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Personal Pearl of Wisdom: 25X4=100

I looked to my right.

I looked to my right.

In both my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around our planet, I have my Pearls of Wisdom that my fellow photographers have become to know and I dare say…grown to love?


One of my all time attention grabbers is when I say it’s all about 25X4, and I especially remember using it a lot in my “Springtime in Sicily” workshop last May. I used it every day that we were walking around Palermo, Siracusa, Cefulu’ on the West side of Sicily and Catania, Taormina, and Ortygia on the East side.

As I do in my workshops, I show people how to see things occurring all around them. As Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see”. I’ll suggest they look at things with the right side of their brain, the creative side instead of the left side which is the analytical side.

The analytical side sees a tree, and the right side sees texture, patterns, lines, color, light, shapes, and form; all basic elements of visual design.

Having said all that, if you just look straight ahead while you’re walking, you’re only using twenty-five percent of your possible vision that has a immediate correlation to photo ops that either surround you or you pass by. I can say from years of experience, the majority of photographers do just that; it just doesn’t make sense.

It reminds me of the blinders that some racehorse trainers have their horses wear to keep them focused on what’s in front of them rather than what’s behind them or on each side. It keeps them focused on the race rather than the distractions around them.

YIKES!!! Is that what you want to be compared to…a racehorse with no distractions? I think not!!

OK, when I’m walking around hunting that illusive “keeper”, looking for the light in all the right places, I use 100% of the potential shooting area that’s always there following me down the street. In other words, I look straight ahead twenty-five percent of the time for a few steps, then to my right side (a few more steps) twenty-five percent of the time, to the left twenty-five percent of the time and behind me twenty-five percent of the time…now that sure makes sense to me.

In the above photo taken after my workshop in Sicily in Lisbon, if I hadn’t been looking from side to side instead of straight ahead, I would have never seen this guy mixed in with several of his friends….missing what would soon be one of my favorite photos/examples.

BTW, I will also look up, and have discovered many of my best shots doing just that.

So there you have it, my 25X4 pearl of wisdom. I can guarantee you that if you make a conscious effort to follow my advice, a whole new set of photos opportunities will open up for you, and it will be a lot more fun.


Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com and be sure to check out my 2016-17 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

Don’t forget to send me your questions and photos to: AskJoeB@gmail.com and I’ll create a video critique for you.

Keep those eyes wide open and always moving around,


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