Food For digital Thought: The Road Less Traveled

Coloring Outside the Lines

Coloring Outside the Lines

I Invariably have the same conversation in both my online class I teach with the BPSOP, and I now have it down to occasionally in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet…why so you ask?

Because in my workshops a lot of my fellow photographers have taken either my online classes, several past workshops, or both and they know by now that I always encourage photographers not to take the road well traveled; take the one with fewer footprints.

After a fifty year career in advertising, editorial, and corporate photography, while also teaching for thirty-four of those years, I’ve talked to a wide variety of photographers that are content with listening to others tell them (in so many words) to follow the rules, aka the Yellow Brick Road and at the end of said road will be a great and powerful wizard that will show them the road to photographic Nirvana; the ultimate happiness and spiritual liberation.

But perhaps they won’t find a great and powerful wizard, maybe they’ll find an old circus magician from Kansas (that would be Oz) that will instead take them straight down the one way road to mediocrity…and a state of non-creative purgatory


Without sounding like someone that always assumes the worst, it seems to me based on years of experience, most photographers out there are afraid to step out and color outside the lines; better safe that sorry is their motto. They have their close friends and family to tell them that their pictures are wonderful, and that can be just good enough; enough to get you through the day.

I’ve found that the majority of the students that come to me are not sure of themselves, and without some level of confidence they trust others to guide them; when in fact they just might know more that those offering advice.

What’s the worst that can happen? They’ll laugh at your art, call you names behind your back, make you cry in front of strangers, and maybe even kick you out of their camera club!!!

There’s worse things in life; however, I can’t think of any as I write this post.


In my opinion you should venture out, get some dirt on your shirt while looking at things from a different perspective. Forget about encountering the ubiquitous negative viewer that may not like what you’ve created in the form of a photograph. Your first attempt may or may not be a “wall hanger”, but that’s to be expected. One has to learn how to balance themselves while trying to stand up, and stand before they can walk, and walk before they can run.

Open your eyes to new ways of thinking. Try to remember you’re an artist with a camera as your medium. Work on making not just taking pictures. Bob Marley conveyed it best when he said, “Some people feel the rain while others just get wet”.

Take some chances and follow the road less traveled…even if it means getting wet.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”

Barbara Geiger
Understanding Color

“Thank you so very much for this course! It’s allowed me to take the blinders off and present my images for what I want them to be without being a slave to the “reality” of the camera. I would also add that in conjunction with your printing course, this has been the most useful course I’ve ever taken. Your notes are more than comprehensive and your comments and critiques are direct, clear, and always directed to the improvement of the art.”

After the click

” I want to thank you for this class and for your patience and availability to answer all of my questions. I have learned very much through this class. I have used LR in the past, but mostly for editing images. I now have a better grasp in the organization of my images, an even better understanding of editing images, and an understanding of the value of presets. I still have a lot to learn, but this has put me on the road to be able to improve my photography. Again, thank you! ”

Dale Yates
Lightroom Quickstart

Classes Starting Soon!

Understanding Exposure and Your DSLR

Instructor: Bryan Peterson Duration: 6 Weeks Cost: US$169 Without que…

Wireless Flash Techniques for Outdoor & Nature Photographers

Instructor: Rick Burress Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Learn Photoshop…

The Real Photoshop Course

Instructor: Charlie Borland Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Are you a …

The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Bridge CC

Instructor: Rick Burress Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 The Anti-Catalo…

After the Click – Refining Your Vision in Lightroom & Camera Raw

Instructor: Mark English Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Why do some ima…

Editing in Adobe Camera Raw

Instructor: Rick Burress Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 If you love pho…

Exploring Adobe Photoshop Lightroom & Lightroom for Mobile

Instructor: Holly Higbee-Jansen Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 In this …

Lightroom Quick Start

Instructor: Holly Higbee-Jansen Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Do you w…

Mastering Apple Photos

Instructor: Jon Canfield Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Mastering Apple…

Luminar Essentials

Instructor: Jon Canfield Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129 Luminar is an …

The Art of Printing and Selling Your Art

Instructor: Mark English Duration: 2 Weeks Cost: US$76 The print is the…

The 50 Most Useful Tips in Photoshop CC and Photoshop Elements

Instructor: Roger Morin Duration: 2 Weeks Cost: US$76 This two-week cla…

50 MORE Photoshop Tips & Tricks

Instructor: Roger Morin Duration: 2 Weeks Cost: US$76 This two-week cla…
Translate »