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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.
You can't hear it enough, so I am going to say it again, all photos begin with light. Good light will take an otherwise boring scene and give you a great photo. With bad light, it doesn't matter how interesting your subject is, you're going to have a hard time coming back with good results. I want you to try a very different type of exercise now. I want you to go out and shoot pictures with the idea of light itself as your subject. In other words, I want you to go out and look for interesting plays of light, an interesting splash of light, interesting contrast in light and shadow.
Maybe a glint of light off of the highlight of something, anything that looks like an interesting play of illumination, I want you to try working that shot and turning it into an image. This is a great exercise. It's a really valuable exercise to come back to lot, for a couple of different reasons. First of all, with light as subject, you will begin to understand that whatever light is bouncing off of doesn't matter so much. It's light that makes a photo. This is a way of really exploring why light is so important. Also, when you go out to shoot light itself, you'll find a whole realm of new subject matter that you might not have seen before.
This is a great approach if you feel like you're stuck or if you live somewhere boring, or if you shot the same place over and over and you just can't find anything else in it. Go looking for just simply light and see what happens. This is a great exercise to do if you feel like you're in a rut, if you're not feeling inspired, but it's also a great exercise to do to build up a better understanding of light and to simply come back with great pictures.
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