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Personal Pearls of Wisdom: “The Whole Enchilada”

The Whole Enchilada is always on my mind.

The Whole Enchilada is always on my mind.

When I’m working with my online students at the PPSOP, or at one of the “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet, there seems to be a recurring theme. Photographers will invariably shut their mind out to anything except the immediate subject at hand, which includes telling whatever story they’re trying to sell to the viewer.

Most of the time, they’re not even aware they’re doing it.

What I mean is that they’re so focused on placing the subject in the best light and the best positioning in the frame, that they forget about the rest of the environment. That is, the balance between the Negative or Positive Space that’s surrounding the subject/main center of interest, or the contrast between the light and dark areas, or whether the colors compliment one another.

It could be as simple as making sure a telephone pole or tree isn’t growing out of someone’s head. What about DOF? Don’t you want to know what’s going to be in focus from the front to the back? You don’t want to find out in front of a computer.

It’s “The whole Enchilada”, that’s going to take your photograph what I call “Up a notch”. It’s not just the pretty girlfriend, wife, lover, or the grandson, granddaughter, mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, etc, or your dog, horse, parrot, turtle or cat. Nor is it any inanimate object. It’s the relationship between these subjects/objects and the environmental reality they happen to be in or that you put them in.

One of the best ways to check on these relationships is what I talked about in an earlier post. I use what I refer to as my “Fifteen Point Protection Plan”.

Right before I pull the trigger, I look around each and every IMAGINARY black dot that’s covering my focusing screen.

You should try it sometime. I’ve been using it for almost fifty years, and it really helps!!!

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, check out my 2012 workshop schedule and come shoot with me sometime. You’ll love my Protection Plan!!!




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