Quick Photo Tip: Get Dirt on Your Shirt


Lots of dirt & mud on my knees & shirt.

In my Stretching Your Frame of Mind class, I give a lesson each week; made up of two parts. Unlike all the other classes, I allow each participant to submit up to two photos every day, and I create a video critique for every image.

After someone starts submitting photos that represent the lesson, I begin to get an idea of whether someone is taking or making pictures…what do I mean?

If all the photos look like they were taken at the same height, that is, the distance from the individual person’s eyes to the ground after bringing the camera (usually around their neck) up to said eyes. This shows me that there’s no effort to change the point of view, which would constitute making not just taking pictures pictures.

Btw, I don’t get this as much in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around our planet simply because I’m always walking around with everyone at one time or another and suggesting that they look at their subject with a different POV.

What I’m always telling my fellow Photographers is to get some dirt on their shirt!!!

Going backwards in time to when you were a kid playing outside. Did you do everything while standing on both feet? Right now as I write this, flying a kite, or model airplane are the only two things that come to mind. I’m not talking about sports, ring around the rosie, etc., I’m talking about fun things to do while playing all by yourself.

I’m talking about things that required you to get down on your knees or stomach. Things that got you in trouble for getting dirt on your knees or shirt.

Well to me, being a grown-up should not mean that you can’t have fun anymore. Taking pictures is as much fun now as playing with small plastic soldiers in a boy-made pile of mud. Walking back to your car after taking one of your best photos and smiling as you look down at the mess you made on your shirt…is priceless; and you can’t get into trouble for doing it…or at least I hope you don’t.

-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

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