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Composition can make an interesting subject bland or make an ordinary subject appear beautiful. In this course, photographer and author Ben Long explores the concepts of composition, from basics such as the rule of thirds to more advanced topics such as the way the eye travels through a photo.
The course addresses how the camera differs from the eye and introduces composition fundamentals, such as balance and point of view. Ben also examines the importance of geometry, light, and color in composition, and looks at how composition can be improved with a variety of post-production techniques. Interspersed throughout the course are workshop sessions that capture the creative energy of a group of photography students; shooting assignments and exercises; and analyses of the work of photographers Paul Taggart and Connie Imboden.
Ben Long: Those that survived the group critique-- actually, the group critique went really well. Everyone took it very well. It was a very diplomatic critique, and there were some students who did have to face the fact that an image that they took really wasn't a picture of light, and it's great to see a group of students who are really open and wanting to learn. They didn't take the critique personally. They really heard the message and went out and started shooting again. So the critique went really well. Now, it's time for another assignment, and this next one is even harder. Connie Imboden: So now I've decided to give you a really hard assignment.
Female speaker: Since we did so well on that one, you want to give us a really good one. Connie: That's right! We don't have much time. We've got to get everybody rolling here. Okay, this assignment is find a relationship between a subject in the foreground and a subject in the background and by using camera angle--use camera angle to create a new form or a new relationship, a new shape, or a new meaning. So take something in the foreground and something in the background and really work your camera angle until you can find those two things relating to one another.
In order to do this successfully--you're looking at me with daggers. To do this--to do this assignment really successfully, what you need to do is think of the world in graphic elements. So you're not going outside and seeing a bench or a trashcan or a lamppost; you're seeing graphic lines. You're free to turn the horizon line. We don't have to keep the horizon line horizontal.
You can move that, but the thing that I want you to do--and it could be that you draw a relationship between a rock in the foreground and a mountain in the background, or a line in the foreground and a cloud in the background, but through camera angle, find a way that they relate to one another. It doesn't mean that they have to touch, but draw some kind of relationship between the two. Bill: Can you show us some examples? Connie: Well, I'm just about to do that Mr. Bill. Mr. Bill: Good! Connie: Okay? So here, I'd like to say that Keith Carter took my workshop, but he didn't.
He hasn't yet at least, we will say that. Keith has such a wonderful way of seeing spatially. He makes so many wonderful relationships. I love this with the two little pears framed in this window that's framed through this background. It's just lovely. Then this one with the young boy. And here, he has let go of the horizon line, and what it does is it makes the relationship that much more intimate and that much more mysterious.
Another Keith Carter. So, your picture goes here. (laughter)
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