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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.
Just down the road from lodge, we found this cool old amusement park. There's lots of nice texturey shapes here and a lot of really interesting geometry, a lot of strong colors. It's a place that's you definitely want to start shooting when you drive by, kind of needs a subject so it's a kind of place that you might want to do portraiture. It's got these really strong lines, and so we've run into a problem here. I've got this thing sticking out of my head. This is a case of bad intersections in a composition. It would be very easy to frame this shot this way because you're so focused on me, on the subject, that you just don't notice that in the background, things in the image are intersecting such that I've got this large piece of metal sticking out of the top of my head.
This is a very easy problem to fix. I just move to the right, or you shift your camera, ah, that feels much better. Now I am no longer intersecting with a carnival ride. There's a very easy way that you can keep track of these kinds of things, and to generally make sure that you're understanding what's in your composition and that is, before you take the shot, after you've lined everything up, trace your eye around the edges of the frame. That will help you spot any intersections. It will help you identify maybe that you have too much headroom in the shot. It will make you look at what all is actually in the frame.
You may not need to do this all of the time. There are going to be times when you know that you've got it right, but if you are dealing with a difficult setup that you're trying to arrange, or if you're in a very visually busy background, then you're probably going to want to do that. So start trying to get into the habit now of identifying when you maybe need to use this technique, or just start doing it every time and just get into practice of tracing your eye around the edge of the frame so that you can really see what's in the frame.
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