Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Seeing exercises, part of Photography Foundations: Composition.
One of the trickiest things about exercising and developing your sense of seeing…is that you actually use your eyes all day long for other things.…You spend your days looking,…so trying to get to that next step of seeing can be complicated because there is…not really a physically different thing that you can do.…I think the best way to learn to see better is experience, and obviously that…means practice, but it also means knowing what it feels like when you're really seeing.…If you can force yourself into a position of seeing and pay attention to what…that feels like then you'll likely have an easier time getting back into that…space, or at least recognizing when you're in it or out of it.…
Now there are a couple of curious exercises that you can do that, in my…experience, will put you into a place of seeing. They will deactivate your…brain's assumptions about what's before you and allow you to actually see what's before you.…First one is pretty simple.…Sometime when you're out walking down the street fix your eyes forward in…
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: 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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