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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.
Have you ever noticed that it's always a priest, a rabbi and a nun that are walking into a bar together in a joke? Or a doctor, a lawyer and a penguin that are fighting over the last parachute on an airplane? It's never just a mountain lion and a rabbit that are going fishing together. It's always three things and that's because three is a kind of important number. One of something is just its own thing, two of something is maybe a coincidence, three is an actual pattern. Once you hit three, we begin to see some significance, we begin to apply some meaning to something. Not necessarily deep spiritual meaning, but simply, oh, there is a system here.
I got three big refrigerators here. Three often works very well in composition. If I only had two refrigerators, believe it or not, this wouldn't be as interesting. So a lot of times when you're working with repetition, when you're working with patterns, you want to be thinking at least in threes. A great thing about three is it's not too many of something. Sometimes five of a thing is not simple. Of course, we are always looking for simplicity in our images. So when you're trying to build up patterns, when you're trying to work for some repetition, play with three and see if that's a better way to go than a larger number.
And you certainly don't want to do just one or two because that wouldn't be repetition or a pattern. When you see three things together, we walked into this room and saw these three refrigerators, we immediately knew, oh, this might be a good composition. There might be some interesting repetition or rhythm to this scene. Three is a very powerful number when it comes to your photography. So do some experimenting with it.
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