How many of you have ever written a letter, poem, story, e-mail or perhaps an epic novel? If you did you proofread it before you hit send, submitted it to a magazine, or your literary agent. It would make perfect sense, right? After all, it’s all part of looking good and proving to others that you’re half-way literate.
Well, would it not hold true for taking pictures? Wouldn’t you want to make sure that proverbial tree or lamppost wasn’t growing out of your girlfriends or mother-in law’s ( maybe you would in that situation) head, or including the rest of someone’s hand or foot? Truth be told, most people don’t think about it right before they snap the shutter; they’re always in a hurry. Sadly to say, those people rarely proofread so it’s probably no surprise there.
In my online class with the PPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet, I tell my fellow photographers to always adhere to my three checks. First, the four-corner check. I take a quick gander at each of my four corners. If for no other reason, to make sure I had the right lens shade on for unwanted vignetting, or if my filter was the cause of the same problem.
Next, I always do my Border Patrol, which entails running my eye around all four edges of my frame to make sure what I wanted in my composition was in my composition, and what I didn’t want in my frame wasn’t. This includes making sure all of my subject’s fingers and toes were included.
Last, I do my “Fifteen Point Protection Plan”. To make sure among other things, that there’s enough negative space defining the positive space, and making sure there’s balance between those two thoughts….as well as the things I would see in my four-corner and border patrol.
Redundant, you say? Yes, and redundancy is a good thing…at least in creating strong, and memorably photos it is. The key to this is remembering to always do it, as I have for the past forty-four years. The more you do it the faster you’ll get at it, until it becomes second nature and can be accomplished in mere seconds.
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. I have two openings left in my next “springtime” workshop in Portugal.Next July 26th I’ll be back at the Maine Media Workshop for my 27th year. a fantastic place full of energy and lot of photographers on the campus to share your experience with. I always pick this same week as it’s the week of the Lobster Festival down the road in Rockland. A different set of photo opts: people watching and portraiture, color, light, and design.
I have one spot left for my “Autumn in Provence” workshop to be next October 21st. We’ll be shooting during the Fall foliage. In April of 2016, in conjunction with Epic Photo Tours, I’ll be leading a group to the coastal cities of North and Central Viet Nam. You’ll see and take pictures of subject matter you would only see in magazines like National Geographic.
Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoe@gmail.com, and I’ll send you a video critique.