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Quick Photo Tip: Checking The Four Corners

I'm always checking my four corners, even when I'm out street shooting.

I’m always checking my four corners, even when I’m out street shooting.

I’ve been shooting professionally for almost forty-five years, and to this day I still go through my three checklist exercises to make sure what I want in my composition is there, and what I don’t want in my composition isn’t. These three practices are what I teach and preach to all my fellow photographers that either take my online classes with the PPSOP or attend one of my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet.

I have written posts on two of them that hopefully you might have read: My Fifteen Point Protection Plan, and my Border Patrol. My third exercise is called my Four Corner Checkoff, and it’s very simple to use, and worth the couple of seconds it takes to complete….that is if you remember.

Right before I pull the trigger ( that’s Texas talk for clicking the shutter), I glance at all the four corners to make sure all is as expected. Among other things, I’ll look to see if there’s any vignetting from a poorly attached lens shade, or the wrong lens shade on the right lens. Until I bought an ultra thin Polarizing filter, I would occasionally get dark areas in the corners from combining a lens shade and a filter.

Then, there’s just the common variety of mistakes like including tree branches, parts of un-wanted buildings, fingers and hands being cut off, etc.

I realize that all three of these exercises are tantamount to redundancy, but as far as I’m concerned, being redundant is a good thing; it’s saved me on many an occasion.

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my 2015 workshop schedule at the top of this blog. 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 conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be making my third trip to Cuba next March. Come join me and experience Cuba the way it is now, not the way it will be soon.

Keep those photos and questions coming into: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll send you a video critique of your image.

FYI…today’s date in 1977 was the day Elvis died…at the age of 42. He had forever left the building.


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