt, grass, water, leaves, or an occasional critter that was inadvertently stuck to the front or even clinging to the back of their shirt…or all of the above.


Next time you go out, take a lens you seldom shoot with, some props, and remember that you’re an artist. The only difference is that your medium is a camera and not a crayon. That said, look at things from a point of view you never thought of before.

Let everyone else be predictable and always come back with the same old…same old. Never walk down the beaten down path to retrieve to an idea. Take the road least traveled, and I can guarantee you that it will make you a stronger photographer with images that people will spend time looking at.

Think about coloring outside the lines!!!!!!!!

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2013 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come color with me sometime.

Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com.


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