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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.
As we discussed earlier, this course is built around you going out and practicing very specific things that will over time give you a robust compositional vocabulary, and that process is going to begin in this chapter. The last movie in this chapter will be a specific assignment wherein I will task you with shooting a specific kind of subject matter. However, you haven't had any composition instruction yet, so we need a little bit of that before you head out shooting. There are lots of compositional ideas and concepts, and we're going to go over scores of them in this course, with the aim of getting them into your body so that eventually you can work with them by feel.
Not every image will have every compositional idea that we're going to discuss in this course, but all images will have four things: a clearly defined subject and background, a sense of balance, a point of view, and a degree of simplicity. These are compositional concepts that you cannot avoid. So in the rest of this chapter, we're going to discuss exactly what these things are, so that you can head out on your first shooting assignment and practice these fundamental essential compositional ideas.
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