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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.
This is the Franklin Hotel. It's just off of the main square in Mangum. It's a beautiful five-story building built in 1929 for the than astronomical cost of $230,000. From what we understand, when it opened, it was a very regal place. This was meant to be the jewel hotel in this part of the state. Unfortunately, it opened just four to six weeks before the crash in 1929, and so sadly, it just never stood a chance. There was the crash and then the Depression of the Dust Bowl and then World War II. It's now abandoned, very, very abandoned, and we've been talking to some of the locals. We talked to a local high school student who said that it's haunted and that this whole in the awning is because some woman jumped out of the fifth-story window and went through the awning and so she still prowls the place and all that kind of stuff.
The people of Mangum are being very responsible with the building. It's really sturdy. It's very well built. That's how it's been able to stand the test of time, and they're working hard to get it redeveloped. It's on the National Register of Historic Places. They have some very interesting redevelopment plans for it, as they have for their town square and some other things that they've been doing. Fighting really tough economic times in a fairly depressed region, and they're working hard to keep it going, and it's nice to see. One of the nicest things about the Franklin Hotel though is right now we have the key. This is what establishing trust and rapport can get you in a small town like this, the key to a major city building.
So they given us key. We've got the chance to go in and shoot. We've done an initial walkthrough and we found wonderful stuff. There was peeling paint, there was ripped-up floors, there was a beautiful old elevator, there were lots of old furniture in it, old light fixtures. We can see how the building has been remodeled from time to time here and there. There is an old original registration desk that still has the original registration cards in it. You can see people's names signing in at the astronomical price of $2.50 a night. We can see, we can get all the way to the roof, we can go all the way to the basement. There's an old bar there.
So we're going to work the entire building, from the ground floor to the fifth floor and then up onto the roof, shooting anything we can. There is texture, there's form, there's light, there's shadow. The building has it all, and we're going to see what we can find.
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