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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.
One of the easiest ways to achieve a balanced image is to look for symmetry in your composition. A perfectly symmetrical image is really sturdy in terms of balance. It's just a rock-solid balance that can be very pleasing. It's very ordered. Your eye knows immediately where to go. Watch what happens if we break the symmetry, if we throw things off just a little bit by panning the camera. It just doesn't work anymore. The image is out of balance. It's far less comfortable to look at, our eye gets a little more lost.
But now look what happened, if we keep going in that direction, until I am positioned right on one of the third lines. When we do that, the image comes back into balance. Now it's not the same balance as a perfectly symmetrical image. This one's got maybe a little more tension in it, because it's not so perfectly symmetrical, but it is balanced again. So, when working with symmetrical content, you can combine that with what you know about working with thirds to create an image that still is balanced, has some nice symmetry to it, but maybe also has a little tension. Or you can come back to here and easily find a way of getting a perfectly balanced image.
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