Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Narrative, part of Photography Foundations: Composition.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but depending on how you compose it,…it may or may not tell a story.…I am standing out here on the now-new shoreline of Lake Altus-Lugert, which is…the lake right behind the Quartz Mountain Lodge.…Oklahoma is in the middle of one of the worst droughts it's had in decades and…normally, the water would be about 30 feet above my head.…The lake is down to about 25% capacity and as it has receded, it's left a lot of dead fish.…So we have been walking around seeing these dead fish, and they are just down to…white skeletons. And they are very pretty objects.…
They have nice repetition in them.…They cast nice shadows in the morning, light particularly when the sand itself…has gotten real texturey.…I can take a picture of one of these dead fish.…It's kind of hard not to. They are pretty compelling.…I might get something like this.…Sure enough, that's a picture of a dead fish, and that's about it.…It's not a particularly interesting picture.…I could maybe go in closer and turn it into more of an abstract picture of a dead fish,…
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.
- Looking versus seeing
- Understanding when and why to use black and white
- Analyzing lines
- Arranging the elements into lines and shapes
- Working with perspective and symmetry
- Changing focal length, camera position, and depth
- Dividing rectangular frames into thirds
- Weighting the corners in square pictures
- Composing photographs of people
- Composing landscape photos
- Working with light: direction, texture, and negative space
- How to shoot color
- Guiding the viewer's eye
- Controlling depth
- Improving composition in post-production
Skill Level Intermediate
Photography Foundations: Exposure (2010)with Ben Long3h 24m Appropriate for all
Photography Foundations: Black and Whitewith Ben Long3h 3m Intermediate
1. Understanding Composition
What is composition?2m 1s
3. Composition Fundamentals
4. Geometry: Lines and Shapes
5. Shooting Best Practices
6. Balance Revisited
8. Workshop: Finding Light
10. Guiding the Viewer
11. Workshop: Foreground and Background
13. Post Production
14. Workshop Exhibition and Wrap-Up
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